Ubwiyunge Mubikorwa (reconciliation in action) : Development and Field Piloting of Action-Based Psychosocial Reconciliation Approach in post-Gacaca Rwanda

Reconciliation is a “hazy” construct that calls for further systematic understanding efforts. The purpose of the present study was to illuminate and understand authentic and idiographic processes of interpersonal reconciliation between survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

 

An original interpersonal reconciliation approach termed action-based psychosocial reconciliation approach (ABPRA) was developed and implemented in two remote villages of Rwanda. Lived experiences of reconciliation dyads (consisting of survivors and their direct perpetrators) who participated in ABPRA were collected employing a postsession, semistructured interview. Thematic content analysis of the data revealed five major themes representing the beneficial impacts of ABPRA.

 

This paper introduces an overview of ABPRA and reports the results from the field pilot study. The reporting features a collection of participant reported narratives highlighting the beneficial effects of ABPRA on their healing and reconciliation process. The paper concludes with the implications of the study to enhance further efforts to support the interpersonal reconciliation process in Rwanda. 

Key implications for practice

Keywords: 
Genocide (en), Intergroup Relations, Psychosocial support, Reconciliation, Research, Rwanda