Welcome to Cord!
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Marie and Hélène’s story. Here at Cord, we build peace by tackling the issues that lead to violence. This helps to create safe and stable societies where people can flourish.
Burundi is a small country in East Africa. It has been torn apart by war and violence, but something miraculous is happening. Forgiveness is freeing people from decades of hate and pain.
Something miraculous is happening
Marie is 72. She grew up hating people of a different ethnic group because her parents told her that they were evil. During the Civil War her husband was murdered by rebels who burned him alive. For over 20 years, Marie has been terrorised by that event.
Hélène is 60 years old. Her hatred of a different ethnic group grew during the Civil War. They attacked her village, forcing her to flee with her family. Her Mother-in-Law refused to run and was brutally murdered. Hélène and her husband buried her outside their home because they risked being killed if they went to the cemetery. Hélène and her family have suffered decades of terrible psychological trauma.
Something connects Marie and Hélène’s story. Hélène’s Mother-in-Law was killed by members of Marie’s family.
Marie and Hélène have found forgiveness and healing
Last year both women took part in one of our ground-breaking projects. Training, discussions and drama workshops enabled people to express their pain. Expert psychological support began to address trauma. The impact was remarkable:
“Thanks to the project, I have joy and I have reconciled with the families from the other ethnic group including that of Mrs. Hélène Nzeyimana whom I have just embraced.”
“I have forgiven the family of executioners and I have reconciled with them, starting with Mrs. Marie Bucumi with whom we kissed at the end of one of the workshops.”
When people are set free from trauma, peace becomes possible. With the help of our supporters, Burundians can build a brighter tomorrow.
Thank you for taking the time to read this story.