Cows for Peace - Rwanda

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A success Story
Chantale had not been to her village since 1994. She had lost her husband and many of her family there and did not dare to return.
John, her neighbour, was the one who had killed some of them, and he returned from prison recently.
They did not want to meet each other, but through the work of CARSA were brought back together. John was so ashamed of what he had done. Chantale did not want to forgive.
After various meetings and a workshop in their village, the impossible happened!
Chantale forgave John and they were reconciled!!
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Ethnicity and Colonialism
The seeds of division were sewn in Rwanda, when the Belgium authorities distinguished between the different ethnic groups in order to strengthen their own position (divide & conquer was the normal way the colonials ruled). The amount of cattle that people owned was the criteria used to distinguish people’s ethnic group. Finally this division, and the systematically sewing of hatred, led to the genocide in 1994 when 800.000 people were killed in 3 months.

Our project ‘Cows 4 peace’
The gift of a cow brings two families (victim/perpetrator) back together. The highest honour that can befall a person in Rwanda is to be given a cow. This gift has all the more significance because it turns back the wrong done by the coloniser. Reconciliation and integration are the results of our project, a brighter future, and escape from the painful cycle of poverty.
There is hope for them!

How to proceed?
John and Chantale were together given a cow. They are working out their reconciliation. The cow is giving them income and food (milk) and helps to fertilise their vegetable garden, so this will yield a greater harvest. When the cow gives birth to a calf, then Chantale will give John the calf.
Just like this couple, there are another 50 couples we have helped. Seven of the cows now have calves and the families of these cows have milk.

The Result
By applying this method of reconciliation, people are able to work together again and escape the poverty cycle. A sustainable and peaceful society are the result. The manure of the animals help to bring a greater yield to the crops and fight back hunger and poverty.

The government of Rwanda has devised a plan for each family to have a cow. Through this project we help them realise their goal.


Good news! The project is doing well!

CARSA, our partner in Rwanda were able to give 50 cows to victims and perpetrators in the Kamonyi district in. It is having a huge impact in the lives of people there, because it helps them to deal with the trauma of the past, and victims and offenders become reconciled to each other. As a result, these people are now able to integrate with the people in their village. They are helping each other and are a peace driven force in the village, helping to resolve claims that go back to 1994 and before.

Training/Workshop

Healing of trauma is a prerequisite for durable peace in Rwanda.
CARSA's three day workshops are effective in bringing healing and reconciliation.
They do this by bringing genocide survivors together with perpetrators who have been recently released from prison.

We are working on a DVD to help promote reconciliation. The DVD will contain some of the content of the workshops and help promote reconciliation on a wider scale. For this DVD we still require funds.

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Workshop topics are:

1. What is the root of the problem:
- prejudice against other tribes
- ethnic diversity - a blessing or a curse?
2. Healing our wounds:
- trauma and bereavement
- Jesus the pain bearer: taking your pain to the cross
3. Moving towards reconciliation:
- Forgiveness and repentance
- Dealing with anger
- Prayer of intercession
- Pronouncing a blessing on each other
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CARSA
(Christian Action for Reconciliation and Social Assistance) is our partner in Rwanda and has been doing reconciliation work in Rwanda for 7 years.

Christophe, Sylvester and their wives Diana and Natasha are all university graduates who make up the CARSA team.
They travel all over the country and to Congo to do this work and endeavour to reconcile older as well as young people, since these will be the leaders of the next generation.

They have implementing the Cows for Peace project and are now training the cell groups - those who have gone through the reconciliation workshops.
We would appreciate your help to fund the filming and making of the Reconciliation DVD. We intend to make this DVD available on a wide scale in Rwanda and other war torn nations.

Please click here for our bank account details
Please state that your contribution is for the Reconciliation DVD or the Chickens for Peace or the Cows for Peace project.