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AHE ambassadors in front of Nat'l Museum Butare

From left: Lynn English, Eva Nagel, Mary Lynn Barrett, Scott Lamb

AHE’s American Ambassadors – Eva, Mary Lynn, Lynn, Sara, and Scott – have connected with some Rwandan partners. We are collaborating with the National University of Rwanda, located in the original capital city of Huye (Butare), not far from the border of Burundi. It is the second day of our 4-day training for trainers, being delivered to 17 psychology students and graduates. Master trainers Eva Nagel and Mary Lynn Barrett are leading the effort to prepare these Rwandan trainers in the Community Resilience Model (CRM www.communityresiliencymodel.com), as designed by Trauma Resource Institute (TRI).

Day 1 training at National University

Day 1 training at National University

Last night the students were given homework to practice what it means to be in the ‘Resilience Zone’, and to offer explanations of how someone knows if they are stuck in the high or low zone. Many of them report back to us that their friends are stuck in the low zone, i.e. experiencing depression over a long period of time, and it has become their normal state. They wish to be able to move into the resilience zone so that they get back to their true self and to feel happier. The students are preparing to partner up and form small groups so they can feel what it is like to teach these skills (Tracking, Resourcing, Grounding, Shift and Stay, Help Now!).

Explaining Big T and Little T trauma in Kinyarwandan

Explaining Big T and Little T trauma in Kinyarwandan

After some time, we have PowerPoint set up, offered in both English and Kinyarwandan, a flip chart with markers, copies of the CRM manual for all participants, and will share a traditional meal at noon each day. We are about to enjoy a short break with some ‘Laugh Yoga’ provided by a students. The professor and all support staff have been incredibly welcoming and accommodating. At the end of today we will be selecting a few students to travel on to a 1-day Community Training in Gisenyi, whereby the American-Rwandan team of trainers will provide CRM skills for new ways to manage with stress and anxiety. Clients for these new trainers may include: primary and secondary caregivers (early childhood development professionals, teachers, house girls, mothers), teachers, medical personnel, other counselors and social workers, prisoners, individuals in rehabilitation centers and vulnerable youth.