Solange Nyiramana, HROC facilitator, at the beginning of the second day:
Solange, left, with Rachel Bugenimana
There is a connection between the tree of trust and planting cooperatively. Giving the sack to one house is not the end of the process but the start of helping each other from house to house. You're building trust when you show your needs and feelings. To be good neighbours we have to help each other. Think of this work as planting the tree of trust for our new life here together. Remember, working together is the first way to build trust. We can't do anything alone.
(There had been serious arguments, unresolved when we left the day before, about which of 5 participant in each group should have the sack at their house. )
This is my testimony. I can say it's good work. In the future we will have improved our health. We'll use the seeds to begin work, and if they grow I'll never buy vegetables because I'll have my own when it's time to harvest. Then, as well as helping my own family, I'll give some to others who don't have time or knowledge to be able to plant for themselves.
I'm happy with this work, and especially how you are teaching us. We are not going to sit still but to teach others because we can't keep good things for ourselves. Thank you for giving yourself to teach this practice of vegetable growing. Please continue in the whole country.
Thank you for coming with this work for improving our health. After you leave we'll keep doing what you taught. It's good that you've helped us to work in groups. We'll work together to harvest and to plant the second round. We will work as a group and use our strength for watching out together to avoid problems.
When we first moved here it was not easy for us and we're still not familiar with the area. As time goes by we're starting to feel human like the others as we work on activities. This new activity will improve our health, our children's and our own. I don't have any gift to give you except my thanks.
I thank God for this seminar which has made me so happy. We were wondering what kind of seminar we would be getting and God sent you with this one on vegetables. This will help us overcome our isolation and feel like other people. Many people don't like us and don't come to us but you came.
This is the first time we've seen packets of seeds. We knew the vegetables but not how to grow them. Now we've learnt from you we'll work hard and the harvest will be good for our health.
Thank you so much from my heart, for showing us life and giving yourself to work with us. Thank you for the seeds which show your love for us and your concern for our health and our children's health, and for the skills you have given us. Thank you to Solange for being the first to come and for bringing others to help and teach us.
(He has the role of community organiser for the Batwa part of this resettlement village. He made a more formal speech, from which these are some extracts.)
In this village we were fearful when we first came, then we heard from Friends Peace House. Their teaching [about trauma healing] started to make peace in our hearts, and we're grateful for all their helpful teachers. Now two groups – one mixed and one of women – have had this teaching about vegetable growing, and having the two groups both learning has contributed to our work on gender equality. We'll continue this work for our good health even when you've gone. We hope you can come back and bring us more seeds and we'll show you our results. We want to extend the skills you've given us to others. God bless you with peace, health and security.
Jean-Claude as he wished to be pictured, in front of his house