Conflict Mediation - Odette
Odette’s learning in the TUBOGORIKIVI (Let us work hard together) Group has transformed family life. “Before the steward leadership lessons (SLP), I was not getting along with my father-in -law. Many times, he tried to get into my house so that he could hit me.
After learning the SLP, I started sending my children to visit him. This opened a door for me to start visiting him. We are now getting along, and both our families are in peace.”
Conflict Mediation - Evariste
Evariste exemplifies the name of his group KEREBUKA (Courage) as he confesses ‘I was a bad leader of my group before learning the steward program, taking my own decisions without consulting my fellows. For example, when BDS provided 40% of our agriculture project, I took it and bought bad seeds and planted them myself in the field we rented.
Later I found that I was not trusted anymore, and the group did not want to deal with me again. They thought I should have included them in buying and planting the seeds because the leadership program teaches us to be transparent. I paid back the money I used to buy bad seeds my group and apologized. They trusted and let me lead them again.” Evariste has also given up drinking and joined a local church.
Steward Leadership - Anesie
“My name is Anesie. I belong to the BDS called TWITEZIMBERE (Let us stand up for development). I used to sell illegal alcoholic drinks in this community. Anytime I heard that the police were coming to get me I would walk on crutches, pretending that I was sick. This was not true, but they would let me go. I gave up those bad and illegal activities a few days after spending 8 days learning the steward leadership program. That program changed me and led me to join TWITEZIMBERE so that I can create income through hard work. I thank God for bringing BDS into my life.”
Conflict Mediation - Lucie
Lucie participates in TUGWANYUBUKENE (Let us fight against poverty) and struggled with challenges in her home as she, with one child from a previous marriage, married a man with several children. “My child and his did not get along and I was not making it easier for them either. One child ended up running away from the family due to those disputes.” Her changes resulting from the steward leadership training ignited change in the whole family. “ We get along now, and I even went to apologize to the child who ran away. Now we are friends and there is peace between us.”
Steward Leadership - Jeanine
I am a participant the BDS group ABAVUKANYI (Siblings). Personally, this program changed my life. My husband left me and married another woman. He then brought two children from that second woman to live with me. I now treat them as my own children. I do not think I could handle it if my life had not been changed through the leadership program. I learned how to forgive and to let God be in control of everything.
Conflict Mediation - Clotilde
Clotilde describes how her experience as part UBUGIRIGIRI BUGIRA BABIRI (Together we can develop) has changed her life. She emphasizes that before the group’s training she “was not only a bad person to my own family, but also to my neighbors. Imagine, I could not even offer a simple thing like water to drink or one spoon of salt to my neighbors when they asked. I was like a dead person…. I was an extremely and dangerous person and was not getting along with my five daughters-in-law. I hated each one of them and none of them could enter my house.”
Then, following the group’s training. she called them to apologize. They hesitated to accept her invitation to visit, fearing perhaps even death; but “To their surprise, I apologized to them and informed them that they can feel at home in my house. I now treat them like my own children, and we are now good friends