Though the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi occurred over 25 years ago, many of our staff - and people across the country - are still experiencing pain and trauma as a result of the events that took place. At Handspun Hope, we believe in caring for the whole person, which is why we’ve provided group and individual counseling services since 2012. Since October 10th is World Mental Health Day, we wanted to share a bit about the services and support we offer to our staff, their families and communities.
Led by head counselor Olive Muhawenimana and her assistant Marie Claire Umurewa, Handspun Hope’s counseling program plays an imperative role in our work.
Many of the women at Handspun Hope have experienced trauma as a result of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the provision of counseling services plays a critical role in our holistic care model.
In 2013, after realizing many Rwandan community leaders were interested in providing trauma counseling to their own communities, Handspun Hope offered it’s first Lay Counselor Training Program. The free, ten-week course taught pastors, community leaders and teachers how to provide comprehensive trauma care to individuals in their communities.
We quickly realized the opportunity we had to extend our counseling program to offer healing to others outside of the Handspun Hope family. To date, over 200 community leaders have completed the Lay Counselor Training program and are offering care and healing services to members of their communities so they may see holistic transformation.
Today, on World Mental Health Day, we are grateful for our counseling staff who invest in the futures of the women we employ and the leaders investing in their communities. Looking ahead, we are excited to continue providing critical counseling services, trainings and resources with the hopes of seeing a ripple effect of mental health care advocacy throughout the rest of the country!