News, Updates, and Upcoming Events

Restorative Dialogue Training October 20 – 24, 2019

The Restorative Dialogue Training was conducted from October 20 to October 24, 2019 at the PIASS Main Educational Building. Its purpose was to introduce an approach to build bridges between people who are suffering due to violence that occurred in their community, like the Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, and that was, to our knowledge, not yet known in the region.

In the training, twenty-seven participants (14 male and 13 female) were introduced to the Restorative Dialogue process which is based on Nonviolent Communication where a facilitator supports reflective listening to achieve a mutual understanding that contributes to healing the wounds of harm done. The participants came from different countries (Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa) and different professional, educational and peacebuilding backgrounds (several AVP facilitators, academicians, HROC trainers, clinical psychologists, social workers, development workers and international as well as local peace advisors).

grouPH_RD_training_2019

A few of the participants, lead and mentored by the trainer, co-facilitated a Restorative Dialogue in a community in Huye District, one week after the training, in collaboration with Association Modeste et Innocent (AMI). Fourty local community members participated.

The report of the training can be downloaded here:

REPORT_Restor_Dialogue_Training_X_2019

Healing for Peace Conference October 27 – 29, 2019

The Healing for Peace Conference was organized by PIASS through its Center for Research and Action towards Sustainable Peace and Development (CRASPD). The conference, which took on October 27-29, 2019 at PIASS Conference Hall, brought together approximately 50 national and international actors from around 15 organizations and institutions working in peacebuilding, psychosocial support and/or development.

Five approaches that integrate psychosocial support and peacebuilding were presented in the conference. Practical sessions were done on each of the approaches to allow participants in the conference—who had a chance to choose two practical sessions maximum—to receive insight on how the approaches they selected could look like in practice.

After sharing experiences from the practice sessions and plenary discussions, the panelists wrote and presented a public statement, upon approval of the participants, to raise public awareness about the importance of healing mental wounds after large scale violence so that a peaceful future becomes achievable for the communities where this happened.

Healing Wounds Of Violence Needs The Whole Community
Caring for mental wounds to help communities after large scale violence. Statement of the Healing for Peace Conference, held at PIASS in Huye, October 27-29, 2019, with support from GIZ Civil Peace Service

Suffering from mental wounds after large-scale violence is a reality in many communities of the region, that affects all dimensions of the community, starting from the family. Healing and peacebuilding are interconnected and interdependent. Each of them are essential and together contribute powerfully to the overall healing of communities. Healing involves the “whole” community. Overcoming stigma towards people with mental wounds and listening to their pain and needs are prerequisites for the healing of the community.

In line with the Ubuntu [I am because you are] concept, and the Rwandan proverb “Kubaho ni ukubana” [to be is to live with others], we believe that it is important that, after large-scale violence, community members support each other.

The Healing for Peace Conference wants to raise awareness on the importance of integrating psychosocial support and healing into peacebuilding programs. Networking, joint efforts and collaboration of practitioners in psychosocial support and peacebuilding are vital because peace requires efforts from all. Young people also have the potential to help their peers to overcome transgenerational trauma and, if they are involved more, they have a lot to offer.

In the conference, five approaches integrating psychosocial support and peacebuilding have been presented and practiced briefly to give an insight of what they are about and how they work:

One of the major insights from this conference was that “healing starts with me”. Listening to those in pain after large-scale violence can be done by any community member and contributes to healing hearts and restoring communities.

For further information, please, contact the Center for Research & Action towards Sustainable Peace & Development (CRASPD) at PIASS, Huye, Rwanda, (0)783 347 955 / (0)788 351 234 / (0) 789 286 839/ (0)789 408 720, Email: craspdpiass@gmail.com, website: https://craspd.com

The report of the conference can be downloaded here: REPORT_H4P_fin_conference_X_2019

The contributions of AMI, ARCT, CARSA, HROC and Restorative Dialogue can be downloaded here:

AMI_Healing_for_peace

ARCT – Ruhuka experience;

ARCT_Presentation_H4PConference_10_2019

CARSA paper to the conference

HROC-PIASS Document

HROC_Presentation_H4PConference_10_2019

Restorative Dialogue HealingforPeaceConference2019

Linda: a graduate serves as voluntary intern

In June, PIASS held a graduation ceremony in its Karongi Campus to certify the students who had completed their study programs in the Academic Year 2018/19. Among them was Linda Balola Sylvine from DRC who earned a BA Degree in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies. During the time between the completion of her dissertation and the graduation event, she had already contributed to the work of CRASPD by preparing an assessment on the impacts of PIASS activities on the stereotypes regional students hold on each other. Now, after her graduation, she is contributing to the activities of the Alternatives to Violence Program as an AVP Learning Facilitator, but also in supporting CRASPD the administrative tasks connected to different activities. We are grateful for having this great boost of our capacities to make things happen!