The Rwanda Resilience and Grounding Organization (RRGO) is actively engaged in promoting peace, resilience, and healing between genocide survivors and perpetrators. Curently, they conducted training sessions in the southern province of Rwanda, specifically in the Ntwongwe sector of the Ruhango district ,Cyanika Nyamagabe  the Cyahinda sector of the Nyaruguru district. These training sessions focused on utilizing the Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and laughter yoga intervention to foster resilience and healing within the community.

Laughter yoga practice after CRM trainings

During the training, participants expressed their transformative experiences. One genocide survivor shared their surprise at being able to sit with the ex-prisoners who had committed the atrocities against their family. She said, “I never thought I could sit together with those (ex-prisoners of genocide who killed his family ). I always feel that I can fall, but tracking myself and being in the present moment helps me to stay strong, and we keep working together as Rwnanda. When we do laughter yoga, we all laugh, and I did not think he was the one I was used to fearing“.Through practicing CRM and staying present at the moment, they found strength and were able to work together as Rwandans. Another participant, who had served a 20-year sentence for their involvement in the genocide, initially faced difficulties reintegrating with the survivors’ families. However, through the training, they discovered common ground and resources, leading to a positive change in themselves and their relationships. She said, “I was in prison. I heard that I finished my sentence. My question was, “Where am I going? “It was shameful and difficult to face this family ( family of survivors), but in the morning, we talked about our resources; we both had some. I was happy about that then. I am helping her reduce stress by using Inzira y’umutuzo ( CRM skills in Kinyarwanda). I see positive change in her and myself. We did laughter yoga and shared hugs. I no longer have fear or stress. We are neighbors and friends. Thank you for bringing this intervention. It is my first time to have this intervention together since I left prison”. I feel safe and welcomed“. “Resource skills and laughter yoga exercises help them to share hugs and get a sense of safety, eliminating fear and stress. The intervention created a supportive environment where participants felt accepted and welcomed.

RRGO facilitator Eugenie Baziki during CRM trainings

The CRM and laughter yoga has proven effective in helping the Rwandan community address conflicts stemming from the aftermath of the genocide. It facilitates mental relaxation, promotes positive thoughts, and fosters togetherness among survivors and perpetrators. RRGO is committed to providing ongoing support by conducting three-day training sessions and forming groups of survivors and perpetrators.

Through these interventions, they strive to create a harmonious and peaceful society.

Samuel Habimana

Samuel Habimana

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