Community Based Sociotherapy Conference 2022

Beyond trauma: Intergenerational healing and peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region

Community Based Sociotherapy Rwanda (CBS Rwanda), in collaboration with its partners, organizes the Community Based Sociotherapy Conference 2022 entitled: “Beyond trauma: Intergenerational healing and peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region.” The three-day conference will take place from 6 to 8 December 2022 at Serena Hotel, Kigali, and is financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Rwanda (EKN) and the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC).

The objective of the conference is to exchange knowledge and experiences on themes related to the intergenerational legacies of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and other types of mass violence in the Great Lakes Region; the reintegration of ex-prisoners and ex-combatants who took part in collective violence; and localizing research. A cross-cutting theme of the conference is the linkage between mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and Peacebuilding (PB), which will be embedded in recent insights of trauma research. The conference will bring together 150 representatives from governmental institutions, international and national non-governmental organizations, and scientific institutions.

As part of the conference the outcomes of the Mvura Nkuvure: Intergenerational healing and community reconciliation for sustainable peace” project, which is implemented by CBS Rwanda in partnership with the Anglican Church of Rwanda Byumba Diocese (EAR-D/Byumba), Duhumurizanye Iwacu Rwanda (DIR) and Prison Fellowship Rwanda (PFR), will be presented, in addition to experiences from the “Impacting Hearts, Heads and Hands” project, implemented by African Restoring Bridge Initiative (ARBI) and Paix et Développement Durable (PDD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and CBS Rwanda and the VU Amsteram.

Conference main themes

Linkages between MHPSS and peacebuilding and the example of Community Based Sociotherapy.

Recent insights of trauma research.

Intergenerational legacies of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and other types of mass violence in the Great Lakes Region.

Psychosocial rehabilitation and reintegration of former genocidaire prisoners and ex-combatants into their family and community.

Localizing research: Conceptualization and operationalization.

Programme of the conference


08:00-09:00Arrival and Registration of participantsProtocol
09:00-09:10Welcome note from CBS
and partner organizations
Chair of CBS –
Onesphore Rwaje
09:10-09:30Speeches by Guests of HonourHis Excellency
Ambassador of the
of the Netherlands

Minister of
09:30-09:40Cultural entertainmentInganzo ngari
Keynote address – Recent insights on healing trauma
09:40-10:00Personal experiences of forgiveness and resilience after traumaJean Nepo Sibomana
10:00-11:00Getting trapped in the history:
What happens in the brain & body & how can we help people to go on
Prof. Bessel van der Kolk
11:00 – 11:05Group photoConference Participants
11:05 – 11:30Tea break
Linkages between MHPSS and peacebuilding: An international, regional, and local perspective
11.30 – 11.45Cultural entertainmentInganzo ngari
11:45 – 12:15Deepening Transitional Justice processes by linking
the local, the regional and the global – Beyond the rhetoric
Webster Zambara
12:15 – 12:45Connecting MHPSS and Peacebuilding
from an intergenerational perspective
Annemiek Richters
12:45 – 13:15Reflections and Q&APresenters and
Community-based approaches to MHPSS and Peacebuilding
14:15 – 14.45Rethinking Mental Health: Culturally specific and decolonial approaches to healing in Rwanda and the importance of ‘home grown’ community solutions.Dr. Jean Pierre Ndagijimana
14.45-15:20Community-based sociotherapy as an approach to healing and peacebuildingLucie Nzaramba
Jina Bachunguye
15:20 – 16:00Panel: Experiences in community healing and peacebuilding from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Eastern Congo Theophile Sewimfura,
Amani Safari,
Felix Bigabo
Prof.Dr. Grace Akello,
Rickie-Nelly Ndagano

Led by Reverien Interayamahanga
16.00 – 16:30DocumentaryCBS, EAR, DIR, PFR
16.30– 16.45Reflections and Q&APresenters and
conference participants
16:45 – 17:00 Closure of the dayChair of PFR –
Bishop John Rucyahana
17:00 – 19:00Cocktail reception

Cultural entertainment – Inganzo Ngari


8.30-9.00Arrival and registration of participants
Long term effects of intergenerational legacies of collective violence: A theoretical and empirical perspective
9:00–10:30 Trauma community and the caregiving system Prof. Bessel van der Kolk
10:30–11:15Cultural performance: Royalty meets the panic of memoriesFrank Mugisha
Michael Rhebergen
11:15–11:45 Tea break
11:45–12:15Empirical findings on intergenerational legacies of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in the context of sociotherapy Dr. Chantal Ingabire
12:15–12:45Intergenerational transmission of memories in the context of Burundi: The need for psychosocial support Rickie-Nelly Ndagano
12:45–13:15Reflections and Q&APresenters and
conference participants
Panel discussion
14:15– 14:45Panel introductory presentation:
The transgenerational transmission of epigenomic impact
of genocide exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women survivors
of the Rwandan genocide and their offspring
Prof. Leon Mutesa
14:45– 15:30Panel discussion:
Intergenerational transmission of trauma and violence:
Relevant insights and future perspectives
Prof. Clementine Kanazayire
Prof. Leon Mutesa
Prof. Bessel van der Kolk
Dr. Aggee Shyaka Mugabe
Marianne Vysma

Led by Prof Rutembesa
Localizing research: Conceptualization and operationalization
15:30– 16:00Bottom-up community indicators: Its rational and methodological process Emmanuel Nzabonimpa,
Angela Jansen
16:00– 16:30Contribution of the sociotherapy program to Social Dignity: A Randomized Control TrialProf. Stefan Jansen
16:00 – 16:45Reflections and Q&APresenters and
conference participants
16:45 – 17:00ClosureChair EAR –
Bishop Emmanuel


08:30-09.00Arrival and registration
Reintegration of ex-prisoners and ex-combatants: From theory to evidence-based perspectives
09.00-09.30Psychosocial reintegration and rehabilitation of prisoners: Global and local perspectivesTheoneste Rutayisire
09.30-10:00Forgiveness in the context of prisoner reintegration Emmanuel Sarabwe
10:00 – 10:30Stigma and guilt among the children of amnestied ex-combatants in Northern UgandaProf. Grace Akello
10:30 – 11:00 Tea break
11:00 – 11:30Protracted social conflict in DRC and the role of communities in building peace Dr. Aembe Bwimana
11:30 – 12.00Q&APresenters and
conference participants
12:00 – 13:00 Body work session: Befriending your inner experienceLicia Sky
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break
Panel: From research to policy making
14:00 – 14:20Panel introductory presentation:
Voices of the post-genocide generation: challenges and lessons learned
Diogene Karangwa
14:20– 14:40Panel introductory presentation:
Assessment of psychosocial reintegration of genocide prisoners in Rwanda:
best practices and barriers
Dr. Peter Kalimba
14:40– 15:20Panel discussion:
Intergenerational legacies of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and reintegration of ex-prisoners: From research to policy making
Dr. Peter Kalimba

Led by Sandra Shenge
15:20– 15:30Spoken word performance Esther Uwizeyimana Muhozi
Closing session
15:30 – 16:30Conference closing reflectionsProf. Bessel van der Kolk
16.30 – 16:45Final round of questions and remarksConference participants
16.45 – 17.00Closure and DepartureMinistry of Health


Bessel van der kolk

Prof. Bessel van der Kolk

Webster Zambara

Dr. Webster Zambara

Dr. Jean Pierre Ndagijimana

Dr. Jean Pierre Ndagijimana

Prof.Dr. Grace Akello

Prof.dr. Grace Akello

Lucie Nzaramba

Annemiek Richters

Prof. Annemiek Richters

JINA Bachunguye Benin

Jina Bachunguye

Théophile Sewimfura

Theophile Sewimfura

Felix Bigabo

Felix Bigabo

Rickie-Nelly Ndagano

Rickie-Nelly Ndagano

Dr. Chantal Ingabire

Prof. Leon Mutesa

Prof. Leon Mutesa

Kanazayire Clémentine 

Prof. Clementine Kanazayire

Dr Aggée Shyaka Mugabe

Dr. Aggee Shyaka Mugabe

Emmanuel Nzabonimpa

Angela Jansen

Angela Jansen

Stefan Jansen

Prof. Stefan Jansen

Jean Nepo Sibomana

Jean Nepo Sibomana

Theoneste Rutayisire

Dr. Theoneste Rutayisire

Licia Sky

Licia Sky

Dr. Peter Kalimba

Dr. Peter Kalimba

Emmanuel Sarabwe

Diogene Karangwa

Diogene Karangwa

Marianne Vysma

Marianne Vysma