Center for Council's Jared Seide returned from two weeks in Rwanda, where a partnership was initiated with our friends at Rwanda Center for Council -- recently recognized by the Rwandan Governance Board as an official NGO -- and the Association of Rwandese Trauma Counselors (ARCT-Ruhuka). Using our council-based program model, developed in California prisons, and in collaboration with the Rwanda Correctional Service, this project will introduce and support council practice inside the Rwandan prisons — in addition to providing support and coaching to a growing network of community-based organizations throughout Rwandan civil society.
With the imminent release of over 20,000 former genocide perpetrators into communities where unspeakable crimes were committed, the Rwandan government and its people seem eager to embrace a model for deepening community resilience and affirming shared values. The resonance of council (or “Peace Circle”) with indigenous Rwandan traditions like ibitaramo is striking and we are thrilled to be partnering with local Rwandan peace workers in supporting the emergence of a program and a practice that serves this critical moment.
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