My album, by Chaste Uwihoreye, Jean Marie Zivugukuri and Emmanuel Kigundu

Chaste Uwihoreye is a Rwandan clinical psychologist. He holds a PhD in psychotherapy and has 20 years’ experience of clinical practice in Rwanda. He is country director of Uyisenga Ni Imanzi, a child and youth–focused organisation; honorary lecturer at University of Rwanda, college of Medicine and Health sciences, clinical psychology department; clinical fellow at The University of Melbourne; and clinical supervisor and mentor of students of the Master of Clinical Psychology at Lund University, Sweden. Chaste has a particular commitment to decolonising healing practices and promoting solidarity and cohesion using culturally based arts. Chaste has conducted researche and initiated mental health rehabilitation and healing models targeting survivors of genocide, young girls who have been victims of violence, young people addicted to drugs, adolescents and children in conflict with the law as well ex-combattants and children from armed groups. uwichaste@yahoo.fr

Jean Marie Zivugukuri is clinical psychologist and programs manager at Uyisenga ni Imanzi in Rwanda. Jean Marie is a graduate of the postgraduate training program in narrative therapy and community work at the University of Rwanda (delivered in collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda and Dulwich Centre) and is currently a master’s student at The University of Melbourne, Australia. jzivugukuri@gmail.com

Emmanuel Kigundu is a Rwandan clinical psychologist with three years’ experience in clinical practice. Emmanuel a graduate of the postgraduate training program in narrative therapy and community work at the University of Rwanda (delivered in collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda and Dulwich Centre) and is currently a master’s student at The University of Melbourne, Australia. emmanuelkigundu01@gmail.com

My Album is a poignant collection of artworks by children and adolescents engaged in “Mobile Arts for Peace” (MAP) clubs across multiple schools in Rwanda. The artworks vividly portray painful pasts, current challenges, and aspirations for the future. The vibrant tapestry of colours, symbols, and metaphors encapsulates the resilience and courage of these young people.

Art can be an expressive and transformative medium through which young people can articulate their thoughts, emotions and experiences. This not only facilitates self-expression but also plays a crucial role in promoting mental health and wellness. Metaphoric expression through visual art can be particularly effective for externalizing problems. The sharing of artworks creates collaborative environment that encourages empathy and support among peers, creating a network of shared experiences.

Since its initiation in 2020, teachers and students from 45 schools in Rubavu, Huye, Kigali City, Gicumbi and Rwamagana have been trained to establish healing clubs. Ten of these MAP clubs have received grant funding to change community and school mindsets about mental health. An additional eight schools have been selected to work with girls to use imigongo (a traditional Rwandan artform) to express out their past, connect themselves to the present and envisage the future. Research and evaluation has been carried out in partnership with University of Brighton, Lincoln University and Janaki Women Awareness Society.

Key words: art; externalising; children; youth; young people; adolescents; Rwanda; narrative practice


Uwihoreye, C., Zivugukuri, J. M., & Kigundu, E. (2024). My album. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (1), https://doi.org/10.4320/NKYA5444


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