David Bucura is a Rwandan pastor, a peacemaker, a teacher, and he is clerk of the Africa Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation. Involved with many peace and reconciliation programmes, in 2011 he was named Coordinator for Central Africa for the African Great Lakes Initiative. Mr. Bucura works to provide healing to his fellow Rwandans as well as neighbors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was the youngest of fifteen childreen, of whom only four others survived the Genocide. He studied at University of Congo and Nairobi International School of Theology. He is married, has six children and resides in Rwanda.
H’Sien Hayward completed her bachelor’s and first master’s degrees in psychology, with honors, at Stanford University. She completed her PhD in experimental psychology at Harvard University. Her research investigates posttraumatic growth and the positive sequelae of severe adversity. H’Sien has been honored with numerous awards and grants, including the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship. Following the Southeast Asian tsunami, she taught positive psychology interventions to mental health professionals in Bangkok. In addition, H’Sien brought wheelchairs and anti-discrimination training to people with disabilities in Mongolia and Costa Rica. H’Sien was recognized as “One of the Top 10 Most Inspiring American College Women,” and was recently described as the “Ambassador of Happiness” by New Mobility Magazine.
Dr. Stephen Nsengiyumva, D.Min
Stephen Nsengiyumva was born in Rwanda in the Western Province. He served as a school teacher and proceeded to work at the Friends Peace House in Rwanda before he came to the United States in 2007. Stephen holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies and another in Biblical Theology. Stephen also holds a Doctor of Ministry from Faith Theological Seminary, Baltimore, MD, and he is currently pursuing a dual MA (Coexistence and Conflict/ Sustainable Intention Development) at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Stephen completed different professional trainings in: Mediation, Counseling, and has completed Healing in the Context of our Community (HCC) a professional training that equips people to help young adults who are struggling with various addictions. In 2008, Stephen co-facilitated a program with the Summer Peace Building Institute at Nashua Community College in NH. Stephen has also completed a Conflict Study Program at SIT Graduate School in Vermont. He currently lives in the Boston area with his wife and two children.
Dr. Eugène Rutembesa, PhD
Dr. Eugène Rutembesa, PhD is a graduate from University Saint Denis (Paris 8) in the fields of clinical psychology and psychopathology. Since 2004, he has been conducting research on resilience related to the survivors of the genocide of 1994 in Rwanda. Since 2006, Dr. Eugene Rutembesa has been involved in supervision and training activities of the Association of Rwandan Professionals in Mental Health. He is a lecturer of clinical psychology and psychotherapies within the Department of Clinical Psychology at the National University of Rwanda. He also serves as Coordinator of the University Center of Mental Health (CUNISAM) and is a member of the Rwanda National Ethics Committee (RNEC). Dr. Rutembesa serves as Vice President of the International Forum of the Researchers Interested in Resilience, which includes representatives from France, Romania, Belgium, Russia, Morocco, Japan, Canada and Rwanda.
Laurie Tollman is a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has practiced in the field of mental health and substance abuse for over twelve years. She has worked as a therapist as well as non-profit manager serving men and women with dual disorders, specializing in addictions, trauma and grief work. Past accomplishments have included serving as Co-Chair of the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Coalition, Secretary of Mountain Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, and member of Warren Wilson Social Work Advisory Board. Laurie’s personal journey includes beginning her own recovery from addiction and trauma at age 20. With the help of a therapist she was able to speak about the nightmares which haunted her on a daily basis and fueled a 10 year addiction to alcohol and drugs. Laurie has recovered from addiction for over 25 years and continues the healing process from trauma, which inspired her to become a therapist and community leader. Her dream is to continue to provide support and encouragement to those who suffer from PTSD and substance abuse, knowing that healing can occur with the appropriate resources to assist in the recovery process.
Jean-Gratien Uwisavye is a member of AHE’s Founding Board of Directors. Jean-Gratien was born in 1965 in Bujumbura, Burundi. He graduated from College in 1992 with a major in French Language and Literature and a minor in African Linguistics. His family moved back to Rwanda in 1986 while he was finishing his college education. In 1992, he started his career as a teacher. Jean-Gratien moved back to Rwanda in July 1994, before the end of the Genocide. One project he pursued was working with a French organization called “Arts et Media d’Afrique”, where he coordinated the “Residence of African Authors” – writers who traveled to Rwanda to write and document the Genocide. The project published ten books in 2001. He moved to the USA in 2002 as an asylum seeker. Jean-Gratien taught French at William Paterson University as an adjunct professor from 2005 through 2007, and since then has been teaching French at a New Jersey public school. He became an American citizen in October 2012.