Reconciliation of Refugees Returning from Exile.

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

Project Report | Jan 3, 2024
IPB November 2023 narrative report

By Elie Nahimana | Project Leader

Trust walk  to rebuild trust among participants
Trust walk to rebuild trust among participants


  1. Introduction and context

IPB conducted a workshop and dialogues on behalf of returnees from exile and those who remained within the country for their reconciliation aim.

A three days basic trauma healing was conducted on November 28th till 30th 2023

Fifteen women and one man participated in the workshop. A half of women live under an illegal marriage as second or third wife when more than 1/3 missed a parental affection. They were beaten seriously, insulted or cursed by their parental at a mature age in front of their neighbors or community.

The sessions of the empty chair, the bad and good listening, the personal journey of healing and the trust walk permitted participants to open up themselves and shared their traumatic events and experiences.

It was a special experience for them during the personal journey when after sharing about the lost, the given short time to pay tribute for it. It was a time full of emotional expressions

  1. Some of the key success stories


We lost our mum when I was little girl. We were seven and our father chased out. Each one looked for a family member to ask for care. Our got married to another wife to whom he gave birth to one child and chased her to. I got taken care by my grandmother who later died. I got a neighbor who kept me at his home. I got pregnant when I was still young and having a child became a big problem for me as the man who abused sexually refused the child.

Finally I got a man who proposed an illegal marriage and I accepted. After six months I left in a rented house and didn’t retuned to see me until today. I’m tired and wish to get another husband to support me,

I’m glad to learn about trauma , his causes , symptoms, consequences and the way to recover from it, since I come to discover how the situation I went through wounded me in my heart,


I lost my father affection. Since my little age I never saw my father for a quite time. I asked my mother if I had a father and she said yes. She continued by saying that she didn’t know he went.

One day he came home and made quarrels in addition breaking some home material and food that was in a pot. Since then, I feel wounded by the fact that my father doesn’t love. I come to learn some trauma symptoms that I hold and I’m glad to learn the way heal from them.


I missed affection from my mother since I was little still girl “sorrow”. The reason behind was the love I had from my old brother and my father. Since my mother continued to mistreat me, my brother took me to his home until I finished my studies and got married. I’m glad to learn about trauma and the way to overcome from it

By Elie Nahimana

Project Leader

Personal journey of trauma healing
Personal journey of trauma healing
Good and bad listening session
Good and bad listening session
Empty chair session to open up the participants
Empty chair session to open up the participants
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Organization Information

Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi

Location: Bujumbura - Burundi
Project Leader:
Elie Nahimana
Bujumbura , Burundi

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