HEALING THE WOUNDS OF TRAUMA
Rwanda as a country that experienced genocide, it counts a high percentage of people who suffered from post-traumatic disorders. Unfortunately, those effects are increasing and passed on even to the younger generation. In recent times, the pandemic of Covid-19 also exacerbated young people’s sufferings whereby their living conditions worsened by living with lots of fear, limited access to their social cohesion, closure of schools whereby their studies were delayed and stopped for some, those who lost their jobs and others confronted increased domestic violence and many other issues that held back their day to day lives. All these challenges engendered problems of stress disorders that are leading to depression in young generation.
In the midst of the above challenges, from the 6th to 10th of December, The Bible Society of Rwanda through its program of trauma healing organized training on healing the wounds of trauma responding the call from the Commission Episcopale pour la Pastorale des Jeunes, C.E.P.J in the Catholic Church of Rwanda. In this regard, above forty (40) youth representatives and priests in charge of them from 9 Dioceses of the Catholic Church of Rwanda gathered at CENTRE DE L’ESPRIT SAINT MBARE in the Kabgayi Diocese, in Muhanga District, to participate in the first trauma healing session on becoming trainers who will support the healing process of other young people in their respective dioceses around the country.
On the evening of the 6th of Dec, the Bishop of Byumba Diocese Servilien NZAKAMWITA who is also the president of the national youth commission of the Catholic Church, Officially opened the training and in his remarks, reminded young people of the importance of the training they were about to take and how the Word of God is an important tool while helping people recover from the wounds of Hearts, and urged them to be ready to listen to the heartbroken people, but also encouraged them that tomorrow is better for we are with God.
Apart from continuing lessons, young people and priests were advised by leaders of the Bible Society of Rwanda who visited them during training.
The Legal Representative His Eminence Antoine Cardinal Kambanda, The Board Chair Julie Kandema and the General Secretary Viateur Ruzibiz; encouraged participants to focus on lessons as they prepare to support many other young people in the healing process. They highlighted existing family conflicts, effects of Covid-19 and other issues causing wounds of heart and how increasing they are in our society;
“Wounds are not only caused by Covid-19, family conflicts, or only by Genocide, but also by many other things that we sometimes ignore and all of these can harm people and lead to fatal consequences, Unity in diversity should be a guiding principle between us and our churches, the youths should get out of their comfort zone and work together to progress, but with discipline as a cornerstone of a better and a prosperous life. They must have a determined mind on issues that they want to achieve in life. “Trained young people are the key for the future healed families.” They said.
The Bishop of Kabgayi Diocese Mgr. Smaragde Mbonyintege, also visited the site and advised attendees to avoid laziness and choose to work, and to lean a new and helpful skill and use wisdom at work, and to have cultural values as their identity, He added that “God make you pass through difficult things and win, when you are at work.”
A testimony was shared by Past.Viateur Mutaganzwa and told his life journey and explained how it was filled with pain, failures and lots of challenges, but also how he overcame these through; Hating evil, Having a positive mindset, and to never be discouraged, and to break the bad history he had passed through.
As shown by participants, the training was very successful responding to their expectations and also supportive to their healing and they vowed to use the spirit and package received from the training to listen to their peers and accompany them in the journey of healing. They thanked the initiative and support of both their spiritual leaders and the Bible Society of Rwanda to saw such an important seed in them.