News, Updates, and Upcoming Events

Restorative Dialogue Training October 20 – 24, 2019

CRASPD organized a training on the “Restorative Dialogue” approach that combines conflict management with mental healing, for staff and volunteers of partner organizations and peacebuilders in the region. This approach to restoring harmony in communities through circles process involving community members who are / were involved in or affected by violence was developed by Dominic Barter, a certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication (, or and CRASPD invited Duke Duchscherer, an internationally acknowledged trainer and facilitator of Restorative Dialogue and CNVC certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication, to lead our training in October.  The Restorative Dialogue 5-day training included an introduction to the characteristics and steps of the Restorative Circles process and a multitude of opportunities to practice different techniques of this approach. A more detailed report will be posted here soon.

Healing for Peace Conference October 27 – 29, 2019

Under the title “Healing for Peace: Caring for mental wounds to help communities after large scale violence” CRASPD organized a conference with representatives of different integrated approaches for peacebuilding through psychological support. They learnt more about each other’s approaches and discussed the conditions, challenges and effective practices to integrate psychological support into peacebuilding programs. After three days of joint learning and discussion, the panelists and participants issued a statement that was disseminated to local media:

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:, website:

A conference report will be posted here soon.

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!