RWANDA: Previous work
In 2011 Karuna Center conducted a conflict assessment for USAID/Rwanda and in 2012 consulted with the USAID mission on how to implement the findings in its five-year strategic plan and programs in democracy and governance, education, health, and economic growth.
Women and Men as Partners in Peacebuilding
The Women and Men as Partners in Peacebuilding program piloted a new paradigm of cross-gender partnerships that will more effectively address the interconnected cycles of community-based and gender-based violence. In 2015, organizations participating in the Women and Men as Partners in Peacebuilding Program formed a regional alliance to continue to advance violence prevention through female-male partnerships: Alliance Femmes/Hommes pour la Paix (Alliance of Women and Men for Peace). Learn more about the Women and Men as Partners in Peacebuilding Program.
The Rescuers Project
In 2010-2011 Karuna Center developed a Rescuers Project with the education department of the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Museum. An exhibit of genocide rescuers, developed by Karuna Center partner Proof: Media for Social Justice, traveled to Rwandan high schools and was used to promote dialogue on tolerance and reconciliation.
Rwandan Women’s Peace Leadership Project
Between 2003 and 2005, Karuna Center led a peacebuilding training and mentorship program for members of ProFemmes Twese Hamwe, an umbrella organization of 58 women’s organizations, ranging from grassroots associations to a women’s caucus in the parliament, that promote peace, gender equality, women’s empowerment and development. Participants developed skills in analyzing conflicts, resolving disputes within their communities and organizations, and teaching these skills to others. Those we trained our now involved in an innovative and successful reconciliation program in partnership with International Alert. Survivors, perpetrators, and former combatants are joining in community dialogues and trauma healing workshops and then working together in micro-enterprises and agricultural cooperatives.
Capacity Building for Rwandan Government Institutions on Reconciliation
In 2005, KCP led seminars for the Rwandan government’s National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) to help build the capacity of their commissioners, staff, and partners to manage conflict and post-genocide reconciliation. In 2002, we held a seminar for the Department of Justice to anticipate the kinds of community dynamics that could arise with the gacaca courts that were formed to address genocide crimes, and ways of mitigating those tensions.
Rwanda was the site for our annual field seminar for the CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) Graduate Certificate Program in Conflict Transformation, which we ran in partnership with the SIT Graduate Institute from 2002-2012.
"I traveled in 1995 with a colleague and a translator to the UN-supported Mugunga Refugee Camp of 200,000 Rwandan Hutus, including both the innocent and some genocidaires, as they were called in French. Although the assignment seemed absurd, we taught nonviolence each day to surprisingly large audiences for two weeks, and when we returned the following year there were 17 new centers for the study of nonviolence established in the camp."
- Karuna Center founder and Senior Peacebuilding Advisor Dr. Paula Green, in the preface to our training guide, Peacebuilding in Divided Communities