“Through Our Eyes” in Rwanda

“Through Our Eyes” activities in Rwanda enable Congolese Tutsi refugees and ARC field staff to carry out sensitization on gender violence, HIV/AIDS, harmful practices, and related issues. The first project training workshop, held in September 2008, brought together participants from Gihembe and Nyabiheke refugee camps. Inhabited by Congolese who have fled the ongoing conflict in East Kivu, these camps are managed by ARC, which also runs programs on reproductive health and gender-based violence prevention and response.    

Since the initial training, the Rwanda teams have created videotapes on a wide range of themes, including forced/early marriage, HIV infection, sexual exploitation, wife beating, and the importance of girls’ education. An important aspect of the teams’ work has been to discourage harmful customs such as wife-sharing and wife inheritance, and to affirm positive traditional practices—for example, celebrating the birth of a child, whether a boy or girl

The video project is very empowering to women; it helps people learn about harmful practices.

-   Women’s leader (Condifa)
during discussion of a community videotape produced in
Gihembe refugee camp, Rwanda.