The relationship between Narrative Therapy and Rwanda dates way back to 2007 when the Dulwich Centre team was first invited in Rwanda to give a training to the Ibuka counsellors, who were supporting the survivors of genocide against the Tutsi. In 2018, a formal course was started through a partnership between Dulwich Centre and SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda with 14 people participating. The following year saw the course expanding to have participants across the African region with 31 participants from 11 African Countries.

Running the course in 2021

This year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 20 participants were able to enroll into the course from Rwanda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Somalia and Ethiopia. Participants work with vulnerable groups such as children, women who have survived abuse, young people, and other community groups experiencing hardships. Participants join the course seeking to influence and contribute to their communities. This is visible through their rigorous engagement with the readings and course discussions. In between the two in-person teaching blocks, participants engage with readings collectively and share experience and culture through virtual platforms such as a book club.

Intensive teaching blocks

Participants find the week-long in-person teaching intensives to be the most fun and profound engagement with the tutors and with narrative ideas. Participants and the teaching team stay together, and they interact with the ideas in different ways beyond classroom settings.

Real-life exercises and collective reflection give participants a strong understanding of narrative practice and ways of engaging with questions. 

Group participants in a team-building exercise
Participants engaging in a speed-dating activity
Group practicing outside witnessing exercise

Definitional ceremonies

At the end of the course when the participants have finished presenting their draft innovative projects, the group collectively celebrates their achievements and journey taken. A cake was cut to mark the 2021 course participants’ graduation.

Building connections & learning beyond the classroom

As has been the culture for all the narrative therapy courses, dancing and singing infuse both the teachings and the evenings around the fire pit as people from each country share songs and dances to their traditional music.

Apply for the 2022 Rwanda Course

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Participants dancing Traditional Dance during the Graduation Ceremony