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Help 450 Rwandan Prisoners to Become Peacebuilders

by Friends Peace House
Help 450 Rwandan Prisoners to Become Peacebuilders
Help 450 Rwandan Prisoners to Become Peacebuilders
Help 450 Rwandan Prisoners to Become Peacebuilders
Help 450 Rwandan Prisoners to Become Peacebuilders

FRIENDS PEACE HOUSE/ URUGO RW'AMAHORO

 

HELP 450 RWANDAN PRISONERS TO BECOME PEACEBUILDES PROGRESS REPORT

Who are we?

We are a faith based organization

Our vision:

To see Rwandese people living together in good relationship with one another in healthy, well-developed communities.

Our mission:

To promote peace, unity, and reconciliation among the people of Rwanda and to holistically contribute to the development of the Rwandan society.

Our core values:

Peace (Shalom), Integrity, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Unity, Transparency, Openness and Discernment.

 

 

This project intends to help 450 inmates to become mediators with a purpose of creating peacebuilders within Rwandan prisons. $8,804 raised of $22,500 goal. Up to now 36 persons were trained about transformative mediation.

As mentioned in our previous report, we decided to work in women prisons, because the prison is not only the institution that guarantees our security by imprison people who seem to be dangerous to our social life. But also at the same time prisons are considered as education centres where punishments and teachings can be offered to bring back inmates’ sense of humanity and when prisoners are released, they can contribute to promote security.

Our program of transformative mediation is to train women inmates so that they can start doing mediation in prisons and be able to help their respective communities when released. This is what we wanted: to empower and let women prisoners reflect about transformative mediation.

This report shows that the possibility of working in prison improved in volume, quality and social efficiency of security inside the prisons and it is a tool for social reintegration.

Since the program was launched in Ngoma women prison, the mediation trainers of Friends Peace House trained, refreshed and did follow up in order to not only support the trainees but also respond much to their needs.

Because of limited funds comparing to project needs, the Friends Peace House decided to only focus on 25 inmates trained (Four of them were released) and 11 trainers of Friends peace house so that they can be professionals.

From June, 2019, a refreshers training to both FPH trainers and Inmates and a follow up visit were organized and took place to track the changes with the following objectives:

-          Building up the team work: Using some team working exercises to bring up the idea of togetherness. Because we hope that as they need to work together, they can continue to learn and empower one another

-          Evaluation in small groups, through focus group, Friends Peace House wanted to get feedback from trainees to track: positive impact, lesson learnt, challenges and how to overcome the later.

A refresher training of two days was conducted on 26th -27th June in Ngoma prison; it was on opportunity to make a follow up visit. This refresher was preceded by a two days refresher training of FPH trainers which took place from 24th- 25th June, 2019.

After reading the feedback given by the focus groups, the following are the findings of the follow up:

  • All trainees master the content of transformative meditation, and they started using their skills to reduce violence in their communities
  • There is a consistent Decrease of internal criminal rate in Ngoma Prison
  • From the beginning of this program, more than 60 conflict cases have been mediated including 11 conflict cases mediated by FPH trainers.
  • There is a positive impact of the program because some prisoners changed their behaviors such as fighting, stealing, drug abuse and frauds.

The following are the testimonies of trained women inmates:

  1. Francine: Before getting mediation training, I used to fight with colleagues and always conflicting with others. The only way to me of solving a conflict was fighting and always being taken to the cell. But today, I am exemplary to the people of my block. They are asking about what happened to me. I am much transformed by mediation
  2. Immaculée: As a community leader who was always called to solve conflict, I used to take a side. I have found that what I was doing was not really a good way to solve conflict but making it worse. I have found that when there is not transformation, mediation cannot bring peace. Today, we are not getting many cases of conflict and people are more happy than before.
  3. Violette: To me, I can say that Mediation brought me back to life. It helped me to recognize the value of others but also valuing what they values in their life. Today, I interact with others freely and I am feeling much love in my life. I also have a new family here. When I am in this group, I feel more comfortable and safe.

Recommendations from the participants and the prison leadership:

Here are some of the recommendation from the trainee and prison leadership:

-          The prison’s leaders recommended FPH to increase the number of workshops and participants

-          The trainees recommended FPH to provide certificates of completion as a matter of fact.

-          The inmate trainees recommended FPH to have in place plans which will help some of them who have been released and those whose sentences are about to end to continue playing the role of mediation in the community and partner with Friends Peace House

-          The Inmates recommended FPH to continue follow up workshops and advices to this work so that they continue doing what they are called to do.

-          Inmates suggested that FPH can bring together the beneficiaries of AVP and transformative mediation so that they can start working together as a team and sharing their experiences

NB: we are sorry about photos, because it is not allowed to take pictures in the Rwandan prisons

Links:

 This project intends to help 450 inmates to become mediators with a purpose of creating peacebuilders within Rwandan prisons. $8,804 raised of $22,500 goal.

For the first workshop Christine Curci PHD trained the mediators of Friends Peace House (FPH) who are serving as trainers of mediation at the same time mediators, and for this session eleven mediators were trained, for the second workshop the FPH mediators conducted a free day long workshop, they trained twenty-five inmates under Christine Curci PHD facilitation, and to strengthen the capacities of the latter the third workshop was organised and took place it was a refresher training and was facilitated by mediators under Friends Peace House Facilitation .

up to now 36 persons were trained 

The purpose of the refresher training was to analyse the impact, feasibility and challenges encountered by inmates when they were putting into action the mediation. We are very pleased that our program is having positive impacts in Ngoma prison. From the report given by the trained inmates there are six conflicting cases handled in a satisfactory manner.

We are convinced that prisons are good places to learn and practice mediation, because it is a troubled society, even if it is not easy to serve as a mediator between prisoners who often feel indifferent, but is also a place where there is a need to provide the effort to have people capable of dealing with conflicts. And the experience that anyone can have in a prison would really be a powerful tool for dealing with conflicts everywhere

Among the challenges presented by the inmates, they mentioned: lack of an extended and free space for mediation, there is also the lack of will for mediation for some prisoners to and inadequate experience to treat and deal with some cases.

TESTIMONIES:

One of the inmates said

"We are delighted that we benefit doubly: firstly, our life is positively affected and secondly we have a luggage of knowledge useful to help our society, we are capable to help people to discover themselves their role in a conflict and also to make them understand each other, the training has equipped us with the knowledge necessary for interpersonal skills more precisely in the field of communication, we are able to communicate effectively and also we know how to live in peace with others. Our co-prisoners are often interested to read our handouts and they are excited to know how to mediate, we are confident to help our community.

 

The prison guard told us that there is a positive change in these words:

Before the arrival of this program, we received many conflicting cases, we received reports from inmates that there are cases handled by FPH mediators, I am aware that there are six disputes mediated by the mediators trained by the Friends Peace House (FPH); this indicates the success of the transformative mediation program, there are some concepts of mediation that are frequently used by our prisoners like "He needs empowerment" and “he needs to be recognized” I asked the prisoners and they told me that these are the terms of mediation, it means that mediation is not only useful to mediate but also to avoid conflict. We are very grateful that Friends Peace House and their partners are active in peace building and in the process of rebuilding our Rwandan society”

 

Actually we noticed that many of the prisoners are thirsty to know what mediation is. This is due to the fact that they have a lot of time to browse our documents, and on the fact that they are always closed each other. Another observation is that the inmates trained have willing and courage to be competent and teamwork, and this was possible because they find time for experience sharing.

We also noticed that the prisoners are engaged a lot in mediation practices and research, which make them experienced and strong when it comes to mediation.

Among our twenty-five prisoners trained, four of them have been released, and they are ready to help the community and to help people to solve their conflict peacefully, we had the chance to meet 2 of the 4 released inmates and that was a way of integrating them into the network of our Mediators

We also want to inform readers that on May 20, 2019 we participated in a conference organized by GlobalGiving that brought together members of the platform to exchange experience and also learn together how to step forward.

We want to thank our donors, you are our strengths and companions to our success, and we thank you very much and stay blessed.


Attachments:
Training of mediation trainers in February at FPH
Training of mediation trainers in February at FPH

Dear Supporters of Transformational Mediation in Prisons,

My organization, Friends Peace House, and I were touched and inspired by the amount of support received during this past GlobalGiving Accelerator. During the campaign, we surpassed our goal of raising $5,000 from 40 donors and in fact, raised an astounding total of $8,759 from 58 donors. It is noteworthy that a portion of this money was driven by GlobalGiving based on the eager generosity of our donors on Giving Day and other bonus days. We are grateful for the amount of financial support provided by our donors, but we are also grateful for their readiness to contribute to our project's goal by helping to raise $2,790 on the first day of the Accelerator.

Our plans to move forward with the project have already materialized: two weeks ago, Dr. Christine Curci led a three-day workshop for instructing 11 of our existing mediators on how to train prisoners and guards to become mediators. In March, we will commence training prisoners of Ngoma to become mediators, as well as conduct mediation sessions between prisoners. This is an exciting project with the potential to impact many people in a very positive way. Still in need of over $13,000 for the project, we hope you will consider supporting us through GlobalGiving's platform with money, and keep our organization and its work in your thoughts and prayers.

 

Thank you,

 

Antoine Samvura

Coordinator of Friends Peace House

Completion of mediator trainings at FPH in Feb.
Completion of mediator trainings at FPH in Feb.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Friends Peace House

Location: Kigali - Rwanda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Antoine Samvura
Kigali, Kigali Rwanda
$8,814 raised of $22,500 goal
 
71 donations
$13,686 to go
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