CISR completes peer-support training workshops in Rwanda
Following up on training workshops CISR conducted in 2011 with its partner organization IBUKA, CISR is participating in a new series of workshops to prepare trainers and new peer-support workers. IBUKA is Rwanda’s largest support network for genocide survivors.
This past week CISR conducted a refresher course for four peer-support trainers, all of them experienced educators and program supervisors for IBUKA peer-support workers, who work with survivors in remote rural communities. IBUKA is expanding its program from 25 peer-support workers to a total of 65 operating in some 30 communities.
Following this training, CISR participated in a workshop for 20 new peer-support workers in the district of Rwamagana, about 50 kilometers east of Kigali. IBUKA had previously selected and trained the participants in trauma counseling prior to the April Genocide Commemoration ceremonies, when many survivors experience emotional distress as they mourn loved ones killed in 1994.
During the third day of this training, farmers accidentally discovered a mass grave containing a large quantity of human remains just outside Rwamagana. Many of the participants believe their family members are among the buried. A few of the remains were easily identifiable by clothing and personal items found in the grave.
While funeral preparations were being made, the participants elected to complete the workshop and used the opportunity to discuss the ongoing psychosocial effects the genocide has had on their community 18 years after the event.
“We are all grateful for this chance to examine our role as survivors helping survivors,” said Adelite Mukamana, IBUKA’s Director of Training. “Remembering the past is a key part of constructing a peaceful future.”