Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding

Examine the causes of the 1994 genocide and Rwanda’s ongoing efforts in fostering peace, unity, and reconciliation among its people.

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In 1994, Rwanda was the site of one the most atrocious genocides in contemporary human history. In the span of 100 days, about 1,000,000 people were killed, resulting in a broken and devastated country.

Since 1994, Rwanda’s peacebuilding process has been successful in restoring trust in state institutions, engaging Rwandans in the reconstruction of sustainable reconciliation, and overcoming ethnic divisions.

This program examines the origins of conflict in Rwanda; the social, human, and psychological impacts of genocide; and the challenges and opportunities of post-conflict restoration. Students learn from Rwandan and Ugandan academics as well as local and international professionals working in the areas of transitional justice, peacebuilding, and post-conflict reconciliation.

In-country resources and program partners typically include:


Field visits to genocide memorials, museums, and commissions working toward reconciliation are an essential part of the program. Students also learn about post-conflict reconciliation in a very different context during the program’s two-week excursion to northern Uganda. Learn more about this program’s excursions.

Through the program’s seven-week homestay in Kigali, students are able to share daily life with a Rwandan family.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Working together to make soap to generate income. The women belong to Ubutwari bwo kubaho, an association in Butare comprised of women whose husbands were killed during the genocide and women whose husbands were convicted of committing genocide. Cooperation between SIT students, Spark MicroGrants, and Women’s Cooperative in Butare

Students visit a cooperative group in Butare that brings together women who were widowed in the genocide and wives of the perpetrators of the genocide who have chosen to work toward unity and reconciliation. The women have formed a cooperative that works on small income-generating projects to help them provide nutritious meals to their children, buy health insurance, and pay school fees. Recently Spark MicroGrants has started to work with the women.

Spark MicroGrants is developing a novel approach to community organizing and granting where communities design and implement their own development projects. The women in Butare have chosen to start a goat rearing project and project that within three years, each of the approximately 1,700 women in the cooperative will have a goat for food, income generation, and fertilizer. SIT is working with program alumni and friends to raise funds to support this project. Learn more about contributing to this project.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Kigali

Language Study: Kinyarwanda

Prerequisites: Coursework in conflict theories recommended.


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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