Dorine is a participant in the Women's Peace and Recovery Program. She was a part of the trainings in trauma healing with other women affected by the decades of violence in Burundi. Here she is preparing to help lead other women in workshops to address their continued healing.
I am the first born in my family and my parents died from HIV. They had been sick for a very long time. My mother, when she was very ill, she often called me and reminded me that there would be no one else to take care of my siblings other than myself. Since then, I started living with grief even at the time my parents were still alive. Now what frustrates me is that, I take care of my little sisters and brothers who are now grown up and have started mistreating me. My young sister abandoned school and she had a baby without a father and they are now both at home, adding a burden to the situation. My brother does not seem to be concerned by all those difficulties we are facing. What is worse is that my last born sister is HIV positive. It is me who takes care of her, takes her to the hospital every time she is sick. I thank God for the trauma healing workshops, they helped me to have strength to handle my life, I was encouraged to talk about my problems and not keeping them for myself and it helped me so much. If I survived so far it’s because I received help from nice people.
At the end of each workshop, participants were given time to testify about how they were feeling and many women told their stories. They are all thankful for the workshops, saying it was both helpful to them personally, as well as for other members of their families and communities. They also reported that not only has the Women's Peace and Recovery Program improved their day-to-day lives in the short term, but there is potential for further reconciliation and rebuilding if these workshops continue in their communities.