Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Trustbuilding in Burundi

For decades, politico-ethnic conflicts have torn communities apart, causing many deaths and leading to many people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. The trustbuilding team in Burundi aims to build trust and heal historical wounds between the communities affected by the ethnopolitical divisions (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa ethnic groups).

Why is trust needed? 

Since its independence in 1962, Burundi has experienced repeated violent conflicts. Large-scale interethnic massacres occurred in 1972, 1988 and 1993, and another wave of violence in 2015. Despite various attempts for national unity after each crisis, including peace deals, Burundian society remains polarised. Psychological wounds caused by all the violence, if not healed, have the risk of being passed down from generation to generation.   

How is trust built?

Healing psychological wounds and memories

People carrying psychological wounds are brought together in peace circles where their wounded memories are transformed. These include all people affected, i.e., orphans, executioners, survivors.

Creating a new narrative for a common future

The inner qualities, skills and capacities of community leaders at all levels to build trust are strengthened.