People carrying psychological wounds are brought together in peace circles where their wounded memories are transformed through sharing and deep healing work. These peace circles include all people affected, i.e., orphans, executioners, and survivors.
For decades, politico-ethnic conflicts have torn communities apart, causing numerous 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?
Opposing community leaders learn to appreciate their shared history and view the story from the standpoint of the other side to create a new narrative.