Reconciliation of Refugees Returning from Exile.

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

Project Report | Jan 4, 2024
IPB December 2023 narrative report

By Elie Nahimana | Project Leader

Workshop view
Workshop view




  1. Introduction and context

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

In December 2023, a three days basic trauma healing workshop was conducted on December 21th till 23th 2023

Eleven (11) women and four (4) men participated in the workshop. More than a half of them gave their testimonies at the end of the workshop as mentioned in the following pages.   Three main traumatic events are the principal causes of the trauma hold by participants who shared their testimonies including: (i) gender based violence, (ii) lack of parental affection, (iii) loss of parent and family’s members, (iv) deception, (v) lack of love, (vi) lack of financial capital to open businesses, (vii) social injustice, (viii) poverty and so on.

The sessions of the JOHARI’s window, the steps of trauma, 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 tough moment as some of participants were planning to revenge themselves. The personal journey of healing gave space to pay tribute for the loss. Those who were planning to revenge changed their mind by after learning that after traumatic events, life must continue.

Individuals meetings was programmed very soon for those living under strong anger and had planned to revenge themselves and those who Feld to express themselves because of their strong emotions

  1. Some of the key success stories


My father or my mother died when I was a little baby. I don’t know how they look like. I was taken care by my grandmother, whom I knew she was my mother. I grew up with my nieces that I thought that they were my old sister. I knew that I was an orphan at the age of 10 years old. My grandmother died and my ante took me to her home. She told me that I had “no chance in my life”. I ask here why! She told me that I lost both my parents at one year old and that I come to lose my grandmother!

Life became so tough to my Ant and I knew really I had no chance in my life. Whatever bad happening to me, I said that I learnt that I chance no chance in my life.

This wounded me and I live in isolation and other more trauma symptoms that I come to learn in workshop. I’m thankful for those who invited me to participate. I’m going to deal with psychological situation, hoping that I should survive and get healed from my strong traumatic situation,

Emelyne S.

I’m a handicapped woman and I was wounded by the exclusion made by my family. Any business I planned to accomplish was boycotted by my own parents, sisters and brothers. We are nine children and I’m the third one. I have a wish to make business and later assist handicapped children.

The lack of means to build my own income generating activity wounded me a lot. It could one of the way to show to my family that handicapped women as I do are able and have knowledge and capacity to contribute for others ‘well living including developing the community in general and herself in particular.

Relating to the trauma, I will share my testimony after the follow up

By Elie Nahimana

lessons learnt sharing and team building
lessons learnt sharing and team building
Trust walk  to rebuild trust among participants
Trust walk to rebuild trust among participants
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Organization Information

Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi

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

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