Learning from Survivors

The people who survived the arbritrary, brutal and barbaric attacks more than 20 years ago have rebuilt their lives, all be it after a very difficult journey. What can we learn from them about overcoming adversity? What does it really mean for them to forgive their perpetrators?

Louise Uwamungu

Louise, ABPRA Pilot Study participant

Forgiveness is the feeling in a person that s/he has freely and passionately or by saying I forget it, I loose it, and I abandon it.Louise


Lawurencia, ABPRA Pilot Study participant

Forgiveness is a love. Normally, if you love someone and then he comes to you to apologize for his offence and recognize that he offended you, that means he seeks love from you so that you forget all happened and develop love between you. It is to say I have offended you and I beg a pardon, forgive me, and you forget all those things you were thinking about and you say I forgive you from your heart without anyone’s pressure. So, when you say I forgive you, you also forget all those happened and you don’t have any other problem with him.Lawurencia


Lawurencia, ABPRA Pilot Study participant

Forgiveness is soothing and good, because when you grant it to someone, you remain as a person who feels good in your heart because you stay with no judgments in your heart. When you grant forgiveness to someone, you don’t count judgment on him/her because he has forgiven him/her already. You have removed all allegations and burdens on him/her. S/he feels cleaned and free because there are no longer accusations against him/her. It is good to grant forgiveness to someone who wants it. That helps both of you to feel free in your heart.Lawurencia

Learning from Ex-Prisoners

The people who once murdered other human being, serviced their terms in prison, and returned to their home village. They are now sharing the very land they had once destroyed with people whom they once attempted murdering. What does it really mean to be forgiven by their surviving victims? How could they come to terms with their guilt, remorse, and shame?


Mathabaro, ABPRA Pilot Study participant

The word forgiveness as an offender, it is the truth from your heart of asking forgiveness, and it is the truth that comes from the heart of the one who forgives you. So her/his heart truly forgives you.Mathabaro


Thasiani, ABPRA Pilot Study participant

Forgiveness is a mercy which comes from someone’s heart. Normally if someone forgives you the sin you committed against her, you feel very happy and you feel the love for her as she forgave you.Thasiani


Fredelic, ABPRA Pilot Study participant

The word forgiveness in Kinyarwanda means that if you offended someone and you come to confess and say “forgive me because I offended you.” If you analyze the world forgiveness, there are many things involved. Because if you offended someone and you come to apologize, if s/he doesn’t grant forgiveness to you, you call friends and you sit down together like this in what we call “Gacaca.” Then they help him/her to understand that what you did, you did it intentionally, that s/he needs to forgive you. That is what forgiveness means.Fredelic