Founded in 1995, Prison Fellowship Rwanda - a faith-based non-profit organization - operates on the premise that reconciliation as component of restorative justice is key to the restoration of the nation. PFR seeks to transform the lives of those involved in, and affected by, crime by pursuing nationwide reconciliation, and to create peaceful communities and prosperous individuals. In the context of conflict prevention and resolution PFR organized training and dialogue sessions on conflicts after Gacaca, land issues, gender equality and equity, inheritance issues, etc. PFR uses the restorative justice approach as a way of enabling the offenders, victims and other community members to meet in practical activities, or live together in order to reinforce their relationship and overcome feelings of suspicion and mistrust. In this context seven reconciliation villages have been constructed with 600 houses in Bugesera, Kayonza, and Ngoma district in the Eastern province. PFR’s activities in the Rwandan prisons assisted in the psychosocial healing of prisoners and facilitated numerous confessions.
PFR recognizes the potentialities of the Community Based Sociotherapy approach to contribute to and complement the activities they have been implementing in the past two decades. Since 2014 the organization started to implement sociotherapy in Muhanga and Nyamagabe District, and it also took the initiative to train eight prisoners, graduates of the first sociotherapy group facilitated in Muhanga prison, in order serve as sociotherapy facilitators in that same prison.
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Eglise Anglican du Rwanda (E.A.R.) Byumba Diocese was created during the Rwandan civil war in 1991. At that time, Byumba was an area where many internally displaced Rwandans were seeking shelter in the refugee camps. In the beginning, the Diocese’s major aim was to provide food and other support to these internally displaced people. However, when the genocide started, it was forced to stop its interventions. After the genocide, the Diocese tried to reengage in its former mission by rehabilitating and re-integrating traumatized people back into society. The Diocese became active in supporting people through psychosocial activities and small agricultural and economic ventures to help the area keep up with the rapid development Rwanda was experiencing. These socio-economic activities are still one of the two spearheads of the Diocese; the other one is Community Based Sociotherapy, which became part of the Diocese’s main activities.
E.A.R. Byumba Diocese has pioneered the use of sociotherapy as a tool to bring unity and reconciliation among Rwandans. In 2005, the intervention started in Byumba and it is still running today. It is now implemented in Gicumbi and Rulindo District.
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Duhumurizanye Iwacu Rwanda (DIR) (translation: Comfort each other in one’s neighbourhood) is a Rwandan non-governmental organization, whose main focus is to implement community-based sociotherapy in Bugesera and Gatsibo district of the Eastern province of Rwanda. These areas have been severely affected by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The NGO was created on 14 January 2011 by sociotherapy facilitators who had been trained in 2008 by the NGO Faith Victory Association (FVA). Their vision was to continue to facilitate communities to create a healthy and peaceful society that promotes reconciliation and the equitable distribution of resources for the well-being of all. Based on this vision, DIR's more specific objectives are: a) to restore human dignity and communal safety; b) to reduce psychosocial stress and enhance mental health in society, and; c) to support the government's efforts in creating unity and reconciliation.
DIR is currently implementing community-based sociotherapy in the Eastern Province. The organization also started sociotherapy projects in refugee camps for Congolese with the support of Plan Rwanda, GIZ and the CBSP Consortium.