“We were referred to as ex-prisoners, genocide survivors and widows…today, we are one family and we have chosen our name: Dufatanye” A group member.
Dufatanye is an association made of former participants to sociotherapy in Rugerero sector of Rubavu district. They graduated in 2015 and ever since, they decided to build on the trust and safety they gained from sociotherapy, which brought them together as a group with different historical backgrounds.They are still fifteen members of the group as they started. Their journey of sociotherapy helped them feel worth living, as they testify. “I had lost all kind of trust until I joined sociotherapy. I had decided to stay alone, but of course I also hated all genocide perpetrators. However, today, we are friends. We do farming activities together and always call me on phone to ask how I am doing….” said a genocide survivor in the same group.
This group did not stop on the healing process by attending sociotherapy. They also said that staying together would strengthen and sustain their restored relationships from sociotherapy. That is how they started saving one hundred Rwandan francs per week, and it is mandatory to bring the coin.
Later on, the idea of pushing for their economic development came and they applied for a loan. As a trustworthy group, the BDF gave them a loan of one million Rwandan francs with which they immediately rented a land, cultivated maize and bought a goat for very member so that they can easily find fertilizers. Talking to the group members, they refer to each other as a family member but it was not the case before joining sociotherapy as testified one them: “I spent twelve years in prison with the knowledge that my neighbor, who is today my sociotherapy group member, was the one to accuse me wrongly and she was the cause of all my pain. When Gacaca found her guilty as well, she followed me in the prison. We were enemies even after we all came back from the prisons; it was as if we did not have neighboring houses. I even avoided looking at her on my way. I only started to greet her years after when we both joined sociotherapy….”
Having already a considerable amount of money (350,000 RWF) circulating among members for basic needs, today, this association has big dreams and they hold them together as a team. After reimbursing their loan, they estimate the value of their properties and activities, around one million and eight hundred thousand Rwandan francs; which as they say is not earned by any other person or group from their village.
They are planning to buy their own land in a near future and extend their activities. Although they happily testified that, they are the firsts in their village to buy “Mutuelle de Santé” (health insurance) every year; their social life and trust built among them are what make them proud of themselves.