Interpeace
Interpeace Partnering In The 6th World Congress

What is Interpeace?

In 1994, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development launched the “War-torn societies” project to aid the international community and national actors to respond to challenges of post-war societies starting with Guatemala, Mozambique, Somaliland and Putland[1]. The project facilitated comprehensive analyses of peacekeeping, relief and socioeconomic development to define policies and interventions tailored to each society’s context. By 2000, the War-torn societies project transitioned into an independent International Non-Governmental Organization, later evolving into an International Organization for Peacebuilding (Interpeace), expanding its scope to Rwanda, Macedonia, Ethiopia, etc.

In Rwanda, Interpeace undertook initiatives to contribute to the societal healing and national recovery efforts after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that severely damaged the social fabric. Since 2015, Interpeace’s programmes in Rwanda have focused on strengthening local civil society organizations, fostering participatory governance and promoting dialogues for societal healing and enhancing collaborative livelihood initiatives. These initiatives created safe spaces within the communities to openly discuss sensitive topics, identify community-driven solutions, and contribute to the journey of rebuilding trust and envisioning a shared future among genocide survivors and genocide perpetrators on the one hand; as well as their respective descendants on the other. Interpeace programmes have also supported processes of strengthening people’s trust in local authorities for inclusive decision-making.

Currently, Interpeace and its partners in Rwanda is implementing a holistic programme, “Reinforcing Community Capacity for Social Cohesion through Societal Trauma Healing in Rwanda” in 5 districts namely, Musanze, Ngoma, Nyabihu, Nyagatare and Nyamagabe. The programme aims at simultaneously providing decentralized mental health and psychosocial support, while promoting social cohesion and stimulating socioeconomic resilience through collaborative livelihood initiatives. This effort addresses Rwanda’s lingering mental health challenges stemming from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, while strengthening social cohesion and resilience against potential disruption caused by the release of thousands of hard-core genocide prisoners whose prison terms are coming to an end between 2020-2028. Their return to society could exacerbate anxiety levels among the population, particularly among genocide survivors, and negatively affect the gains so far made in reconciliation and social cohesion efforts. Interpeace’s local partners in Rwanda include government institutions such as the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement (MINUBUMWE), the Ministry of Health and Rwanda Correctional Service. Activities at the community level are implemented in partnership with local Civil Society Organizations including Prison Fellowship Rwanda; Dignity in Detention Organization and HAGURUKA among others. Interpeace also is a member of a peacebuilders’ collaboration platform called ‘’Rwanda Peace Partnership’’, whose other members are Never Again Rwanda and Aegis Trust.

Interpeace Rwanda programme will partner with the International Association for the Promotion and Dissemination of Research on Resilience (Resilio) in organizing the 6th World Congress on Resilience

The second day of this Congress (8th June 2023) will be dedicated to Interpeace and its partners’ peacebuilding journey for the past 30 years, emphasizing mainly on their contributions to Rwanda’s societal healing, participatory governance, and socio-economic recovery journey. As the Congress comes exactly after a generation of Interpeace’s existence and Rwanda’s post-genocide reconstruction process, voices of young people born within those past 30 years will be given prominence, in a form of an ‘’inter-generational Peace Talk’’ with elder members of society; followed by forward-looking presentations by Interpeace, at least one of its government partner institutions as well as Rwanda Peace Partnership member organisations (Never Again Rwanda & Aegis Trust).

What to expect from Interpeace and its partners’ Day in the 6th World Congress:

  • Brief insights on organizational practices and approaches for peacebuilding across the world.
  • Specific approaches to enhancing resilience and societal healing in Rwanda.
  • Intergenerational dialogue on the perspectives on the past thirty years post-genocide against the Tutsi; and the actions and mindset required to sustain peace and community resilience in Rwanda over the next generation (30 years).

[2] “MHPSS Rwanda.” Interpeace, 2 Mar. 2023, www.interpeace.org/mhpss-rwanda/#about