With the support of CAL & AWDF ; N.S.O did an Assessment On The Mental Health, Wellness & Well-being of Women Human Rights Defenders & LBQ women in Rwanda which is called UBUZIMA Report.
Ubuzima is a Rwandese name referring to health (the state of being free from illness or injury). The name is used broadly in Rwanda and it may be interpreted differently depending on the context.
This report is about enhancing positive mental health and wellbeing. This may be defined as the capacity to achieve and maintain optimal psychological functioning and well being, in addition this work also focuses on how intrapersonal psychological processes (e.g., appraisals, coping, and emotional regulation) mediate the link between experiences of minority stress and psychopathology. Thus, it is important to recognize the structural circumstances within which LBQ WHRDs are embedded. Social factors can and do change within and between countries in ways that promote or retard gender development and empowerment (UNDP 1997). The identification and modification of the social factors that influence LBQ WHRDs’ mental health holds out the possibility of primary prevention of certain mental disorders by reducing their incidence.
In the Ubuzima Report, organizations were encouraged to start creating wellness programs in their respective spaces as women rights organizations and movements are not acknowledging fully that our work involves constantly bearing witness to violations and violence, and that often the violence is very close to us/ Most activists don’t have any way of dealing with these feelings and experiences. It is for this reason that we are developing this small research project so that we may build on it as we continue the work.
With the recommendations NSO took started a series of Integrating a culture of self and collective care; Conflict & Resolution among LBTQ women activists from different organizations in Rwanda with the support of a counselling center based in Kigali to ensure a safe space has been created for the participants.