In an environment of trust, Timothee finds peace

Timothee’s father was not attentive to his family and when Timothee was only 13, he left home to fend for himself. Taking what jobs he could, he faced the pressures and stress of difficult work even though he was just a child. Timothee was 20 when Burundi’s civil war broke out, and like many people, he became active in the fighting. After ten years, when the war ended and he was demobilized, Timothee found himself a target from the opposing side of the conflict.

Timothee now 45, struggles with his troublesome history. Even after marrying, the traumas of what he experienced left him aggressive and quick to anger, creating a situation where his wife and children suffered the most. His life changed however, when he was invited to a graduation of the Twiyugurure, a community-based support program run by our partner Village Health Works.

Twiyugurure, which means “opening up” in Kirundi, are sessions that focus on self-understanding, individual behavioral change, and building relationships between the family. The groups provide guidance to individuals to help them work toward the wellbeing of their children and families. Within an environment of trust the participants open up and are provided support linked to their past traumas.

After undergoing multiple sessions, Timothee was able to confront and understand his past. With the help of other participants he received tools and strategies for communication and managing conflict. At graduation, his wife was able to attest to the changes in the family, saying that his relationships with the women and children in his life are now based on understanding and dialogue. Thanks to the dedicated work of Village Health Works and the therapeutic programs they offer, Timothee was able to change his behavior and transform his life.

The Twiyugurure program helps people face the traumas caused by conflict, encouraging both individuals and communities to begin the process of healing.