Church project to heal genocide scars

Prison Fellowship Rwanda, a faith-based organisation, affiliated to the Anglican Church, has launched a three-year community-based socio-therapy programme aimed at further promoting the healing process among the victims of Rwanda’s tragic  past.

Prison Fellowship Rwanda, a faith-based organisation, affiliated to the Anglican Church, has launched a three-year community-based socio-therapy programme aimed at further promoting the healing process among the victims of Rwanda’s tragic  past.

The programme will assist people in dealing with the consequences of war and the Genocide against the Tutsi as well as contribute to sustainable processes of fostering reconciliation within communities.

The programme will be implemented in eight districts, two in each of the four provinces, Kigali excluded.

Speaking at the launch on Wednesday, Byumba Diocese Bishop, Emmanuel Ngendahayo, said the programme comes to reinforce and supplement what traditional community justice,  “Gacaca courts’’, achieved in reconciling Rwandans.

“This programme will help prevent current conflicts that cause people to spend money and waste time going through the court processes,’’ Ngendahayo, who is also in charge of internal and external relations under the Fellowship programme, said.

The Socio-therapy programme will create an open environment for disalogue  and the formation of peer-support structures.

The programme will be implemented by a consortium of national organisations represented by Prison Fellowship Rwanda, with the financial support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kigali.

Great contribution

The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) will be charged with overall strategic supervision.

NURC Executive Secretary Jean Baptiste Habyarimana said Gacaca courts contributed enormously to the reconciliation process by encouraging truth telling which contributes to healing process.

“Gacaca and other government initiatives have not put an end to the process of reconciliation, community –based dialogue is critical in the healing process,” he said.

It is expected that the programme will facilitate Rwandans to identify, acknowledge, share, and manage together their every day psychosocial problems related to the recent history of Genocide and its aftermath.

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