HROC- Rwanda’s mission statement:
“Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) – Rwanda strives to provide psychological support and training to Rwandan people and communities that have experienced genocide, sexual/domestic violence and trauma of any kind; simultaneously HROC- Rwanda promotes peace education to establish a future generation guided by nonviolent and harmonious values.”
HROC Rwanda helped to develop the HROC program in 2003 as a means to promote healing and reconciliation among communities that had experienced brutal violence and genocide. Workshops brought together 10 Hutu and and 10 Tutsi to reestablish trust between neighbors and rebuild community relationships. HROC Rwanda currently conducts approximately 35-40 workshops per year throughout Rwanda and has recently implemented HROC workshops in schools. In 2012, HROC Rwanda purchased land in Musanze, Rwanda to develop a HROC Center. The Center currently houses the administrators’ offices, a branch of the Children’s Peace Libraries, and serves as a conference space to hold local workshops and trainings. HROC Rwanda hopes to add a small guesthouse on the property as a way to generate income for the center.
To learn more about HROC Rwanda, see their website at: https://healingandrebuildingourcommunities.org
HROC Rwanda runs a youth scholarship program for needy secondary school students identified by community leaders. AGLI recruits sponsors to support students during the school term, and HROC Rwanda sponsors a retreat for these students once a year.
Vision of the Children’s Peace Libraries:
“The vision of Children’s Peace Libraries of Rwanda is to see a positive transformation and sustainable peace promotion among the children of Rwanda. The Children’s Peace Libraries have become centers for literacy and learning, and a home to our programs teaching nonviolent conflict resolution.”
The Children’s Peace Libraries were created to promote a culture of reading among Rwandan students, as well as to foster a community of peace and nonviolence among Rwanda’s future leaders. In 2008, the language of education was switched from French to English, leaving a large educational gap. Children’s books are extremely scarce in Rwanda, and the libraries provide a unique space for students to gather to read and increase their English literacy. Librarians and volunteers do activities such as book report competitions and debates with students to help them improve their English and reading comprehension.
Additionally, the Peace Libraries serve as centers of peace education for the rising generation. They host peer mediation trainings for local students, where the participants learn how to identify the roots of conflicts and use transformative mediation to help resolve conflicts in their schools and communities. Schools whose students participate in these trainings see a significant decrease in conflict, and teachers have asked to have the number of trainings increased. Currently there are five branches of the Children’s Peace Libraries throughout Rwanda, and the network hopes to expand.
To learn more about the Children’s Peace Libraries, see http://tlcrwanda.org