The Geruka Healing Centre continues to impact lives through promotion of mental health and wellbeing since its inception. We’ve been working to strengthen the social systems through challenging pathologizing mental health systems while offering mental health support services that respond in cultural and collective ways in Rwanda. We’re proud to share with you some highlights of the centre’s key activities throughout the year 2021.
Raising Awareness around Mental Health Issues
Geruka partnered with Royal FM to raise awareness around mental health issues through Radio Talk Shows. The Talk Shows are an excellent platform to speak about mental health issues impacting the Rwandan society, and to share knowledge and wisdom on ways to respond to them. These conversations are facilitated by renowned journalists, including Aissa Cyiza, Rebecca Umuhire and Jackie Lumbasi, featuring mental health experts from our centre and people from associations that are striving to advocate for people with lived experience on mental health problems, including Hear2Share and OPROMAMER. Read more here.
Geruka entered into a partnership with Sugira Muryango to offer the Clinical Supervision, Training and Risk of Harm Advising to its personnel from August 2021. Sugira Muryango is a home-visiting program and evidence-based intervention that offers active coaching to caregivers by community lay-workers trained to deliver sessions including early stimulation promotion, play, nutrition, hygiene, non-violent discipline, and responsive parenting. The supervision sessions intended to develop and build a safe space and a team of support among members of Sugira Muryango to find collective ways of responding to the challenging ways of work. Learn more about the program here.
Supporting Entrepreneurs Wellbeing
We’ve been equipping them with tools to ensure well being is a priority, especially since it is critical to support decision-making and the ability of entrepreneurs to run businesses effectively. The talks featured mental health professionals and small and medium-sized bussiness owners sharing skills and knowledge in responding to mental health challenges. Dive in here.
Contributing to the Growth of Mental Health Experts
The need to educate mental health professionals is now even more important than ever before. There is a gap between the number of professionals sought and the training capacity in particular in Africa to respond to mental health challenges. The centre wants to make a contribution to closing the skills gap while working on its mandate. We initiated the Geruka Scholarship in partnership with the Dulwich Centre Foundation to 4 local mental health professionals till 2024. The scholarship will help mental health professionals understand thoroughly Narrative Therapy and Community Work Approach through a one-year course. The course will be delivered at the University of Rwanda.
Charting the Course Forward
Geruka is shaping the next generation of mental health and wellbeing in Rwanda that is free from colonial pathologizing ways and that embraces local and traditional ways. We capitalized on the existing rich skills from local practitioners and building partnerships, and promoting resilient skills and responses. We’ll continue to work with our communities, partners to deliver sustainable responses to address mental health and psychosocial problems in our communities. We also hope to continue to offer extraordinary opportunities to local mental health professionals to improve their community work, and clinical practice skills in supporting those with whom they support.