Pascasie: My parents and my children were killed during the genocide perpetrated against Tutsi in 1994.
I survived miraculously but I have been asking myself why I survived.
I needed to live in a place where I couldn’t see the killers because I was having a deep hatred against them; and for me they were all the same.
I didn’t want to see them. I moved from place to place but I couldn’t find where to settle because they(the killers) were everywhere.
At the end I decided to sit down and deal with my trauma.
I have been praying God to give me relief and today I feel relieved in my heart.
I forgive them, I forgive them, I forgive them.
Claudine: My parents and relatives were killed during the war of incursion.
My husband freed when I was pregnant and it was my first pregnancy.
I suffered alone without help.
I don’t know if my husband is alive or not.
My child asks me who is dad and I have no answer.
I loved my parents and I feel a lot of pain in my heart when I remember them.
I wish I could meet the killers and forgive them because I need to put the burden down , but I don’t know them .
Albert : I am a survivor. I have forgiven some of those who killed my people who asked for forgiveness and I live in peace with them.
This seminar helps me to feel that I have to forgive those who have not asked forgiveness as well , and there are many.
I promise that I will go to them straight away from here and tell them that I have forgiven them.
Rachel: I am happy because I was invited to the seminar.
Other people do not invite us.
They call us ‘those left behind by the history’( Batwa). We don’t want to be left behind.
We want peace.
Damascene: This seminar came here to save me. I was lost, I was far away, I was burdened, I was dry.
Thank you PHARP for being God’s canal to take water to the dry land.
These are some of the testimonies given by participants at a seminar on trauma healing and reconciliation held at Kivumu on 22-24/ 10/2015 bringing together 46 people including survivors of the genocide and perpetrators from Kivumu and Kigeyo communities in Rutsiro District, Western Province of Rwanda .
People in this area suffered twice: In 1994 during the genocide against Tutsi , and in 1997-98 during the war of incursion by hutu milita from Congo.
It is a remote rural area, with visible poverty.
The good thing is that these people have accepted to open their hearts to one another, to confess and to forgive, wherein their healing and hope come.
Pastor Anastase Rugirangoga