Overview

Ubuntu Center for Peace is a Not-for-Profit Organization registered as a 501 (c) 3 organization in the United States. It works with its sister organization registered and operating in Rwanda, headquartered in Kamonyi district, Southern Province, where it has been implementing a community-based social healing model to address both individual and collective traumas and other common mental disorders.

The Ubuntu Trauma healing and mental health work is rooted in the founders’ personal stories of trauma after the 1994 genocide. It's a passion and irresistible calling to help heal those suffering from the “silent killers” including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Psychosomatic and Substance Abuse Disorders, convinced that everyone deserves to live life to the fullest.

Our Mission

In a world plagued by increasingly human-made and natural disasters, we aim to create healthier and more productive communities by healing people living with psychological trauma and other common mental disorders, improve their quality of life and enhance social healing in traumatized societies. We do it by empowering Community Healing Assistants to deliver movement therapy, collective narrative practice and rituals to healing groups that they form from their communities, which transition to long-term support groups to bring traumatized people back to health. We scale up through partnerships across Rwanda and beyond, with a particular focus on the African Great Lakes Region

Our Vision

Our vision is of a healed society where individually and collectively healed citizens are empowered to responsibly build a sustainable society.

Our leadership

Our Senior Management Team

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Dr Jean Bosco Niyonzima

Executive Director
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Emmanuel Nyampatse

Training and Community Outreach Manager
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Grace Muhoza

Evidence and Advocacy Manager
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Dieudonne Ntawiniga

Finance and Administrative Manager
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Aline Mujawamariya

Community Healing Assistants’ Supervisor
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François Rwambonera

Organization’s team coach

Board of Directors

United States Board of Directors

Kevin D. Batt

Secretary, Executive Committee

Kevin D. Batt is an attorney in Boston, Massachusetts. His practice includes municipal, land use, environmental and energy law, and he has specialized recently in assisting communities host and develop renewable energy facilities. He has served on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association (MMLA). Mr. Batt has long been active in promoting human rights in his local community and abroad with a current focus on protecting immigrant rights in the face of anti-immigrant policies of the United States federal government. He serves on the Board of Multicultural Education Training and Advocacy (META), a legal advocacy group supporting the rights of English Language Learners throughout public school systems in the United States. Mr. Batt previously served on the boards of Cambridge Cares About AIDs and AIDs Action Committee of Boston. In the past he helped litigate the rights of same-sex couples to marriage and celebrated the first judicial ruling recognizing marriage equality in Massachusetts. His interest in human rights has now expanded to movements in East Africa since his journey there in 2015. In addition to his service on the board of Ubuntu Center for Peace, he serves on the board of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), which engages in the front line struggle to protect gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities in Uganda.

Céline Mukasine

Treasurer, Executive Committee

Céline Mukasine is a finance professional who has dedicated her career to build the capacity of mission-oriented startup organizations that apply innovative methods to solve challenges in social justice. She is most passionate about health equity, child welfare, gender equity and economic empowerment. She has over 10 years’ experience working in non-profit organizations in the US and Africa, serving in leadership roles in finance and leading teams in field offices and at global levels thus she has practical knowledge of the operational and governance acumen young organizations need to build in order to achieve long lasting impact. Born and raised in Kigali, Rwanda now residing in Boston, MA, she is eager to work with individuals and entities looking to advance the social and economic development of Rwandans in particular and of Africans in general. She enjoys reading, traveling, the outdoors, yoga and painting.

William Campbell

William Campbell is an independent producer, videographer, photojournalist based in Livingston, Montana. Bill began his journalistic career in Africa as a communications officer, photographer and filmmaker with the UNICEF based in Nairobi in the mid-1970’s. By the late seventies he was a staff photographer and reporter with United Press International, based in Brussels and in Nairobi covering Africa and the Middle East. In 1982 he joined Time Magazine as a contract staff photographer. Attached to the Time bureaus in Nairobi and Johannesburg, he documented conflict and social issues across Africa and the Middle East. Since returning to the United States in 1989, Campbell has focused on the dilemmas of poverty, racism, environmental issues and health care in America and Africa. While in Rwanda for NOW on PBS Campbell met Dr.Jean Bosco in Rwinkwavu. In 2017 Campbell returned to Rwanda to assist the Ubuntu Center for Peace with a video about the Community Based Social Healing project. His current projects include documenting environmental and social issues in the US and abroad.

Sue Jones

Sue Jones is the founder and director of the TIMBo Collective, a nonprofit whose mission is to catalyze women to become positive change makers in the world. As over the past decade she has developed an evidence-based curriculum, a methodology, and a theoretical roadmap to bring rehabilitative mind-body practices to female trauma survivors. She is a leading voice on the subject of mind-body practices for addressing trauma, self-regulation and empowerment. She has trained, inspired, and lead hundreds of women who have taken TIMBo into their work as yoga teachers, social workers, psychologists, advocates, medical providers, teachers, mothers and community leaders. Her work has spanned the globe, empowering women across the U.S., Haiti, Tehran, Iran and Kenya. Her life and work with TIMBo has been profiled by CNN and numerous publications including Time, Self, The New York Times, Yoga Journal and Whole Life magazine and most recently by Rick Hanson for his Foundations of Well-Being Course. Sue’s first book, There is Nothing to Fix will be published in November 2019.

Edmund Robinson

Edmund Robinson is a Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister about to retire, after twelve years, from serving the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Chatham, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He was ordained into the UU ministry in 1999, and served three churches before this one. He has served as Chatham Town Representative to the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission, and has served on the governing council of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS), the oldest organization devoted to the dialogue between religion and science. He has twice been the IRAS minister of the week on Star Island, NH. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1999. In addition to ministry, he has also had a career as a trial lawyer in Boston and in Charleston, SC. He received a Juris Doctor degree from Antioch School of Law in 1975, the first year that institution awarded degrees. His undergraduate degree was from Yale, 1970, a B.A. with major in Anthropology. He is married to Jacqueline Schwab, a concert pianist who is most publicly noted for her work on the sound tracks of several documentary films by the American filmmaker Ken Burns. He has two adult children by his previous marriage, one in England and one in Chicago, and two grandsons. His friendship with Kevin Batt goes back to their days at Yale, and Kevin was the best man at his wedding to Jacqueline in 2000.

Girma Belay

Mr. Belay has had a lifelong interest in international relations, especially as it pertains to African economic development and has taught courses on the Geo-Politics of the Horn of Africa and China in Africa through the Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Mr. Belay was a leader in Boston’s affordable housing industry for nearly 25 years, serving as Executive Director of Tenants Development Corporation and Roxbury Tenants of Harvard. In his role as an affordable housing executive, Mr. Belay worked closely with the largest health care institutions in Boston, including the presidents of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Partners Health Care. Mr. Belay served on the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation for 34 years. He holds master’s degrees from UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning and from California State University at Los Angeles in International Relations (Political Science) and he earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from UCLA. He came to UCLA on a full scholarship and played on the Varsity Soccer Team for four years. He was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which he continues to visit frequently. He has lived in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts with his wife for the past 35 years. They have three wonderful sons.

Tatsushi Arai

Dr. Tatsushi (Tats) Arai is an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University, USA and holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, USA. He previously worked as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the National University of Rwanda as well as a representative of a Japanese development assistance NGO in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. In addition to being the author of a growing number of research publications on peacebuilding, reconciliation, psychosocial support, and development, Dr Arai has over 20 years of practitioner experience across 20 plus conflict-affected countries and regions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (Rwanda, northeastern Nigeria), the Middle East, and East, South, and Southeast Asia. Dr Arai has previously served as a United Nations Senior Mediation Advisor on a when-actually-employed basis, and has also worked extensively with NGOs, community-based organizations, government agencies, and international organizations. With Dr J.B. Niyonzima, he has recently published “Learning Together to Heal” in the Peace and Conflict Studies journal to develop a conceptual framework of the Ubuntu Center’s work. Dr Arai is a Japanese citizen and currently lives with his tri-national family in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. For more information about his publications and initiatives, please consult his website.

Rwanda Board of Directors

François Rwambonera

President Legal Representative

François Rwambonera has a long experience in educational planning & administration, project management and participatory/active pedagogy. Currently retired, in the past, he worked in the Rwandan Ministry of Education and later in the Protestant Educational Department. He is a holder of a Master’s degree in Mathematics with other professional certificates.

Dr. Lucien Nzayirata

Vice-President

Dr. Lucien NZAYIRATA is the vice president of the Rwanda Board of Directors for Ubuntu Center for Peace. He is a Medical Doctor since 2016, holds a bachelor’s degree of medicine and surgery from the University of Rwanda. He has three years’ experience of clinical practice in both public and private institutions and over seven years of public health experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently a Research Physician at Rwanda Zambia Health Research (RZHRG) who works as a co-investigator in clinical trials and ensures that international and local regulations are met for effectiveness and safety of participants.

Sr. Donatille Mukarubayiza

Treasurer

Sr.Donatille is a very respected peace and justice activist, who has been working in the community-based socio-economic development for over 27 years. Religious for over 35 years in the Congregation of Bernardine Sisters, her expertise is in social work, technical education and peacebuilding. In the UCP Rwanda Board of Directors, she is the Treasurer of the Executive Committee.

Dr. Lucien Nzayirata

Vice-President

Mr. Norbert is social justice lawyer, committed to the grassroots’ right to develop and an expert in Local Economic Development at both Policy Level and practice of project management as well as Small and Medium Enterprises promotion for over 20 years. He holds a Masters of Arts in “Community and Social Development” from BIRCHAM INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, Madrid, SPAIN, a Diploma of Legal Practice from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD), a Diploma in Philosophy from the Major Seminary Philosophicum of Kabgayi – Rwanda and a Bachelor’s degree in Law, from the Institute of Lay Adventists of Kigali (INILAK). In the UCP Rwanda Board of Directors, he is a member of the Accountability Committee.

Norbert Habincuti

Economic Development at both Policy Level and practice of project management as well as Small and Medium Enterprises promotion for over 20 years. He holds a Masters of Arts in “Community and Social Development” from BIRCHAM INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, Madrid, SPAIN, a Diploma of Legal Practice from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD), a Diploma in Philosophy from the Major Seminary Philosophicum of Kabgayi – Rwanda and a Bachelor’s degree in Law, from the Institute of Lay Adventists of Kigali (INILAK). In the UCP Rwanda Board of Directors, he is a member of the Accountability Committee.

Josue Murengezi

Mr. Josue is a Teacher Training Expert for over 10 years with management, coaching and mentoring skills. He also has experience of 5 years in implementing education reforms that support improved early grade reading outcomes and in online learning programs. He implemented a project ‘Violence-free schools and communities in Rwanda’ aimed at integrating Positive Discipline techniques into the existing Education system. Josue has experience in advocacy, working with government institutions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from the National University of Rwanda. In the UCP Rwanda Board of Director, Josue is a member of the Accountability Committee.

Dr. Niyonzima Jean Damascane

Medical Doctor with over 14 years of both clinical and public health experience, Dr. Jean Damascene worked with Partners In Health, the Rwanda Ministry of Health District Hospitals and American Refugee Committee in Rwanda. Between 2013- 2014, he was engaged in the UN Humanitarian Mission in Haiti as a clinical officer. He currently works with the Rwanda Biomedical Center as a Community Case Management Senior Officer. Dr. Jean Damascene is a graduate of the National University of Rwanda, with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. In the UCP Rwanda Board of Directors, he is a member of the Conflict Resolution Committee.

Alvera Murekatete

Sociologist with a background of educator, Alvera has been working with non-government organizations for over 20 years. After the 1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda, he co-founded “Noyau Pour la Paix” in 2000 for which she has been serving as a coordinator to promote peace including harmony in families and community integration of orphans. Co-founder of the UCP Board of Directors in Rwanda, Alvera is a member of the Conflict Resolution Committee.

We improving lives of trauma-affected individuals and communities alike, convinced that everyone deserves a dignified life