By Elie Nahimana, IPB Coordinator

Participants from HROC Basic Workshop

Update on fundraiser for Judith Nandikove: So far we have received 6 donations totaling $525 towards the goal of $1200. To contribute to her attendance at the February HROC International Training in Rwanda, go to

2019 Donors to Innovations in Peacemaking — Burundi: The following thirty donors contributed a total of $3005.80 in 2019 to IPB.

Ailes, Richard
Anthony, Cushman
Bell, Alexadra
Bell, Alexander
Bizimana, Laurie
Cazden, Courtney
Colby, Kiernan
Finke, David
Gilbert, Mary
Grace, Jaclyn
Grace, Jaclyn
Grumbach, James E
Hohl, Anneke
Kastens, William
Leonard, David
Leslie, Janet
Lumb, Judy
Mandala, Kirsten
Mershon, Clemence
Samuel, William
Shepherd, Kathleen Kessler 
Simmons, Barbara
Snarr, Neil
Steele, Danae
Victor, Joyce
Warner, Candace
Wehle, Henry M Hays
Zarembka, David

November HROC workshop:

A 3 day HROC basic workshops was conducted at Lycée Municipal Gihosha on November 18 till 20, 2019. Twenty students participated including 11 girls and 9 boys. The first day focused on trauma comprehension such as its definition, causes, symptoms and consequences. The second one was on trust building while the third one focused on the ways of recovering from trauma with some practices.

This basic workshop is a cornerstone in a larger program designed to build community capacity to respond to wide-spread trauma and to strengthen inter- connections and reduce isolation. It introduces participants to the concept of trauma, build a sense of trust and community within the workshop, and facilitate initial expression of grief and mourning. It also introduces stages of a healing process and concrete strategies for dealing with intense anger.

During the 3 days workshop, HROC facilitators invite participants to discover their own existing knowledge and their own inner wisdom about how to heal and how to help others. 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:


This is something that traumatized me: I lost my mother when I was 5 years old. That day, we were in a vehicle and we were coming from Ngozi going to Bujumbura. On the way, we experienced a car accident. My mother passed away at the place while I became unconscious until I woke up in the hospital. When I was still under medical treatment, they refused to tell me that my mum has passed even though I insisted to know why she was not coming to comfort me during my time of tough pain I was passing through. It’s when I left the hospital and reached home with nostalgia and sentimental emotions to meet my mum that they started to calm me down and finally told me that she passed away in the accident.   This chocked me since I was still very young and I thought how I could live without her. I didn’t have the right image as I didn’t participate to her funeral ceremonies. The death of my mother had touched me a lot at the point I started to isolate myself from those having their mums alive. I didn’t want to hear someone pronouncing the word “mum / mother”. It was like pointing a knife in my heart and quickly I had to move far from the place with tears in my eyes.  I have a weak capacity to memorize my notes and forgetting quickly the few I was able to take on my mind. I was unable to share this situation. After the 3 days workshop, I feel a little bit released. I believe that I will get full healing in the future.

Thanks for having accepted me in these teachings since they will help me healing from my trauma.

Participants from Follow-up day.

December HROC Follow-up Day.

A one-day HROC Follow-up is a very important step within the HROC program as it offers an opportunity to meet together representatives from different identity groups with opposite view of the community context. This is held six months after a 3 days basic workshop. During the Follow-up day, all participants are aware about trauma healing and its consequences and ready to share their own trauma experiences freely. It’s also an opportunity for those who failed to express themselves during the basic workshop to afford it as a way of expanding their healing.

On December 6th, 2019, a one day HROC Follow-up session was organized at Lycée Municipal de CIBITOKE with 60 students including 31 girls and 29 boys as participants.  This peace activity session remindedthe participants what is trauma, its definition, its causes and consequences starting with Johari’s exercise. Then, the facilitators asked students/participants to share about what they learnt mostly during the three days of HROC basic workshop that they participated in six months ago. Afterwards the students got an opportunity of sharing testimonies with regard to the transformation experienced after attending the workshop. 

At the end of the session, HROC facilitators handed them a three days attendance certification to the HROC basic workshop as you can see on the group photo.

Following is a testimony chosen among others shared during that HROC follow-up day.


I live here in CIBITOKE at the 9th avenue. I am going to share with you the life i carried out before the teachings of HROC and after the teachings. My parents divorced when I was still very young. I always asked myself why my parents were not living together. I grew up with a big wound because of this parent decision. I had so much hatred towards other children and I could even tell them that I couldn’t play with them as they had parents who lived together and they were well with their families while I had never got an opportunity of living with my parents. I isolated myself from others. Whenever I asked my mother why she was not living together with my father, she couldn’t answer me and my father as well couldn’t find any word to tell me. Once the holidays came up, I asked myself many questions inside my heart. I lost the emotional balance. I asked myself why God created me as such. I felt as if the whole world was on my small head. I, really, hated my parents. I considered them as dead livings.

Now, I thank HROC together with all its facilitators who became friends of mine. After the 3 days’ HROC basic workshop, I took an initiative of talking to my parents. I shared with them about HROC and I forgave them to all what they did to me. They also forgave each other. Apart from that, I’m the class representative at my school. Before, I was not able to handle issues of new comers at our school. Today, due to the teachings of HROC basic workshop, I learnt good notions. For instance using only active listening, I’m able to know problems faced by new comers and caused by other students. I am healed and I must heal others. I thank you very much!


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David Zarembka

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