THE Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Jean de Dieu Mucyo, on Thursday urged trauma counsellors to include material support in their services.
He was addressing about 70 trauma counsellors and demobilised combatants drawn from 35 sectors of Kigali City.
The two-day meeting was organised by CNLG and the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC).
The volunteers provide psychosocial support to people with post-traumatic stress disorders, especially as a result of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Some people have lost hope for the future as a result of what they have gone through in the past. We should start thinking of helping them to improve their social welfare. If someone has no means to pay for their studies or accommodation, approach them and help in finding a solution to their problems,” said Mucyo, a former justice minister and prosecutor general.
He also implored trauma counsellors to value the positive impact of their services above financial interests.
“Out there, people are more interested in doing what brings them financial benefits only. But someone with trauma problems needs special and immediate care. Please, help them before asking yourself what you will gain afterwards”, he told them.
“This requires you to be patriotic and innovative; but above all, sacrifice and devotion,” he added.
Jean Sayinzoga, the chairman of Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC), told the participants: “Ex-combatants and Genocide survivors are not the only ones who need your support. Genocide perpetrators, for instance, also have post-traumatic stress disorders. Every Rwandan who witnessed the genocide needs your attention.”
A survey conducted by the RDRC in 2005 indicated that up to 20% of ex-combatants had post-traumatic stress disorders and did not receive adequate support while a recent study revealed that about 35% of all Rwandans lived with the same problem.