The idea for CARSA was sparked when some Rwanda university students from different backgrounds met and began to tell their stories. They discovered they shared a burden for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. They felt disharmony among others at the university, the churches, and their respective neighborhoods. Beneath the veneer of everyday life, people were suffering from trauma, bitterness and distrust.
The group began growing as they spent weekends praying, worshipping God, and experiencing His healing in their hearts. Training about trauma healing, reconciliation and counseling helped them to process their personal journeys of healing. After graduating, some of these group members dedicated themselves to the work of CARSA, which was officially established in 2004 with the vision to “have a society where peace, solidarity, and unity in diversity are established.”
Initially, CARSA used HWEC (Healing Wounds of Ethnic Conflict) workshops in secondary schools, universities, and churches to bring healing to the youth. In 2006 CARSA started its ongoing work in rural communities, bringing together genocide offenders and survivors. Today CARSA has extended its impact through multiple programs focused on alleviating poverty, building peace, equipping youth and researching 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.