By Felibien Hirwa Tuzayisenga
Community Based Sociotherapy (CBS Rwanda) participated in the 2022 Nyabihu Open Day. This was an opportunity for CBS Rwanda as one of the district development partners, to meet and interact with various stakeholders. The Open Day is organized on annual basis by Nyabihu district to allow members of the District Join Action Development Forum (JADF) to present their activities and results. It also allows members of the public to visit organizations to which they usually do not have access.
Nicolas Habarugira, the Tujyane Project Coordinator, represented CBS Rwanda during the 2022 Nyabihu Open Day. He said that for CBS Rwanda, the open day means a lot. It is an opportunity to present to a large audience the project activities and goals. It is also a platform where partners learn from each other’s experience. “The Open Day is a networking event and an occasion to increase our visibility”, Habarugira explained.
During the event, CBS Rwanda was hosted live at Radio Energy and discussed how CBS Rwanda contributes to the development agenda of Nyabihu district. “A holistic development should not exclude the issue of mental health, social cohesion and reconciliation.” Habarugira said during the interview.
In the Tujyane project, CBS Rwanda is focusing on the reintegration of ex-prisoners and working on addressing the intergenerational legacies of genocide by using an integrated psychosocial and peacebuilding approach. Several CBS stand visitors indicated that the need for mental health and psychosocial support in Nyabihu district is still high, considering the issues that people have to deal with.
Habarugira added that there is a journalist who visited the CBS Rwanda stand who asserted that there is a need to focus on people’s mental health to ensure that the achieved development by the Government of Rwanda and other stakeholders is sustainable.
In concluding our interview with Habarugira, he revealed that participating in the Open Day has helped him to realize that there are not many psychosocial interventions in the district though the demand proves to be high. He recommended that CBS Rwanda should continue and expand the project activities for the sake of the psychosocial wellbeing of many people.
So far, CBS Rwanda has implemented the community-based sociotherapy (Mvura Nkuvure) as part of the Tujyane project in only three sectors out of the 12 of Nyabihu district. More than 100 Mvura Nkuvure groups were created and around 1,500 community members attended Mvura Nkuvure since 2020 under the Tujyane project funded by the European Union.