International Alert’s ground-breaking work in Rwanda, after the 1994 genocide that took nearly a million lives, brings together victims and perpetrators through a combination of trauma counselling, Dialogue Clubs and microfinance. By bringing them together, the programme addresses the deep-rooted trauma that still haunts so many and helps the whole community to find forgiveness and move on.
Patricia told us her story. Despite having lived through great suffering during and long after the genocide, she managed to find hope and a peaceful future through our work:
At the beginning of the war I rushed to my brother’s home and found they had all been hacked to death except their 4-month-old daughter who was lying next to her mother in a pool of blood. I picked her up and ran toward the border of Burundi. Along my escape I was attacked many times by local Hutus who were in a mob frenzy. They slashed my body with pangas, and broke my shoulder. I was in agony but held on to the baby. They finally stopped their attack and walked away because they thought I was dead… The years after the war ended were desperate. My house was stolen, and the cattle had been butchered – I had nothing.
I joined the local Dialogue Club to find solace. International Alert helped me to realise there is no future for peace unless I can live in peace with my neighbours, even if they are Hutu and participated in my attack during the war.”
There are still so many more people, like Patricia, that we need to reach and we need your help to do this. Please help us to support the people of Rwanda to recover from the horrors of the genocide.
Your gift of:
- £50 could help set up a dialogue club in Rwanda with 30 members drawn from the community of ex-prisoners, combatants and survivors
- £100 could train a new facilitator in trauma counselling and reconciliation.
Thank you. Together we can make peace a reality.