Abaharanira Amahoro (Strivers for Peace) was created in 2006 by community members who recognised the inevitable cohabitation of Rwandans of different ethnic groups and became persuaded of the necessity of trust, friendship and good relationships between people living in the same community, especially young people. Mukankaka Francoise and Anastase Twagirashema initiated the association as a way to help community members in Cyanika Sector to reveal and speak truth to one another about what happened during the genocide and journey together toward sustainable reconciliation.
At the beginning, the group had 30 members. Today it has 73 members consisting of 37 genocide survivors, 23 confessed genocide perpetrators, 8 rescuers who hid or protected Tutsi, and five young Rwandans, some of whom are survivor orphans and some are children of perpetrators, who persuaded their parents to plead guilty at the Gacaca Court trials and ask for forgiveness.
The Association has been making efforts to achieve the following objectives for their community:
- Engage and encourage members of the community to open up their hearts, speak truth to one another and actively participate in activities aimed at restoring unity and reconciliation;
- Persuading members to cooperate with their community’s Gacaca jurisdiction and to participate in its activities and;
- Persuading relatives of perpetrators to demonstrate members of their families about the importance of speaking truth during the process of Gacaca courts.
The Association has developed income-generating activities such as growing maize, beans, potatoes, vegetables, and cassava together. The association keep undertaking socio-economic activities with the aim of restoring mutual support and solidarity spirit among the members. Rotational Farming together from one member to another is the main activity done by the Association. The activity created opportunities to talk about their past and envision a shared future as members of the same community.
The Association has partnered with local authorities, especially the authorities of Cyanika Sector and Nyamagabe District. It has been supported by the Commission Justice et Paix of the Catholic Church operating in Gikongoro Diocese. In the past, the Association benefited from World Vision International.