Sociotherapy is like a mirror, in which we see parts of us that we couldn’t have seen otherwise. (sociotherapy graduate from Tumba)
The 24 of February in Rulindo, sounds of dances and songs resonated in the hills surrounding Tumba; joyful chatter filled the air as the sociotherapy graduates of the fifth round celebrate their accomplishments.
“You all have displayed a lot of strength during the last fifteen weeks. It takes a lot of strength and will to get out of the bad place you were in”. (sociotherapy coordinator in Tumba sector)
Guests were treated with songs and dances appraising sociotherapy for the positive impact in the graduates’ lives.
Happiness was palpable and visible in their ' faces; whereas each and every one of them still has a heavy past, it no longer held power over their present life.
Reviving their memories of what their lives were before, most of the graduates acknowledged that they have lacked security for a great part of their life.
One of the participants narrated her heartbreaking story; one she has common with a million people out there: “All my life I have lacked safety. I was, tormented by my family and sibling; all I could think of was that if death comes to me it would be welcomed. For a very long time I lacked confidence and trust. My time in sociotherapy has erased all that and now I am a confident and capable woman. I have new resolutions and one of them is to forgive and move forward; my past will no longer hold me back”.
In response to that, the military representative requested the assistance of the graduates in helping to identify those whose security is in jeopardy, he asked them to be eyes of the law. A request justified since it is part of the sector's motto.
Some of the graduates have come across challenging and life altering trials.A graduate narrated: “When I find out that I was HIV positive, my already imbalanced life of a mistress became a true hell. I had insecurities, thinking that everyone I met judged me or was sniggering at me; sociotherapy helped me accepting myself and rebuilding my life and testimonies from other participants prompted me to accept that there was still hope.”
The entire audience guests and the audience were overwhelmed by the testimonies. It became true that most of the people we meet live in hell day by day and you will never. And even if we do notice, we still call them odd or crazy; we will never guess the reason behind their odd behavior. A child in school will bully others because it is something he grew up seeing. A person will seem asocial because she has been so hurt that she no longer knows how to trust other people. Sociotherapy will not remove those problems, but it makes sure that those touched and changed will carry on the message and influence others.
“The Rwandan society was destroying itself without noticing it; sociotherapy is helping to rebuild it”. The National Women Council (CNF)representative stated. She continued added: "When someone is absorbed by anger and conflict, that person can't think and can’t move forward. Sociotherapy came as a solution to help people move from their anger to make something out of themselves."