Dr. Minami’s Pilot Study

To test his newly developed ABPRA, Dr. Minami traveled to Rwanda, a country still in its recovery from the Genocide of the 1994.

  • staff of Prison Fellowship Rwanda
    Dr. Minami & staff of Prison Fellowship Rwanda
Dr. Minami lived in Rwanda for one year to build the trust of goverment leaders and community elders resulting in a joint project called Prision Fellowship Rwanda – Morita Center for Peace and Reconciliation Research (PFR-MCPRR)

Dr. Minami carried out the APBRA Pilot Study with 8 pairs (16 people) from two remote villages namely Mbyo and Rweru in Rwanda. The ABPRA Pilot Study was very successful. So successful that after the pilot study was complete the village elders wanted to continue using ABPRA village-wide as part of ongoing reconciliation activities. Dr. Minami worked with the village elders to develop a protocol to make ABPRA available to all the other villagers. ABPRA is still being used in Mbyo today.

Dr. Minami's doctoral dissertation

Dr. Minami’s doctoral dissertation

The data gathered during the the ABPRA Pilot Study was studied over the next 2 years and became the basis of Dr. Minami’s doctoral dissertation. Masa’s full doctoral dissertation, is available at UBC’s cIRcle website for download.

Cover of Therapy Today Sept 2014 issue

Therapy Today, Professional Journal

The results of the ABPRA pilot study were also published in September 2014 issue of “Therapy Today” an academic journal published by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. Visit this link for a fun quick read on his work.

Dr. Minami’s pilot study and the wealth of data collected from the genocide survivors and perpetrators who participated in the ABPRA Pilot Study, provide the scientific bases for the Globe In Peace project.

Next Step

The Globe In Peace project aims to implement and test the effectiveness of the ABPRA in a larger scale study involving more than 1000 participants. This means that we will be able to hear 1000 more stories of reconciliation and peace building. If the scientific investigation is to prove that ABPRA is indeed effective, we could potentially have the world’s first ‘evidence-based’ inter-personal and inter-group reconciliation and peace-building strategy.

Dr. Minami’s Personal Experience working with the Villagers:

In order to implement the ABPRA in two rural villages of Rwanda, I brought myself to live there for one year to prepare everything from scratch. During the first 10 months, numerous trips to Rwandan villages were made along with joy and honor of meeting with and interacting with hundreds of Rwandese living resiliently in today’s Rwanda. Throughout my stay, I was a student to learn about the process of psychological reconciliation, unity, forgiveness, and peace. I was a person who was eager to learn about how people of Rwanda are living together with their past scars today. After the first eight months, I fortunately encountered villagers of Mbyo and Rweru with the assistance of the Prison Fellowship Rwanda.

Both I and the villagers of Mbyo and Rweru were aware that I was visiting them to implement the ABPRA and to conduct my research. However, the villagers did not welcome me into their community as ‘a researcher.’ They accepted me as ‘Masa’ throughout the course of this research. Their gesture was kind and humane and the posture of being ‘Masa’ in the villages remained during the stay in the villages. I also told villagers that ‘Masa’ is a ‘student’ who seeks to learn from them, the ‘teachers’ of reconciliation. Throughout the course of this research, I also accepted and addressed all of the participants as ‘teachers,’ which is written in Kinyarwanda, ‘umwarimu.’ I addressed each of my participant with their first name accompanied by ‘umwarimu,’ such as ‘umwarimu, Cecile (pseudonym used).’ In turn, my ‘teachers’ accepted and addressed me as their ‘student Masa,’ in Kinyarwanda, umunyeshuri Masa.’