Peace building and Reconciliation has been one of the most impacting initiatives that Prison Fellowship Rwanda has introduced since its inception. PFR has established community based initiatives at grassroot levels that are stipulated through reconciliation villages, peace education, saving groups and peace clubs in communities and prisons.
Since 1995, Prison Fellowship Rwanda has been involved in the restoration of Rwandan social fabric, that was destroyed by the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, through community dialogues and practical reconciliation efforts. Prison Fellowship Rwanda intervenes in all prisons through mass awareness campaigns, and teaching unity and reconciliation process. The aim is to facilitate reconciliation dialogues between genocide perpetrators, genocide survivors and their respective families
Prison Fellowship Rwanda also supports peace building and reconciliation initiatives in different districts of Rwanda through peace education, unity and reconciliation as well as supporting community-based initiatives that promote practical reconciliation and social cohesion efforts. After peace building and reconciliation training, members are supported to start development activities through livelihood opportunities (livestock, provision of farming land, and agricultural inputs, small businesses). Moreover, they are facilitated to acquire new skills that improve their well-being and foster trust, safety, conviviality and build new relationships and hope among the parties.
Prison Fellowship Rwanda runs reconciliation villages across the country that accommodate people from families of released genocide perpetrators, genocide survivors, new returnees, and vulnerable members of the communities. Reconciliation remains a process, to uphold it is to make sure that what has been achieved remained a reality on the ground. PFR and its beneficiaries are committed to the process towards national unity and reconciliation as a pre-requisite for lasting peace, security, respect of human being which boosts social-economic development. These villages are comprised of clusters of homes built for genocide offenders and victims. In many cases, victims live in the same villages with the very perpetrators who harmed them and their families in the 1994 genocide perpetrated against Tutsi. Members of these reconciliation villages have chosen to step beyond forgiveness and embrace reconciliation, they have committed to living together, working together, and caring for one another.
Clubs and Saving Groups
Prison Fellowship Rwanda initiated unity clubs in prisons and communities that are operating to promote unity and reconciliation among Rwandans. In addition, there are saving groups that are supported by PFR across the country to boost the economic status of group members. These cooperatives and clubs help members to keep connected, promote their social cohesion and collaboration in addressing problems they face in their daily lives. This also improves their psychological well-being as they help each other by listening, providing emotional support and counselling as well as referrals to higher level service providers when needed. We encourage farming and livestock, sewing, carpentry, weaving and various sort of Income generating activities. In addition to the improving their living conditions, economically working together in the cooperatives and clubs binds the members of groups together for a common interest and increases the sense of oneness, creates trust, interdependence and creates room for discussions and interactions.