Participants in HROC Workshop
A 3 days’ HROC basic workshops was conducted at Lycée Municipal Musaga on February 17 till 19, 2020. Twenty students participated including 10 girls and 10 boys. The first days focused on trauma comprehension, the second one, on trust building when the third one was focused on the ways of recovering from i
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.
At the ending session of the workshop, testimonies on trauma experiences were shared including the following:
I was seriously wounded by my father who refused to recognize me in parenthood. I was born from an illegal marriage as my mother got pregnant when she was still young lady living at her parental home and my father refused to recognize me as his child. We lived the same hill with my father and we were crossing each other mostly each day and had never greeted me by the way or met me at home. I was once more shocked when my mother told me that the day she gave birth to me, she went to my father to asking for money so that she could buy clothes and the other needs of a baby and when giving this money, he threw 5000BFI on the ground refusing to handle this very little hand in hand. It was too shocking for me when she told me what happened to her. Until now, if I see my father, I hear nostalgia in my heart. Sometimes I cry. But God comforted me because I have now a mercifulness person who helps me, who stays very close from time to time. What can hurt me does not fail, but she tried to console me to make me forget the problems that I encountered. She helps me without waiting for the reward because my mother is indigent. After the workshop, I feel somehow released I hope the trauma I went through will finish little by little.
What traumatized me was the death of my father that happened when I was in high school managed by nuns and we were staying there. When my family members came to announce me to about this death, it seemed as dream as my father didn’t get sick at all. He was poisoned one evening and died the same night. After investigation we learnt that he had spent his last time with the communal administrator who served drinks in a cabaret and that drink was mixed with acid. What made me mourn is the way the administrator who is the perpetrator of my father’s death continued to aggravate the life conditions of our family. When I went home to claim for an attestation of the orphanage, instead of giving me this certificate, he sent me to the director of the school where I studied. Thank God, the director gave me this certificate. As this certificate must be accompanied by an attestation of indigence signed by the communal administrator to allowing me to study for free. The administrator refused to sign it saying that orphans are those who don’t have their own house and miss what to eat.
What shocked me was that we missed our father and the administrator refused to give us the indigent's certificate. We should notice that the communal administrator is a neighbor living very close to us. He knows that my father died and that my mother is no longer employed while she has 5 children who are still in high school and three of them are in boarding schools. The fact of missing the indigent’s certificate forced me to leave the boarding school for a school where I must live at home as we can’t afford a school where I had to stay there and be taken care there as this cost more school fees. In short, my mourning is that I missed my father and the people who could be next to us. It's them who traumatized us. Today my mother is encountering though difficulties to pay for school fees and the administrator refused to give us certificates of the indigent which could allow us to study for free without any charge. Despite what happened and the current conditions caused unjustly by the communal administrator I study. So the HROC basic workshop we attended was very beneficial to me. It helps understand my psychological state and the way to overcome the trauma I underwent. I will continue assisting myself and assist my family members using the little thing I keep in me.
I wish HROC should conduct follow up and other needed training for young who underwent crisis.
What traumatized me was the death of my mother. She died when I was still a very little boy and one day I was curious to know where she is. I took decision to asking my dad and he told me that she died. I was touched because if I see other children with their mothers, I feel furious because I did not have the chance to have my mother. My father was not able to help us with my older brothers and sisters and this have impacted our life. We use to fail at school and we have some symptoms of trauma as we come to learn them and their consequences too. So I am very happy to have this training because the pain that I had in my heart is diminished because I found that it is due to the traumatic experiences we underwent which made us live the current situation we are in both my father and my brothers and sisters. And I hope that life will continue despite the problems experienced. Now I know my situation and what to do to overcome it.
Thank you IPB/HROC
I lost my father when I was still in my mother’s womb. When I discovered that we don’t have a father in our home, I asked to my mother where my father is. She tried to escape on responding straight to my question by showing me his photos. She got fear to tell me the all truth. I continue on asking where my father is. She met difficulties to tell me the truth but finally one day she told that my father was assassinated by unknown people. I accepted this but there were still with others questions to know the family members as we were in RD Congo. I don’t know if my father had brothers or sisters and this is hurtful when you don’t know from what paternal family you come from. It’s very tough, but to attend this HROC basic workshop is a new foundation of my life since I got chance to listen to different traumatic experiences others are undergoing in. Finally I come to understand that I’m not alone in difficulties. I fell calm and accept my psychological condition. More than a half of participants are orphans and my heart is a little bite released. I will continue assisting myself and I believe that my healing will continue expanding itself.
More thanks for donors
On behalf of IPB/HROC
Three activities were performed during this month of February 2020 including one Peace dialogue follow up, one capacity building and two project proposals.
PEACE DIALOGUE FOLLOW UP
IPB - HROC in collaboration with Buterere Peace and Democracy Group (PDG) conducted peace dialogues in Buterere zone following the 2015 elections crisis in Bujumbura. These peace dialogues aimed at improving collaboration between locally elected Quarter Heads from the ruling party and opposition on one hand and on another hand the peaceful coexistence of political parties opposed to the 3rd tem of the president.
As result, they improved peaceful coexistence between political parties opposed to the 3rd tem of the president and thus the protest against the candidacy of the president and the consecutive political violence. Today in this zone, the violence between the political party members in conflict stopped and they cohabit in a mutual respect due to the communication established at community level and at the zone level. This made it possible for them to sit together in joint meeting to discuss what caused them trauma and how to overcome their frustration.
Youth who were known to be more active actors in the conflict raised their awareness of the influence of their behavior on their life and that of the community. They know their role as peace makers, especially during this last period when they were actors and victims of conflict on both the opposition and in ruling party and its allies. Peace dialogues improved their conscious on their role and ways to contribute to the safer communities as a precondition for community development and the wellbeing that youth aspire to when participating in political claims.
When we are approaching the coming 2020 elections, IPB-HROC conducted a HROC follow up on February 23, 2020 to awaken representatives of Buterere community mind including that of the Peace and Democracy Group members to stand firm on each one’s role to keep peaceful coexistence as before and inspire other zones forming Bujumbura Mayorship as they did during the 2015 election crisis.
During the follow up, PDG’s members made a review of what they learnt during the HROC workshop as the photo aside illustrates
40 participants were there includes 6 police representatives, 15 females and 21 males. Following are testimonies collected during this HROC follow up
I’m a PDG’s member and a Healing Companion. During our activities of accompanying traumatized people within our communities, I did a great thing with my little sister who didn’t find any happiness before. I saw her overtime crying about her husband. She asked me why her husband was maltreating her. I explained to her that she needs to find out if her husband is the one without good faith or if she is the author of what was happening. I showed to her how trauma affects the person doing bad things. In addition, I showed her the causes and consequences of trauma and how to heal from it. After some days, she asked me where I learned what I shared to her. Then, she shared with me a testimony on how she found herself the author of all the bad things happening in her family. Today, she is living in positive ambience with her husband and with the whole family after changing all bad behavior she was expressing without knowing them because the trauma she was living under.
Since 2010 election period, HROC program introduced the Buterere PDG in Buterere. We were 18 active members. Little by little some members left due to election crisis happening in 2010 and mainly in 2015. Some by leaving the area when others were caused by fear of their security. Today 10 of them remained active and we are in good collaboration with local authorities. We continue to be IPB-HROC representatives or focal points, dealing mainly with trauma healing as community healing companions, nonviolent conflict managers and social cohesion advises.
We appreciate how far we are in sensitizing peaceful coexistence mainly by approaching new security agent who are periodically deployed in our zone. The HROC program workshop and peaceful conflict management is one of the strategy used to reintegrate them in our peace activities and way of showing who we are in matter of peace in our zone. It’s through sharing our testimonies that the confidence between security agent and civilians become a reality.
First of all I’m a Mutwa who got the chance to be part of HROC Program since 2010 election period. I’m one of the ten Buterere PGD’s member until today. I’m also a HROC facilitator and community healing companion. Before attending 2015 HROC training, I was a man traumatized by fear and lost all trust from my friends, and ignored others. I didn’t have any vision for the future. All these were the result of the mistrust towards Hutus and Tutsis who always pointed they fingers saying: you, “Batwa“ are useless and ignorant. This was a kind of brainwashing directed towards us. After attending IPB-HROC peace activities I understood how what we went through in Burundi affected us and we were living under tough consequences of trauma and violence was one of them. I got chance to recover from it and started to build a future vision built on peace as a solid foundation.
This meeting come to to refresh what we have so far leant and become an awakener session to prepare ourselves for working towards 2020 peaceful elections.
I’m one of the security agents recently sent to secure Buterere zone. It’s my first time to hear about HROC program and its contribution towards peaceful coexistence. In remembrance of what happened in Bujumbura during the 2015 election in matter of violence, I didn’t know what made people in Buterere to be the first one in restoring within its different quarters. I come to learn that the collaboration between civilians, local authorities and security agents made it possible to meeting together whenever needed and discussed on daily peace issues. My conviction is that should continue in the same ways.
My recommendation is to have a complete workshop for new policemen in charge of securing Buterere zone.
On February 23-29, 2020 Caritas and Hervé, both trauma healing facilitators attended HROC advanced training at HROC Musanze center in Rwanda.
NEW PROJECT PROPOSALS
The month of February was characterized by writing 2 proposal projects, one for Catholic Relief Services and one for Quaker Service Norway. Both projects were approved for a period of six months. The one with CRS starts in March while that of QSN will starts in April 2020
We give more thanks to the donors who donated for these peace activities.
Reported by Elie Nahimana
Particpants in Peace and Democracy Group session.
Buterere Peace and Democracy Group members.