Working with groups, building communities and raising heads above the clouds

This chapter includes uplifting stories of narrative community work projects from Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa. It begins with the work of Caleb Wakhungu and the Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project which has inspired practitioners in many different contexts in the ways that it combines narrative practice with social-economic and environmental projects.

We have included here a keynote video presentation from Caleb Wakhungu:

Working with groups of women

A number of practitioners have developed ways of working with women in groups. This includes Colette Kayisengerwa from Rwanda who has been using narrative practices to collect stories, skills and knowledge of women whose husbands have died. This project includes a list of narrative-informed questions for women to reflect on their experiences of grief and loss, and a heartfelt response to these by Rwandan women. Here is a video of Collette presenting in English, followed by an audio clip in Kinyarwandan.

Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo in South Africa has also developed forms of narrative practice with groups of women facing many hardships and injustices. In the following video she describes her COURRAGE Methodology:

Ncazelo and her organisation Phola are also involved in projects seeking to prevent men’s violence. In the following video she describes the OUTRAGED methodology:

Collective responses to mental health stigma

We close this chapter in relation to collective responses to mental health stigma. OPROMAMER is an organisation of former psychiatric patients in Rwanda founded by Claver Haragirimana and Veneranda Ufitwenaryo.

We have included here an interview and audio note with Claver Haragirimana; a paper and audio note by Joseph Kalisa describing his narrative practice collaborations with OPROMAMER and a video of theatrical honouring of OPROMAMER’s work that took place at the International Conference in Kigali.

These interviews were published in Land of a Thousand Stories: Rwandan narrative therapy and community work — edited by Joseph Kalisa, Beata Mukarusanga and Serge Nyirinkwaya

Solidarity and friendship: An interview with Claver Haragirimana

Claver Haragirima is one of the founders of OPROMAMER, a influential peer mental health organisation in Rwanda. In this interview, Claver speaks of the history of the organisation and the significance of solidarity and friendship.

You can read the interview here. Or listen to the Kinyarwandan audio below:

Collective responses to mental health stigma: Sharing lived wisdom by Joseph Kalisa

Collective responses are required when collective communities face significant hardships. In this paper, Joseph Kalisa describes his collaborations with OPROMAMER and ways in which lived wisdom is shared between members.

You can read the interview here. Or listen to the Kinyarwandan audio below:

OPROMAMER versus STIGMA: Honouring OPROMAMER through the metaphor of football

During the conference in Rwanda a keynote address told the story of OPROMAMER and its extraordinary achievements through the metaphor of a football match, with commentary in Kinyarwandan and English. The OPROMAMER team were up against a Brazilian team representing STIGMA. This is an adaptation of the Team of Life approach.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments