A ray of sunshine had brightened Murambi, after the horror of what happened there in 1994 genocide against Tutsis, people are coming back to how they used to be. Murambi sector in Gatsibo district shares the same history as any other part of our country. Today only they are re-learning trust and love. Sociotherapy might not be the absolute remedy but it is helping people to come around and some difficult cases left by Gacaca are becoming a little bit easy to solve since people had become more flexible (Executive secretary in charge of social affairs of Murambi district.)
During the graduation of the 5th round of sociotherapy, the participants were not the only one to share the experience of their journey. The sociotherapists took time to tell the audience about the challenges they meet at the beginning, challenges that includes people dropping out because they thought they were going to get money to which later a participant responded that money is good and helpful but what they received was precious and a hundred times better than money.
The positive results of sociotherapy in Murambi and all other sectors is a result of the dedication of Duhumurizanye Iwacu Rwanda(DIR) a local NGO and a part of CBSP, DIR is in charge of implementing sociotherapy in the Eastern province and has done a great job in the sensitization and follow up of the socio groups.
A stream of testimonies showed how much people were really grateful. The term medicine quickly became synonym of sociotherapy. One of them even comes up with a nickname for sociotherapy “sukibyawe” (empty your heart)
Among the participants of the 5th round they were mediators who also testified that sociotherapy is highly contributing to Abunzi program because since sociotherapy started in Murambi, cases brought to Abunzi reduced. One of the mediators who were among the graduates shared that when you are no longer held by your own problems it becomes easier to help others resolve theirs.
Some of the participants also took time to share their testimony and their journey toward healing.
All my life I have been called “Inzoka” (snake) by my in laws, later after the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, I couldn’t stand to see my son and whenever he made a mistake as any kid I called him “Interahamwe” as his paternal family. When I started to attend sociotherapy I became lenient and I started to salvage my relationship with my son and now we are best friends.
Sociotherapy has been my medicine. (Female participants)
It might take time but step by step and with everyone lending their hands and heart, life will once again follow its normal course, without the shadow of the past lurking in their heart.