It’s Big Give time, when every penny our supporters donate on a specific week (November 28th – December 5th) is matched. Thanks to Network for Africa’s generous and faithful friends across the globe, your kindness makes it possible for thousands of survivors of conflict in Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone to chart a path away from the legacy of violence.
Your help has transformed the lives of people you will likely never meet. But they know about you, and they are always asking us to thank you for your support as they take control of their future, realizing their potential, and providing for their families.
Counselling 300 Survivors of Rwanda’s Genocide
We appeal to you once again to please take advantage of this chance to double the impact of your gift. This year, please consider supporting the remarkable work of our peer support counsellors in Rwanda. We are especially proud of this project because it embodies our Network for Africa dream in which survivors of genocide become responsible agents of change, solving their own problems, and supporting each other.
The Project (2017 – To Date)
Since this project began in 2017, we have trained 178 peer support counsellors. Each year, 24 are chosen from the 250 young genocide survivors joining the project. No one is better acquainted with the challenges of living with trauma, depression, and anxiety than someone who has faced the long-term consequences of conflict in their own lives.
Once the peer support counsellors have been trained, they moderate and guide group sessions where survivors can find a safe space to share their experiences. They teach them techniques to manage their flashbacks, equipping them with the practical tools to take control of their mental health. The groups meet every two weeks: survivors who participate tell us their confidence grows, and a burden seems less when they find they are not alone. If the peer support counsellors notice anyone needing extra support, they refer them to our professional counsellors.
This is a cost-efficient way to provide counselling to hundreds of survivors each year. Without a language barrier or cultural and generational differences, our peer support counselling project achieves remarkable results. We know we are succeeding when survivors start to focus on the future, asking to learn how to set up their own small businesses.
For instance, Claudine is a 38-year-old genocide survivor with two children. She attends a counselling group in Rwanda’s Southern Province. She has set up a business for mobile money transfer and airtime. Claudine said:
After joining the counselling group, I was given the chance to participate in extra training on entrepreneurship and starting a business. From the moment I started the training, I gave thought to how I can start a business to be able to earn money to support my family. I took a loan of 300,000 RWF (£200 or $242) to implement my business plan of selling mobile money services. The business is really operating well, and since setting it up I have always been able to cover my basic needs. I have started paying back the loan, and I have a plan of applying for another loan after paying back my first loan.
Claudine uses her earnings for health insurance for her family, and for food. She has started putting some money aside with the savings and credit group so she can buy a small plot of land. She is very thankful to our donors for supporting young survivors as they realize their dreams. Please help Network for Africa to continue this work.
One Donation, Twice The Impact
To learn more about the Big Give, and see your gift doubled, please visit our appeal page. Thank you.