African Great Lakes 

The Community Healing Companions Study Trip in Bubanza, Burundi

By Pr Elie Nahimana on behalf of HROC Burundi

Photo from the Community Healing Companions Study Trip in Bubanza

The longevity of the Dukire-Tubane project in the trauma healing domain depends on how well the community trauma healing groups are equipped and the level at which they play their role during the period the project is ongoing. The study trip was conducted in Ciya. The group working there is advanced. Sharing each group’s experience permits every group to learn from each others’ strategy, experience and performance.  

During that visit, the solidarity fund initiated by the Ciya Rema Tuyage group opened the eyes of other community healing companions on how creative they must be in promoting new strategies to ease their work.

The Dukire Tubane project manager took time to thank all community healing companions for having willingly accepted this volunteer work that is saving communities where there is much trauma. She underlined the fact that the individual healing affects the family’s life and the community’s life.  While they do this, the project remains nearby but the work is the individual’s.  She gave words of encouragement especially for those working in Bujumbura

Accompaniment of Rema Tuyage groups

Those who participated in community healing workshops formed groups called “Rema Tuyage,” meeting monthly to share the community situation related to trauma experience and challenges met there. HROC is called to accompany the community healing companions in order to reinforce their capacity in the field and contribute to responding to questions or help them deal with managing strong emotions within communities.

 The Social Cohesion workshop

Social cohesion is one of the  three pillars on which Dukire-Tubane project is built, along with community trauma healing, and the economic resilience for youth to fight against poverty which is widely recognized as a driver of political conflict in Burundi today.  Trauma healing is considered as a tugboat for the two remaining pillars.  HROC program facilitators were present to demonstrate the link between Social cohesion and trauma healing in Burundi’s current context.

For more information, please read this article: HROC Burundi Contributes to the Dukire-Tubane Project

This is what helped me from the teachings that we learned previously. I now understand my psychological situation following the loss of both my parents when I was still very young and I learned I was not the only one who lived hard moments.  This helped me to be open in speaking out about my loss. Now, I am at ease because I was able to talk about my past. After the workshop I attended three months ago, many things changed a lot in my family because before I was silent but now, I talk with others and even my husband was surprised a lot to see that I am now able to join other people. 

NINGANZA Nelly, HROC Burundi

 The trauma healing teachings found me with strong grief in my heart due to the hard life I was living as an orphan. After sharing about my traumatic experience, I got healed and started to help others having the situation that I had before.  I assisted my young brother who was addicted to alcohol and drugs to the extent that he has returned to school this year after 7 years stop. I rejoice on how we are contributing to changing our generation in trauma healing matters.

Eric, HROC Burundi

The teachings on trauma healing helped me a lot. Regarding Johari’s window, the 3rd part which concerns the things I don’t know about myself but others know opened my eyes. There were many things that people spoke about me.  I never cared what people spoke towards me.  After this workshop, I found out that that was a strange behavior. I decided afterwards to change my behavior. Now, everything goes well and even some persons ask me what happened whenever they see my new behavior. Before, when I faced difficulties, I kept them for me. Now, I find a trustworthy person with whom I can share my issues.  I thank Dukire-Tubane project which brought these teachings to us in our zone. 

NZEYIMANA Beatrice, HROC Burundi