Rwanda Resilience and Grounding organization(RRGO) is implementing  ” INZIRA Y’UMUTUZO” pieces of training where we work with survivors and perpetrators to build resilience and cohesion through the Community Resilience Model and Laughter Yoga. This project works with Rwandans from 15 villages in Rwanda, where we form clubs that aim to spread wellness skills to their neighbors, friends, and relatives.  The project is funded by Victora Park Rotary club and  Butare Rotary Club, and Rotary International.

The goal of these pieces of training for genocide survivors and perpetrators (who have completed their sentences and are back in the community) is to help everyone be in a resilient zone and enhance social cohesion and compassion.

This project as well fosters peace, resilience, social cohesion, and mental health wellness among genocide survivors and ex-prisoners, as well as their families. We offer  Community Resiliency Model skills (CRM)  and Laughter Yoga (LY) intervention to survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.

Some trainees from the Kibirizi sector,  Gisagara, and Cyanika, Nyamagabe district shared with us the witness after training.

“Muri iyi Ghaunda Y’inzira y’umutuzo yarandemye. Mbasha kwicarana nuwampemukiye tukagira ikintu kiza duhugiraho cg dupanga kigamije kuduteza imbere. Natunguwe mbwambere nuko twese dufite ubufasha ndetse nikintu duhuriyeho kandi twese tituzanira amahoro” (In this CRM Laughter program, I learn the wellness kiills that make me strong. I can sit with perpetrators, and we identify together a resource, and we identify a resource that makes both our peace and health, and we plan development. I was surprised that my resource,” children and Praying God,” is the same as hers.” Said a survivor from Gisagara.

The program is very vital for connecting us. A Perptrator from Nyamagabe said ” Nagendanaga urwikekwe ,infunwe kuko nabona abo nahemukiye nkumvako bazihorera. None ubu muri iyi gahunda twese dusangira igitwenge gikiza kdi tugafashanya kwihangamo umutuzo, tukarushaho gukira no kuba  kuba umwe ( I constantly feeling of guilt and self-stigma because I see the survivors whom I killed their relatives during the genocide and felt times they will revenge. But in this program, we make laughter yoga together and share smiling, and  we help each other to build resilience, cohesion, and healing.”

Inzira y’Umutuzo is a process but possible to help Rwanda to rediscover and grow from its potential that helps them to move forward to sustainable healing and compassion, and resilience based on the Rwandan cultural validated program.   This program, ” Inzira y’umutuzo”  shows Rwandans the neurobiological potential to change from trauma and nightmares to wellness and strong connection.


Samuel Habimana

Samuel Habimana

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