The Whole Person
True Vineyard Ministries cares for the whole person. Every woman who comes to work with True Vineyard Ministries suffers from some level of trauma and loss. Many are survivors from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, others are living with HIV/AIDS, and all of them have struggled to provide for multiple children under their care, enduring varying degrees of hunger, homelessness, and other stresses of poverty.
This is why True Vineyard hired Olive Muhawenimana, the Head Counselor of True Vineyard's Counseling Program. Olive earned her Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Psychology from the National University of Rwanda and joined the True Vinyeard staff in 2014. Olive, with the help of her assistant Marie Claire Umurewa, provides care for each of the 44 women hired by True Vineyard, including the children of women who are living with HIV/AIDS. True Vineyard has been providing personalized one-on-one counseling to each woman since the fall of 2012, when Katie Scraford, a former volunteer, initially developed the counseling program.
The Whole Community
2014 marked the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. What re-surfaced during this period was tragic and remarkable in that there were countless traumatic episodes among Rwandans still suffering from the horrors committed during that 100-day period. True Vineyard realized it was equipped to provide a broader spectrum of emotional care to the entire Musanze District through its counseling program, and wanted ints contribution to be felt throughout the countryside.
In the spring of 2013 True Vineyard hosted a Lay Counselor Training Program to Rwandan community leaders who were interested in committing to a ten-week course on how to offer trauma counseling to community members. Any community member interested was invited to take part in this comprehensive and free training to equip lay counselors to care for their community members.
The commitment and response of the attendees revealed a significant success in the outcome of the training groups. Two nuns attended the training in order to provide support to the local parish communities, leaders from other non-profit organizations attended to strengthen their services, a headmistress from a local secondary school, and multiple pastors and other community members.
Additionally, True Vineyard's new partners, Kate Spade & Company, identified two community members from Masoro (village where cooperative is located) to attend the True Vineyard training in order that their employees may receive the emotional help they need to live productive lives. True Vineyard Ministries is also working with Kate Spade & Company 's cooperative in Masoro in an advisory role to develop their new Life Skills program, which will focus heavily on group counseling. True Vineyard's Head Counselor and Country Director, Olive and Simon, are assisting in setting up this program so that Kate Spade & Company can address their employees emotional needs as they arise.
True Vineyard Ministries is thrilled to provide this level of widespread care to the entire Musanze District and now to the Masoro community. To date True Vineyard has provided two training sessions to a total of 38 community leaders and has plans to continue hosting lay counselor trainings annually to serve the community's needs. Caring for the acute psychological needs of the community is directly in line with True Vineyard's belief that the whole person needs to be liberated from poverty which includes spiritual, physical and emotional poverty in order to experience long lasting transformation.