The HROC program is based on a set of key principles and assumptions.
- First, HROC believes that in every person, there is something good. This is a radical notion in societies where most members have witnessed neighbors and even family members committing gruesome acts of violence.
- Secondly, the program is based on the belief that each person and society has the inner capacity to heal, and an inherent intuition of how to recover from trauma. Healing from trauma requires that a person’s inner good and wisdom is sought and shared with others. It is through this effort that trust can begin to be restored.
- Third, both victims and perpetrators of violence experience trauma and its after-effects.
- Fourth, healing from trauma requires that a person’s inner good and wisdom is sought and shared with others. It is through this effort that trust can begin to be restored.
- Fifth, the violence in Rwanda was experienced at both a personal and community level. Therefore, efforts to heal and rebuild the country must also happen at both the individual and community level.
- Lastly, healing from trauma and building peace between groups are deeply connected; it is not possible to successfully do one without the other. Trauma healing and peace building efforts must happen simultaneously.
HROC’s approach to learning grows directly from these six underlying principles. HROC workshops rely on participants’ own experiences of violence, trauma, and healing to provide the backbone of curriculum content. Rather than provide multiple didactic lectures, HROC facilitators invite participants to discover their own existing knowledge and their own inner wisdom about how to heal and how to help others. This approach builds a strong sense of community among group members, instills a new confidence in a wounded self, and ensures that the lessons learned are steeped in the context of the particular conflict and the post-conflict recovery process. The fact that the program relies on eliciting actual experiences enhances its adaptability to varying contexts and cultures.