Emotional Objective

A vital objective of the DuHope program model is emotional well-being.

The women who enter DuHope have all faced various experiences of trauma - whether that be in childhood, or as a result of the violence that often occurs from working in survival sex work in Rwanda. Family breakdown, domestic violence, grief and loss, and the pressure to provide for children when living in poverty are all common themes we hear from their stories.

For the incoming new cohort, we will start with group counseling sessions - we found with the first cohort that this is a much more effective approach and is more culturally appropriate. We have partnered with a local counseling clinic who will facilitate group sessions to introduce topics such as: What is trauma? What is gender-based violence? What are some different types of abuse? Grief and loss, how to overcome guilt and shame, and how to build trust in relationships with others. From there, we will offer opportunities for individual counseling if women feel this would be beneficial for them.

Moving forward, our Social Worker will continue to work with the women to unpack the impact of trauma through the Healing the Wounds of Trauma curriculum. This will be a twice-weekly training that explores how women can respond not only to their own experiences, but how to support others in their family or community on issues such as addiction, grief and loss, sexualized assault, forgiveness, and parenting.

The impact of trauma can be long-lasting for any human being - us included! Our hope for the women participating in DuHope is that they gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and feel more equipped to move forward in their lives with this understanding. We also dream of breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma - which we have witnessed already with the current participants in that we see the change in their children. By the women addressing and healing their own traumas, we believe we will see healthier relationships between themselves and their children - we believe DuHope women can and will raise emotionally intelligent, hard-working, and generous children.

While we have dedicated a lot of time to creating a curriculum to help to achieve these goals and dreams, we also go into this new chapter of DuHope remembering that these women have been surviving for many years without us and will have many things to teach us about strength, resilience, and their skills and abilities. It is truly an honor to be a witness to their stories - their past, present, and in their future.

We have seen the first cohort of women become respected members of their communities, and we believe the same for our new cohort - that they take the skills they learn at DuHope, combined with the knowledge they already hold, and feel empowered to share them with those around them so that communities are changed.


Written by Bronte Hughes, DuHope Social Welfare Director