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April 26, 2024

Haguruka: Doctor Who Healed Our Broken Relationship

Donat and Patricia’s journey began in 1999, when they started their life together in Musanze, Rwanda. However, things took a turn for the worse when Donat, a former soldier, retired from the army in 2005. Struggling to adjust to family life, Donat turned to alcohol abuse and infidelity, leading to frequent arguments, financial and health difficulties.

As the situation worsened, Patricia felt the need to take drastic measures to protect herself, including engaging in physical confrontations and hiding knives and machetes out of fear for her safety. “I had to hide the knives so he wouldn’t kill me,” she recalled. “I remember many sleepless nights and instances where I couldn’t stay at home. Our house felt like a wild animal’s den. He always accused me of mismanagement and I accused him of cheating me.”

Donat continued to blame Patricia for everything, viewing her as the cause of their problems rather than a partner. He accused her of financial mismanagement, saying, “I didn’t see her as a partner or a person we can live together, but as a source of problems.”

However, with empowerment of Haguruka, through the Ingo z’amahoro project, Donat and Patricia received training in essential skills such as human rights, gender equality, and property rights. Donat compared Haguruka to a doctor, healing their broken relationship and guiding them towards recovery. They learned the importance of being good partners, treating each other with respect and understanding, and realized that “no matter how difficult the situation, there’s always a way forward.”

“Haguruka has been a parent  to me, and I am forever grateful for the  support they’ve shown me. I have nothing but gratitude to offer in return, and that is to thank you.” Donat added

Today, Donat and Patricia are responsible citizens who attend community meetings together and have incorporated prayer into their daily routine. They are rebuilding their lives, starting with two pigs they purchased from Haguruka’s transport facilitations, and ensuring their children enjoy a happy and healthy life. They continue to support each other through the challenges they still face, and actively participate in community meetings, offering advice and personal testimony to help other couples resolve conflicts.