The Women’s Peace and Recovery Project seeks to contribute to the recovery of peace and health in Burundi by reinforcing women’s process of personal and community trauma healing, enhancing their economic independence, and improving their access to physical and mental healthcare. Overall the skills and techniques learned from the AFSC project, which is funded in part through a grant from Australian Aid, aim to facilitate the management of debilitating mental pain, improve family relationships, women’s day-to-day functioning, and increase work capacity.

Community Peace and Health Workers

Community Peace and Health Workers attend a two week training to help to equip themselves to educate the community about trauma, HIV/AIDS, TB, nutrition, sexual violence, and other community health issues that impact women’s vulnerability in the post-conflict environment

After their training these women will be involved in teaching vital information about HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections such as: modes of transmission and prevention; different treatments and side effects of drugs; diseases’ impact on communities; how to deal with stigmatization and discrimination; how to educate communities about illnesses, and how to provide accompaniment to members of the community.

They also provide counseling to members of the community by developing ‘deep’ listening skills. These listening skills enable self-expression, and encourage dialogue in basic trauma healing workshops within communities.

Income generation

Unfortunately lack of resources is often a problem for women who have been victims of violence. The Women’s Peace and Recovery Program therefore has a part of its focus on creating more successful ways for women to be able to support themselves

This also gives the opportunity for women who have been on various sides of violent conflict to continue to meet and work together. There formed women’s group receive technical guidance and accompaniment in the planning, selection, and management of the group income-generation projects.

Each group produces a well-reasoned business plan which incorporates market analysis, context feasibility, and environmental implications. Support groups are formed and there is incentive to stay in contact and work with one another across differences.

Read testimonies of Cecile, a participant in the program.