African Great Lakes 

December 2019 IBP/ HROC Report

A 3 days’ HROC basic workshops was conducted at Lycée Municipal Gihosha on December 18 till 20, 2019. Twenty students participated including 11 girls and 9 boys. The first days focused on trauma comprehension such as its definition, causes, symptoms and consequences. The second one, on trust building when the third one as focused on the ways of recovering from it with some practices.

This basic workshop is a corner stone in a larger program designed to build community capacity to respond to wide-spread trauma and to strengthen inter- connections and reduce isolation. It introduces participants to the concept of trauma, build a sense of trust and community within the workshop, and facilitate initial expression of grief and mourning. It also introduces stages of a healing process and concrete strategies for dealing with intense anger.

During the 3 days workshop, HROC facilitators invite participants to discover their own existing knowledge and their own inner wisdom about how to heal and how to help others. This HROC approach builds a strong sense of community among group members, instills a new confidence in a wounded self, and ensures that the lessons learned are steeped in the context of the particular conflict and the post-conflict recovery process.

Josué IRAKOZE

This is something that traumatized me: I lost my mother when I was 5 years old. That day, we were in a vehicle and we were coming from Ngozi in order to reach Bujumbura. On the way, we experienced a car accident. My mother passed away at the place when I felt in unconsciousness and woke up in the hospital. When I was still under medical treatment, they refused to tell me that my mum has passed even though I insisted to know why she was not coming to comfort me during my time of tough pain I was passing through. It’s when I left the hospital and reach home with nostalgia and sentimental emotional to meet my mum that, they start to calm me down and finally told me that she passed away on the accident.   This chocked me since I was still very young and I thought how I could live without her. I didn’t have the right image as I didn’t participate to her funeral ceremonies. The death of my mother had touched me a lot at the point I started to isolate myself from those having the mum alive. I didn’t want to hear someone pronouncing the word “mum / mother. It was like pointing a knife in my heart and quickly I had to move far from the place with tears in my eyes.  I have a weak capacity to memorize my notes and forgetting quickly the few I was able to take on my mind. I was unable to share this situation. After the 3 days workshop, I come to succeed it and I feel a little bite released. I believe that I will get full healing in the future.

Thanks for having accepted me in these teachings since they will help me healing from my trauma.

Vestine MANIRAMBONA

I missed the affection of my parents. I was 2 years old when my mother divorced with my father and she got remarried to another man. I grew up at my grandmother’s home without knowing that my father and mother did exist. When my mother came to see me, I called her in her name since I didn’t know that she was my mother. One day, she told me that she was my mother. I asked her in which ways she is my mother while we are living separately.  She did everything possible in order to convince me that she was my mother and she asked me to live with her together with her husband. It was the time for me to start primary school and I started my studies. One day, I came from the school and I find many people at home. I had fear thinking that my mother passed away. I called her name and she responded. I asked her why there were many people and she responded that my own father was around. I was surprised of having another father since I thought the husband of my mother was my father. Another day, he came and asked my mother if I could live with him. Then, I left with my father. Unfortunately, after some months, my father passed away. I was much chocked and I stayed with my step brothers.

All these different problems weigh on me and start to isolate me and under many questions with no right answers. I decided to stay quiet at home and at school. I felt strong anger and grief without any reason.

I had decided to not share my history thinking that those who could know about it could laugh behind me.

After this workshop and knowing what is trauma and its consequences, I come to share my trauma experiences and I feel at easy little by little. I wish I should get more time to be listened and get full healing

Thank you to IPB-HROC and its donors.