PFR is continuing its work in community reintegration of ex-combatants in the Musanze district, Kimonyi sector, in a training program that lasted from February 4th to 8th, 2010. These ex-combatants were formerly associated with FDLR militias in Democratic Republic of Congo and mobilized soldiers from Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF).
Most of these ex-combatants have no education or vocational skills to start a new life for themselves and in the past were mainly exposed to ideas of hatred and genocide ideology. In order to create peaceful communities of reconciliation, PFR conducted a community training on creating business cooperatives, income generating activities, and loan reimbursement.
The training was offered to 60 ex-combatants and 15 ex-prisoners and genocide survivors. As the 60 ex-combatants were new to the community, 60 goats were distributed to get them started on their own income generating projects. While the primary purpose was to equip the participants with necessary skills to develop sustainable livelihood, the overarching goal was to bring together people from different backgrounds to learn how to work together peacefully and develop meaningful and reconciled relationships. Following the training, four cooperatives were formed comprising 75 members.
PFR Executive Director giving out goats to beneficaries in Kimonyi sector
Meet Jean Bosco is a former FDLR soldier. He is 43 years old, and is married with four children. Jean Bosco returned to Rwanda with sorrowful heart and ready to start anew in 2000 after living the life of a rebel in the forest of the DRC for six years.
After he returned to his community and family, he did not have any life skills to help him start a his owm personal business to support his new way of life. But the PFR reintegration program helped him to plan for a new beginning.
‘I gained skills to start and manage a cooperative. Most importantly I was taught about how I should live in peace with everyone in the community for the common good.’