Program 2013-2016

The Community Based Sociotherapy Program (CBSP) aims to contribute to the national process of transitional justice in Rwanda. The program will be implemented in eight districts of Rwanda by a consortium of three Rwandan NGO's, namely Prison Fellowship Rwanda, E.A.R. Byumba Diocese and Duhumurizanye Iwacu Rwanda. 


The main activity of the CBSP is the implementation of socio-groups at the grassroots level is done by sociotherapists – also called group facilitators - with the support of sociotherapy program staff and local authorities. Since 2005 approximately 200 people have been trained as sociotherapy facilitators. Many more will be trained to implement this program in the eight different districts. In the first instance, these people are members of the community in which a socio-group will be implemented. By the end of 2016 approximately 500 trained sociotherapists will have been working in the field. They will be supervised by team leaders, who are experienced sociotherapists. Each team leader will be responsible for the supervision of groups in his working zone.


Within a period of three years in total approximately 23.000 people are scheduled to participate in the 1.800 sociotherapy groups that will be organized. Through the group participants, many more people are expected to become aware of the benefits of sociotherapy and profit from it, like family members, friends, and neighbours. 


The CBSP will be closely monitored through a Participatory Action Research (PAR) method, which will also form the basis for an (inter)national ‘linking and learning’ approach.


The six major expected results are:

  1. Increased psychosocial well-being (including peace-of-mind and dignity), interpersonal reconciliation and social cohesion among people in places/neighborhoods where sociotherapy is implemented.
  2. Increased capacity and involvement of community members in addressing psychosocial issues affecting individuals and communities and a strengthened ability to support each other in the process of healing and reconciliation.
  3. Sustainability of sociotherapy groups for the sake of their psychosocial and economic development.
  4. Comprehensive knowledge of the methods applied within sociotherapy and the impact of the intervention.
  5. Increased local and national awareness of the methods and effectiveness of sociotherapy resulting in the expansion of the program through existing institutions.
  6. International recognition of the positive contribution that a program such as community-based sociotherapy can make to the process of transitional justice, which will facilitate the further development of sociotherapy programs in the Great Lakes Region and possibly other post-conflict countries.