Performance PIASS Scientific Week 2014: A New Academic!
Three of Debate on “Violence and Conflict Management in families and Communities”
The Fourth PIASS Scientific Week took off on July 18th 2014 and ended successfully on July 20th. Participants included the PIASS academic community both students, academic and administration staff, visitors from peers universities and scholars from abroad. Opened and closed by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Benoit Girardin, the 2014 Scientific Week focussed on the topic: “Violence and Conflicts Management in Families and Communities”.
This annually repeated scientific major event received nine major presentations to which five discussants responded; these include 3 presentations from the faculty of theology and Religious studies; 3 from the faculty of Education; 1 from the Faculty of Development studies and two contributions from overseas scholars, Dr Charles Hardwick, head of Theology, Worship and Education Department in PCUSA, and Mrs Eva Zimmermann, a Swiss psychotherapist, President Elect of the European federation of psychotherapists. Of the 1230 PIASS students, participation in the 3 days interaction reached 870 students who followed the presentations and interacted with the researchers in the plenary and trough group discussions. 20 groups met in many sessions discussed and reported to the plenary.
FTRS: Diverse Causes of Conflicts from Biblical Times include troubled marriages!
From the point of view of faith community, violence occurred from the primeval family, embraced patriarchal families and then spread to monarchical families and beyond. Disobedience to God, jealousy, power struggle, injustices, immorality, plethoric families from sophisticated marriages, promiscuity, divorce are a few but sources of conflicts. The Bible tells of gross consequences from unresolved violence and conflicts including hatred, unending wars between nations, irrespective of a common origin; and as such they are transmitted from generation to generation. Violence and conflicts in families and communities impact negatively on members, particularly children.
To document this topic, the Faculty of theology and religious studies researched and presented two subtopics: a. the controversial issue of divorce and remarriage in churches was addressed from two angles: professor Elisee Musemakweli introduced biblical reflections whils Rev Julie Kandema and Celestin Nsengimana presented a field work research on how the issue is dealt with within the mainline protestant churches; b. professors Tharcisse Gatwa and Viateur Ndikumana looked at “ some narratives and ethical implications of violence and conflicts in different types of families and communities in biblical times”. Dr Innocent Iyakaremye, a theologian and sociologist, Lecturer in the University of Rwanda, KIE, Kigali responded to the first two papers whilst, Rev Gabriel Akimana, a PhD candidate in the Akrofi Christeller Memorial Centre, Ghana, responded to the second paper.
FDS: Face to mass involvement to violence a home-grown solution!
Since the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, efforts to wards rebuilding peace in Rwanda have been geared to address the deep-seated origins of the conflict and reconcile people in divided communities. Alleviate pressure on overwhelmed penal courts, the Rwandan government rehabilitated the traditional methods of conflict resolution, the Abunzi, “community mediators”; they were institutionalised as a permanent addition to the judicial system, to serve as forums for public participation at grassroots justice to reduce the congestion of the formal courts and promote reconciliation- focussed justice. Josephine Mukabera and Gerard Bikorimana from the Faculty of Development Studies [FDS] researched the topic in three districts of the Southern Province, Huye, Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe. Their paper was discussed by Albert Irambeshya, a lecturer in the University of Rwanda.
FED: Our major Concern: Children, the future of Rwanda!
Another important subtopic that was a focal point during the scientific week was the impact of violence and conflict in families on children’s behaviour and academic performance. Six researchers from the Faculty of Education: Professor Eustache Munyantwali and Dr Innocent Nkundabatware presented a paper on the Causes and frequent for most of domestic violence in Rwandan society; Emmanuel Niyibizi and Mrs Jeanne Nyirakamana presented a paper on Domestic violence and children’s behaviour, whilst Abel Dufitumukiza and Edouard Ntakirutimana presented a paper on Effet of domestic violence on children’s scholastic performance. The researchers took the view that shcolastice performance of children directly or indirectly exposed to domestic violence is affected by domestic violence and children adopt new behaviours. All three papers were discussed by Dr Alfred Otara, Dean of the Faculty of Education, School of Education, the University of Rwanda, Kigali.
Scholars from Overseas sharing knowledge with PIASS Academic community
The papers of PIASS’s 2014 overseas guests focussed on “ Grace and Gratitude; Forgiveness and Reconciliation”(Dr Charles Hardwich] looking at how, in broken relationships the moves can restore harmony; “Prevention of violence and conflict in communities” [Eva Zimmermann] looking at different forms of violence against infants, in families, in relationships and communities on global level involving sexual violence, neglect, physical, psychological, including dedocriminality, human trafficking, torture, war. Mrs Eva Zimmermann argued that a world without v iolence is not imaginable, but reduction of violence was a goal to achieve through reducing frustrations and feeling of injustice, a good management of emotions, etc. To victims who suffer Post-traumatic stress disorder [PSTD] Mrs Zimmermann told participants that a number of therapies tested include EMDR [Francine Shapiro’s Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing] that is being introduced in Rwanda. These two papers were discussed by Professor Benoit Girardin. All peers university guests hailed the organisation and achievements of PIASS scientific week and wished peer HLI to learn from the experience.
By SW 2014! Welcome SW 2015!