Coming all the way from Kigali, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands visited the first five-day training of 30 new sociotherapists in Rubavu District. The Consortium Sociotherapy invited the First Secretary Security, Justice and Good Governance, Vasco Rodrigues and his colleague, Nina Bode, to participate in the training sessions at Kigufi Training Center.
During their two-day visit, they were able to witness the interactive character of the training sessions. The training of sociotherapists uses a "learning-by-doing" method. The phases and principles are explained in the first few days, but then it is up to the participants to bring them into practice. They have to respond to the dynamics in the group and facilitate the sessions in a way in which all the sociotherapy principles are respected.
In the sociotherapy training all trainees and trainers are sitting in a circle, recognizing that even though we all differ from our experiences, we are ‘equal’ as human beings. In sociotherapy, the participants will also be sitting with the sociotherapists in a circle, that way they feel invited equally to participate and take responsibility in the group.
After the intensive sociotherapy training sessions, there is time to relax a bit and dance together. Also in the sociotherapy sessions in the community, dancing and playing games together as a group is used as a method to relax the mind after discussing about difficult issues people are facing. It is also a way to build the social relations within the group.
On Friday the 14th of March, the first training round was officially closed by Vasco Rodrigues of the Embassy, Emmanuel Ngendahayo, Chair of the Consortium Sociotherapy Board and by the Martin Habimana Executive Secretary of Nyamyumba Sector. Also the participants shared their views about the training. Many of them expressed that this training has been very special for them, and that it even contributed to their personal healing process. "It is seldom that already after the first training day you see that people have become friends."
This five day training was the first round of trainings for the sociotherapists. Now they will work in the community for a few weeks to get experience in their community with facilitating groups. This experience is important to continue in an effective way with the trainings. The next training round is planned for May, at that time the sociotherapists will have some experience from the field, which makes it easier to internalize the information shared during the training.
On behalf of the whole sociotherapy team, we would like to thank the Embassy of the Netherlands for their support and for participating so actively in the training of our sociotherapists.