Rebuilding life in a foreign culture brings about a new set of challenges for survivors. Like many other recent immigrants, genocide survivors face language and cultural adjustment challenges and struggle with the dilemma of total assimilation and preservation of their own cultural heritage which is too often the root cause of tensions between family and or other community members.
The second generation and child survivors in particular face additional challenges due to the absence of or presence of fragmented memories about their lives before, during, and after the genocide. Some of them also suffer from secondary trauma, identity confusion, and a disconnection from cultural heritage.
GSSN addresses these challenges by creating opportunities for survivors to socialize and reconnect with their cultural heritage. The gatherings also help younger survivors fill the gaps that may already exist in their memories of the genocide and life before the genocide.
Moreover, social gatherings allow survivors to openly express their feelings about the legacy of the genocide through expressive art and group discussions. Participants also meet new friends and get a chance to practice their mother tongue Kinyarwanda.
Copyright 2013. Genocide Survivors Support Network. All rights reserved.