Network for Africa

Counselling young survivors of Rwanda’s genocide

The project will train 24 young genocide survivors to be lay counsellors so they can provide counselling to 250 genocide orphans, in group and one-to-one counselling sessions. This will reduce the survivors’ anxiety so they can take up income generating opportunities to alleviate their poverty.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 1 December 2020 to 12:00 PM, 8 December 2020

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1120932)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target


Amount raised




Championed by Human Rights Fund


  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • General Public/HumankindGeneral Public/Humankind
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther




While the 1994 Rwandan genocide is well known, less understood is the conflict’s lingering impact on survivors’ mental health & therefore their ability to lead normal lives & support themselves. Many orphans had to raise their siblings, some are single mothers & others have been cheated out of their inherited property by distant relatives & strangers. Since Rwandan mental health services are woefully under-resourced, many face lasting trauma, anxiety or depression. Most are living in poverty.


We will train 24 lay counsellors in trauma counselling. They will be embedded in their communities and will run group counselling for beneficiaries. These sessions will raise awareness of PTSD and reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. Lay counsellors will also identify people who need more help and refer them to the project counsellors. Relieving the survivors’ anxiety and depression and offering support will equip them with the confidence to return to work and alleviate their poverty.

  • 'For many years I felt useless in the community I did not want to talk to anyone, but my life has changed after attending counselling sessions - I feel that there are some good people out there who are interested in changing my life, am now feeling loved and excepted, thank you'

    — JD lost his family during genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda and survived with his brother

  • 'After the genocide I was not able to think about my life, I felt useless in this world, and I was praying to God to take my life. I was surprised to see people taking care of my needs thoughts acts of visiting me and giving me a light. I am so happy to see people who care about me.'

    — M.N is a female genocide survivor who lost three children and her husband during the genocide