Reconciliation of Refugees Returning from Exile.

by Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi
Reconciliation of Refugees Returning from Exile.

Project Report | Mar 17, 2023
IPB February 2023 narrative report

By Elie NAHIMANA | Project leader

The photo illustrates a way a rebuilding hope
The photo illustrates a way a rebuilding hope


  1.        Introduction

Two (2) Healing and Rebuilding Our Community basic workshops were conducted on February 13th to 15th and from 20th to 22nd, 2023 respectively.  40 adult participants including two men and thirty eight women and 9 kids who came with their mothers. They were mainly former returnees from exile and street sellers who lost their jobs as a result of new governmental regulations[1] or lack of capital.

 2. The purpose of the workshops         

Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) workshops give an opportunity and platform for people to learn about trauma and start their healing journey. Participants are led both backward and forward: Backward to trace back the reason behind the symptoms of trauma that they might be living with and forward to equip them with practical trauma management and preventive measures. At the completion of the two workshops, many of the participants expressed grieving for the loss of their parents and education opportunities as detailed in the following sections. 

3. Some key stories of success 

  • Joselyne

Two months before the completion of secondary school, the political crisis of 2015 erupted, and unrest between protestors and the police happened near our school. Many of my classmates fled to Tanzania but I sheltered myself in the upcountry. Without parents capable to support me, I failed to regain school. My father passed away long before. That’s how I missed a diploma while I was almost finishing my studies. I had no other choice than to be married. I have now three kids and my financial situation does not even allow me to present myself at school in proper clothes.

  • Alexine

I lost my parents when I was still young. They were both killed in 1993 because of their ethnic affiliation. Then, I left home for Bujumbura. I got married to a man who was murdered 12 years ago. I’ve never known who killed him and why. He left me with three kids. I got heartbroken due to many things that happened to me.  This basic workshop was an opportunity to learn more about my psychological situation and ways of recovering for the trauma caused by my past.

  • Jeanine

After the death of my father, my mother took me out of school. She brought me to the city of Bujumbura. She then got married to another man who mistreated me. Due to the abuses, I decided to flee to Tanzania. Failing to sustain myself there, I came back home and find that my mother had passed away. My childhood life was really difficult. In addition, I was grieved by the death of my son. He got in a car accident and immediately passed away. Though many years have flown by now, I still vividly remember the scene.

  • Charlotte

I lost both of my parents when I was still young. Thus, I did not pursue formal education even though I really wanted to. This one has really saddened me.

5. Conclusion 

War destroys the socio-fabric of societies. And, in the context of Burundi, the death of both or one of the parents has severe consequences on the survival of children afterward. Mainly the death of fathers affects the development of children, especially in relation to pursuing formal education.. After dropping out, they become vulnerable to other harms such as forced marriage, rape, extreme poverty, and so on. Hence, there is a need for healing from past losses. As many of participants failed to share their whole history due to their strong emotions, a follow up is planned in a period of one month to accompany them. They are welcomed to visit on of the facilitator at the office whenever they will feel able to share their testimony. 

This is reported by ICISHATSE E. Rodrigue

Coordinator and facilitator’s lead





[1] The government has recently banned the selling of fried maize on the street for instance. 

Group photo for participants
Group photo for participants
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.

Sign up for updates

Organization Information

Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi

Location: Bujumbura - Burundi
Project Leader:
Elie Nahimana
Bujumbura , Burundi
$6,126 raised of $10,000 goal
188 donations
$3,874 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Get incredible stories, promotions, and matching offers in your inbox

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.