Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding
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Examine the causes of the 1994 genocide and Rwanda’s ongoing efforts in fostering peace, unity, and reconciliation among its people.
In 1994, Rwanda was the site of one the most atrocious genocides in contemporary human history. In the span of 100 days, about 1,000,000 people were killed, resulting in a broken and devastated country.
Since 1994, Rwanda’s peacebuilding process has been successful in restoring trust in state institutions, engaging Rwandans in the reconstruction of sustainable reconciliation, and in overcoming ethnic divisions.
This program examines the origins of conflict in Rwanda; the social, human, and psychological impacts of genocide; and the challenges and opportunities of post-conflict restoration. Students learn from Rwandan and Ugandan academics as well as local and international professionals working in the areas of transitional justice, peacebuilding, and post-conflict reconciliation.
In-country resources and program partners typically include:
- National University of Rwanda, Butare
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Kigali
- National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Kigali
- Rwanda Governance Advisory Council, Kigali
- Gacaca Court Commission, Kigali
- Center for Conflict Management, Butare and Kigali
- Gulu NGO Forum, Gulu
- Refugee Law Project, Kampala
- Makerere University, Kampala
Field visits to genocide memorials, museums, and commissions working toward reconciliation are an essential part of the program. Students also learn about post-conflict reconciliation in a very different context during the program’s two-week excursion to northern Uganda. Learn more about this program’s excursions.
Through the program’s six-week homestay in Kigali, students are able to share daily life with a Rwandan family.
Cooperation between SIT students, Spark MicroGrants, and Women’s Cooperative in Butare
Students visit a cooperative group in Butare that brings together women who were widowed in the genocide and wives of the perpetrators of the genocide who have chosen to work toward unity and reconciliation. The women have formed a cooperative that works on small income generating projects to help them provide nutritious meals to their children, buy health insurance, and pay school fees. Recently Spark MicroGrants has started to work with the women.
Spark MicroGrants is developing a novel approach to community organizing and granting where communities design and implement their own development projects. The women in Butare have chosen to start a goat rearing project and project that within three years, each of the approximately 1,700 woman in the cooperative will have a goat for food, income generation, and fertilizer. SIT is working with program alumni and friends to raise funds to support this project. Learn more about contributing to this project.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Rwanda, Kigali
Language Study: Kinyarwanda
Prerequisites: Coursework in conflict theories recommended. Read more...
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