The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Jeannette Bayisenge, has said the discussions that result from the newly created Women Genocide Survivors’ Space (WGSS) will help in tackling family conflicts, among other issues that hinder the Rwandan community. She was speaking during the launch of the space at the Kigali Convention Centre on the night of November 18. Hosted by the Alumni of the Genocide Survivors’ Students Association (GAERG) and its partners, WGSS gathered women Genocide survivors together with delegated female actors from the civil society community, female politicians, women from faith-based organisations and female members of the private sector. Men were also among participants, and discussions were around the role of family in promoting well-being, especially as a key foundation of family growth and sustainability. Minister Bayisenge stressed that family conflict often leads to street children, murder between spouses as well as divorces, which she said destroys family- a key foundation of the country’s growth and sustainable development. She said that through WGSS, family members can learn how best they can converse with each other, hence solving their conflicts. “You will find that members of families that face conflict on a high level do not have who to tell and hardly converse. A family should be a place where someone feels safe and comfortable. Members, parents and children, should converse, help each other to relieve, hence ending the conflict,” she said. “If a family has conflict, people run away from it. These conversations come to help family members (parents) to build their mental well-being, henceforth extending that to their children.” According to Jean Pierre Nkuranga, President of GAERG, through the WGSS, participants can talk about mental health issues and develop mitigations as the crisis is among factors destroying families nowadays. “We meet and appraise the steps we have made so far as well as the challenges we still have. We invite experts to educate us on what can hinder family’s mental health hence creating mitigations around that,” he said. “We have learned that everyone has a safe place where they feel comfortable. They have to know it and share that information with other people when they realise that they need it. Everyone needs to be the strength of the other to ensure mental well-being.” Nkuranga also noted that research has shown that 35 per cent of Genocide survivors have mental health issues, adding that there wasn’t much effort to combat the issue which inspired GAERG to create the space, starting with women. He unearthed that they are also planning to host the men’s edition given that both men and women play a big role in curbing family conflict and ensuring the family’s well-being. Sr Immaculee Uwamariya, Founder of Famille Esperance, urged parents to be close to their children, declaring that it is the best gift they can offer to them. “Buying your children expensive things does not replace being close to them. Sometimes, as parents, we do not give children time to tell us what they wish from us and we don’t know their friends which makes them hide those friends from us. “We do not even know what they love or desire because we don’t give them time. Let us respect children, listen to them, and give them time so that they can disclose to us their feelings and mistakes. If you don’t become a friend of your child, they will hide things from you.” Uwamariya also urged parents to be examples for their children, declaring that their bad behaviours and habits can negatively affect their mental health. Together with the Women Genocide Survivor's Space, GAERG also provided awards to the winners of the Mental Health Award under the Genocide Essay Writing & Presentation Challenge - Edition3.