About Solace Ministries
Many have doubted about the existence of God during the genocide against Tutsi in 1994. Others whose faith was challenged believed He has abandonned them and the country of Rwanda in general.
The majority of victims and survivors alike cried out to Him until the last minute before they were killed or to the time of delivrance.
No doubt both of them met Him either on this side or in the other side of this life. They are Living Testimonies of the Living God. Those who were killed died with hope, those who survived experienced the faithfulness to His promises...
Solace was started by a Rwandan survivor of the genocide, Jean Gakwandi and his wife Viviane in 1995 in response to the overwhelming needs of those affected by the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi people.
The vision came from the call in Isaiah 401:1 “Comfort, comfort my people” as a response to long and agonizing prayers over the unimaginable suffering and trauma of the remnants of the pogrom that took over one million of people. The call was confirmed by the fact that we have also been comforted in order to comfort others (2Cor.1: 3-5). Widows and orphans were the prime beneficiaries who necessitated a holistic approach for a proper healing.
They were stripped of everything and their loved ones and some of them were literally alone. Sorrow, pain, anger, resentment and also poverty were the everyday ordeal. Soon, the ministry was extended to other hurting people (such as victims of HIV/AIDS). Solace Ministries came as an alternative family and every new beneficiary and staff member becomes a part of the extended family that makes up Solace Ministries.
Over the years Solace has developed new priorities in order to meet the needs of its beneficiaries in a more holistic manner.
Currently Solace has six main programs which include:
- Counseling and Outreach
- Children’s Care and Development
- Community Based Development
- Health and Relief
- Capacity Building
- Research and Documentation
Solace Ministries has opted to comfort people with an approach based on biblical counseling. It is the only way to offer a lasting consolation and healing with Jesus Christ as the centre.
Through its flagship programs, Solace continues to deal with the psychological and emotional trauma that some widows and orphans are still going through. These programs include offering group and individual counseling, helping survivors organize themselves, assisting survivors as they exhume and give proper burials to loved ones and offering emergency assistance to those in extreme need. Many survivors are still in extreme need of assistance many years after the Genocide.