THE AHEZA HEALING AND CAREER CENTER
- Major depression is now the leading cause of disability globally and ranks fourth in the ten leading causes of the global burden of disease. Today we know that most illnesses, mental and physical, are influenced by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. Our understanding of the relationship between mental and physical health is rapidly increasing. We know that mental disorders are the outcome of many factors and have a physical basis in the brain. We know they can affect everyone, everywhere. And we know that more often than not, they can be treated
- The findings of the 2018 mental health survey by Rwanda Biomedical Center / Ministry of health finds that 35% among Genocide survivors are suffering from Major Depressive Disorder and that 28% are suffering from
- Many of them suffer silently. Many of them suffer alone. Beyond the suffering and beyond the absence of care lie the frontiers of stigma, shame, exclusion, and more often than we care to know,
- The issue continue to be a persisting barrier to the social-economic development for Genocide Survivors at the highest extent and GAERG takes that issue with the utmost great attention. Together with other stakeholders, GAERG has continuously tried to bring options of solutions to mental illness among Genocide survivors but it remains critical.
- As well, unemployment remains very challenging. And for young survivors it develop other multiple effects due to lack of family care and belonging. The evaluation of FARG activities from 2010 to 2017 showed that 8% among youth supported in education are unemployed. And 58.2% of respondents suggest that there is a need for further assistance in career guidance, and linking with the BDFs for business advisory services, continuous learning assistance, for employments and economic empowerment.
- To continuously find solutions and join hand with the government, to take a comprehensive approach to mental health from promotion through prevention, treatment, long-term care of, and recovery from mental disorders including concurrent substance misuse disorders. And advocate for action to address the social determinants of mental health, in a cross-sectoral and holistic manner in order to reduce both physical and mental health disparities so that Genocide survivors have an equal chance to lead healthy lives.
In the efforts to respond to this emergency, GAERG has come up with a project called AHEZA Healing and Career Center with the aim of providing professional services in two perspectives. Healing services and Career services. And the Center offer these Services:
- Counseling Services: Individual counseling involves talking about your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and the things that are troubling you. The center provide Individual Counseling Services, Couples & Family Counseling Services and Group counseling Services.
- Trauma Therapy: The center provide quality trauma therapy services for children and adults who have experienced traumatic experiences, it is within our goal to assist our clients in becoming stable and lead them to a healthier state of well-being. We strive to provide clients with a caring, loving, and safe counseling atmosphere that allows healing to take place
- Life & Career Coaching: The organization commitment to overall healthy life enhancement and career development emphasizes strong preparation to be successful in life. The program will focus on innovations and strategies derived from an existentialism, person-centered, and solution-focused counseling approach. We offer job mentorship and Business mentorship.
- Professional Training: Trauma competency is extremely important when providing trauma treatment for some of the minor to severe traumatic experiences. Mental health professionals must possess the necessary skills and interventions to be competent in their trauma methods and approaches used in treatment. The center will organize workshops, seminar and conferences to build professionals in the field.
- Community Outreach: We believe in the say that, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The center will partner with local community, community-based organizations, other non-profit organizations as well as various public and private schools and all stakeholders to provide mental health awareness seminars and psychotherapy treatment services across. This will help to challenge stigma and discrimination experienced by the victims of mental disorders.
The center is located in Eastern Province, Bugesera District, and Ntarama Sector, Cyugaro Cell.
GAERG’S PLAN FOR KWIBUKA25
As of Kwibuka25, GAERG as an organization that envision for “A world free of Genocide”, has thought how this year can be a remarkable year in terms of paying tribute to the innocent people, victims of genocide but also a time to Inform, Educate and Advocate.
- Inform: In this context, GAERG wish to inform to raise awareness to keep the memory of the genocide against Tutsi alive and apply its lessons to fight hatred, promote human dignity and stand up to injustice.
- GAERG would like to educate young generation and the rest of world about genocide and its bad effects because it is through education that we can prevent mass atrocities from occurring in our communities.
To educate the world, the following components will be taken into consideration within different format:
- Rwandan History: Discussions on the economic, political and social factors that lead to conflict and violence.
- Genocide: Interactive session that asks questions including, ‘What is genocide?’, ‘How can it happen?’ and ‘How do ordinary people become perpetrators?’ this will uplift knowledge and critical thinking on what to do to build a world free of genocide.
- Understanding the ‘Continuum of Violence:’A set of activities with interactive discussions on analyzing violence and decision making to comprehend how it happens and raise awareness on its consequences to prevent it to happen anymore.
- The Consequences of Genocide: A question and answer session on the challenges faced by individuals and society after genocide and how to overcome them.
- The Road to Peace: An interactive session that asks the question, ‘How is it possible to have sustainable peace after genocide?’ and tells the stories of peacemakers helping to rebuild their communities.
- Advocate: GAERG wish to raise the voice to speak for vulnerable survivors. The majority of survivors are still living in hardship conditions. They suffer from PTSD at 28% and live with Major depressive episode is at 35%. There is a need for immediate action. GAERG has a mandate to strategically advocate for survivors.
In this regards, we have prepared a number of activities:
- Genocide Debate Challenge: The 8th resolution of the Umushyikirano 2018 recommend strong emphasis in the education of youth about Genocide against Tutsi and prepare them to be characterized by Rwandan values. As one of the possible answer, GAERG planned Genocide Debate Challenge to be a platform to that allow youth to discuss, learn and challenge themselves on their frequently asked questions about the history of Genocide. This debate challenge is expected to work as a self-education space for youth in high school and in universities. After a debate session, GAERG will get a platform to address hundreds of youth participants on the reality of topics they discussed about Genocide. This will uplift youth’s understanding level and their critical thinking mindset bout Genocide and Genocide against Tutsi. The pilot phase of this program will engage 16 high schools and 16 Universities located in Kigali.
- Genocide Survivors Convention: It is now 25 years after Genocide against Tutsi. The government of Rwanda and different stakeholders has done their best to address different kind of challenges that survivors faced. Genocide Survivors convention is set to be a platform for survivors and partners to discuss their life within 25 years and get an opportunity to set milestone for the future. Within this convention, GAERG will on the second time conduct a conference on families completely wiped out. It will be an opportunity for reflection on completely wiped out Families. The Convention will take place on 22nd June 2019.
- Commemoration of Families Completely Wiped out: This year in the night of 18th – 19th May 2019, GAERG with its partners and stakeholders will bring together leaders at different levels, representatives of survivors’ organizations, and members of the community in Nyanza District, Busasamana Sector at the Genocide memorial site in Rwesero Cell, Southern Province where the activity will take place. Every year this event is preceded by a survey of names and any other existing facts; photos, videos or signs of the families that were completely wiped out during the genocide against the Tutsi. We have so far Identified 9,706 completely perished families composed of 42,647 members who have been identified in 18 districts. This year we will conduct the same research in the 12 remaining districts which are Bugesera, Rwamagana, Kayonza, Nyagatare, Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe, Nyanza, Huye, Gisagara, Rusizi, Ngororero and Nyamasheke.
The main objective of this event is to give our victims a “name” and voice in their country so that they are not completely forgotten. The specific objectives include among others:
- To document and tell the stories of remembrance of families that was completely wiped out during the genocide.
- Promote the preservation of memory of Genocide and eradicate its ideology.
- Increase awareness and educate Rwandans mostly youth about 1994 Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi in Rwanda.
GAERG has an outreach program known us “HOBERA UBUZIMA” in which GAERG families visit survivor’s settlements mostly to comfort survivors and help them to stay strong and cherish life. The program is usually implemented once a quarter that is 3 times a year but we put in much effort in the first quarter January – April to prepare Survivors to face the commemoration period with strong heart and energy to prevent them from trauma crisis.
As of Kwibuka25, AHEZA Project will enhance the mental health of 6320 direct beneficiaries including 4,240 Genocide survivors and their dependents living in 106 Genocide survivors’ settlements and 2120 students from 106 AERG Sections (106 Schools and Universities) around the country.
Approach and Success Mechanism
The strategic approach to the success of the all illustrated programs includes working with all stakeholders on the matter. This is as well the pin point to the success of the all proposed and planned activities by the organization especially for this Kwibuka25.
We welcome volunteers, sponsorships and new initiatives that can help the organization to meet the target goals.
You can pay sponsorship through our website: www.gaerg.org.rw to support all these activities.
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