Prison Fellowship Rwanda supports peace building and reconciliation initiatives in 13 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 programs, genocide survivors, former perpetrators and their respective families 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 wellbeing and foster trust, safety, conviviality and build new relationships and hope among the parties. The skills acquired include welding, sewing/tailoring, handcrafts, carpentry, masonry, among others. Under peace building and reconciliation Programme, Prison Fellowship Rwanda runs 8 reconciliation villages across the country with 822 houses that accommodate 4992 people from families of released genocide perpetrators, genocide survivors, new returnees, and vulnerable members of the communities.
It is socially and psychologically hard for an offender and a victim, to live in harmony after a crime like that of Genocide. There is always gross psychological, economic and emotional damage. However, despite that incompatibility that can be easily justified by many, society needs to heal and be cohesive for progress to be realized. Members of the reconciliation villages have chosen to step beyond forgiveness and embrace reconciliation, they have committed to living together, working together, and caring for one another. This exercise that was not an easy one, still, we consider this initiative as a fair accomplishment and houses were built to accommodate 4000 affected families who live side by side as a strong sign of practical reconciliation.