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Restoration justice

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The Restoration Justice program aims at helping all groups affected by the Genocide against Tutsis to heal and repair. This is done through:

  • Helping genocide offenders to enhance their sense of responsibility and commitment to repair, to the possible extent, the harms done to the lives of victims/survivors.
  • Assisting genocide offenders in carrying out their obligations to redress the wrongs they committed in a lasting way.
  • Seeking to facilitate dialogue between the offender and the victim/survivor.
  • Setting up a good example of reconciliation for the Rwandan community.

A great majority of the seminar participants were either those who had been sentenced to compulsory Community Service as an alternative penalty to imprisonment or those who were expecting similar sentences from community-based courts called gacaca. After going through the seminars, they became highly motivated to take part in Community Service which was directly beneficial to genocide survivors and other vulnerable members of their home communities.

The local religious leaders who participated in the seminars as well as leaders of local genocide survivors expressed their full support to such community Service programs which they considered vital for the reintegration of genocide offenders and community reconciliation.

So far, 41 houses have been built by offenders (released prisoners) for victim’s families, following REACH’s rehabilitation programme. This had led to personal and public confession and forgiveness by offender and victims. Some people have joined this group on behalf of their families who committed the crime, because either those are still in prison or have died. Two genocide survivors also were happy to join these ex-prisoners in this work because they felt that doing it together would strengthen their unity and reconciliation.

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