Commemorating the Rwandan genocide

Rwanda marked the 22nd commemoration of the 1994 genocide yesterday. The country has come a long way and, today, is regularly lauded as a major development success story.

Some impressions from Rwanda:

  • Feel safe and secure walking the streets of its modern, green capital
  • A place where zero tolerance for corruption really means zero tolerance
  • One of the most gender-progressive parliaments in the world
  • Globally admired for its achievements in healthcare and education
  • Just a stone’s throw away from world-class tourism activities like tracking endangered mountain gorillas

What the annual commemoration period in particular also shows, however, is that the field of mental health continues to be underserved. In particular, providing adequate counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder following the events of 1994 is a considerable challenge to the existing capacity in the country.

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A key intervention is the development of community-based mental health care. Since last summer, Rwandan institutions are embracing the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program of NBCC-I, the international division of the National Board for Certified Counselors based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Led by NBCC-I master trainers, GEI delegations of mental health professionals and graduate students from around the world learn and teach together with Rwandan colleagues in a train-the-trainer model. NBCC-I provides continuing education (CE) hours as well as a certificate of completion.

This year, we will again host two such delegations in Rwanda, and we now invite interested professionals and graduate students to apply. The dates are July 2-10 and November 5-13. Further information is available at the program page.

 


Further mental health opportunities in Rwanda this year: