Before CARSA became an established organization, the idea began when Rwandan university students from different backgrounds met and started to share their stories and the burden they had for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. These students felt a disharmony among others at the university, in churches as well as in their respective neighborhoods where they lived. Though people appeared to be okay, they were actually suffering from trauma, bitterness, and distrust.
The group began growing as they spent weekends praying and worshipping God and experiencing His healing in their hearts. They benefited from different trainings about trauma healing, reconciliation, and counseling to help them to process their personal healing. God worked through this group of students and revealed in their hearts the ways they could help others. CARSA became officially established in 2004 with the vision to “have a society where peace, solidarity, and unity in diversity are established.” After graduating university, some of these group members dedicated themselves to the work of CARSA.
Initially, CARSA used HWEC workshops in secondary schools, universities, and churches to bring healing to the youth. In 2006 CARSA started to work in rural communities to bring genocide offenders and survivors together, and they continue to do so today. Now, CARSA has extended its impact through multiple programs that it offers to alleviate poverty, build peace, equip youth and research the effects of the genocide.
Christian Action for Reconciliation and Social Assistance (CARSA) was founded in Rwanda in 2002. CARSA received its legal status on 6/10/2004 by ministerial order nº111/11. Its registered office is in Gasabo district, Kigali city council. Through the new law governing non-government organization in Rwanda, CARSA has been registered as a Faith Based organization (FBO) through an Official Gazette n° 50 of 16/12/2013. For the past 10 years of its existence, CARSA has achieved a lot, impacting the community greatly.