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Your location>Home>Publications>PeaceWays>Fall 2007

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I wish everyone could attend,” said Komezusense Samuel, a released prisoner from the Cyangugu area. “Do more workshops,” echoed Mukayiranga Béatrice, a genocide survivor. Throughout the two weeks of interviews, these sentences were the foremost recommendations we heard from people. The praise for HROC was overwhelming and so was the demand for more - more workshops, more participants, more days, more facilitators, more help! Bring the messages of HROC into every village, every home, and every heart; do not stop until all Rwandans have been reached. The point was abundantly clear - people want change; Rwandans are yearning for it, for a way to cope with what they have been through. All they need is someone to show them the way.

It was a truly moving experience. Not only did we leave Cyangugu on the last day of interviews inspired, but we also left with a momentous sense of responsibility. We could not stop here or be satisfied with what had already been accomplished. No, we needed to push beyond the praise and go deeper, improve our methods, take the program as far as it can go. Thankfully, those who were interviewed imparted their suggestions. Some recommended targeting specific groups of Rwandans to more efficiently spread the message; some stressed follow-up visits from facilitators; still others suggested a certificate program.

Community leaders need the trainings.
Mukeshimana Laurent, non-participant, district leader

Me and the other facilitators try to meet three times a year, but there is no budget…I would like to see HROC strengthened and spread. Many people need them, but don’t have the chance. I wish HROC would work with the people in gacaca.
Munyeragwe Epimaque, facilitator

It’s hard to train all the people, because there is a lack of funding. I would like the participants to go on and train others in what they learned and then that person will go and help another. I want facilitators to get together and exchange ideas on how to facilitate, how to improve their skills. To have many facilitators would be better.
Nshirizirana Jean, facilitator

They need more workshops, so that others can be reconciled. Three days is not enough… In AVP [Alternatives to Violence Program, another Friends Peace House workshop], I got a certificate and card about twelve ways to resolve conflicts, which would be good in the HROC workshops. If many people were trained, then reconciliation would be strong. Everyone – killers and survivors – needs to be trained, because the war touched everyone. Zinucinda Simon, survivor

I wish everyone could attend. The teachings are good, but the days are few…Instead of training 20, train 200, so that people can know about it and keep changing. I also want a follow-up, and I want Friends Peace House to advocate for our association.
Komezusense Samuel, released prisoner

I wish the workshop would have been more than three days. I would like it if my neighbors could have come with me…I would like more workshops and more people attending them. Three days was just the beginning.
Kansayisa Clémentine, survivor

In addition to recommendations for longer and more numerous workshops like the ones above, there was also an incident in Cyangugu which merits attention (see pages 18 to 20). Although none of the interviewees offered any specific suggestions on how to address this issue, the problem points to a need for more post-workshop support. While it is to be expected that not everyone will understand or welcome the new mind-set of the participants, it is clear that additional support would be helpful to many participants in the months following the workshop.