Reconciliation as a holistic, sustainable process.
CARSA believes reconciliation must be addressed holistically for sustained, renewed relationships. But how to transfer the message of healing, reconciliation and development into the rural communities and address physical, mental and spiritual needs?
Cell groups - The Nucleus for Transformation
Cell groups form the foundation of our approach to transforming Rwandan communities. These groups of 20-30 are formed from the participants of trauma healing and reconciliation workshops, who are mainly survivors and offenders of the genocide. Cell groups meet twice a month, allowing members to share their experiences in their healing process and acting as a nucleus for the transformation of the surrounding community.
Later on, each cell group invites people from their community who didn't attend a workshop. Through joining the cell group, those people can benefit from the testimonies of the other cell group members and are encouraged and positively challenged in their own journey of healing and forgiveness.
On every last Saturday of the month, people throughout Rwanda come together to do a variety of public works, such as creating agricultural plots, protecting the environment or building schools and medical centers. This community work is a way the Rwandan government uses cultural practices to help reconstruct Rwanda and nurture a shared national identity. After the work, people gather together to discuss or listen to announcements. The cell groups use this time to share their testimonies and encourage others to join them.
Beyond this, the groups open their own bank accounts and every member regularly gives a little amount of money to build up the communal savings of the cell group. This is used to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families among them and help them holistically in their journey of healing and reconciliation.
>>> Read more about carsa's multi-faceted approach to communities
WHERE WE WORK.
In recent years CARSA has extended its work to 12 sectors with approximately five cells each. Because the cell groups are growing, some of them have already been split in two and are now requesting additional CARSA workshops. These requests come from the communities themselves and show both the success of CARSA's approach and the still-existing need for reconciliation ministry in post-genocide Rwanda.