Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services

     Healing from the Heart of Africa




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The seeds of tomorrow's wars grow in the soil of today's unhealed traumas. The seeds of tomorrow’s peace grow in the soil of today’s healing and reconciliation.


What's New

  • Gubganeza Hill: The Hill is Gubganeza, a Kirundi term which means “Be Refreshed” - a natural and beautiful location near Gitega city, in the center of Burundi. The perfect venue for a spiritual retreat and a nourishing setting for conferences, workshops and training courses.

  • THARS Biannual Report for 2016-2017   THARS Center Calendar 2018


    Welcome to THARS!

    THARS (Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services) is pioneering a new path to peace by providing resources for trauma healing and reconciliation in Burundi and the African Great Lakes Region.


    For the past 40 years, Burundi and the surrounding African Great Lakes Region have experienced civil war, refugee problems and genocidal episodes. THARS (Trauma Healing And Reconciliation Services) is a group of psychosocial practitioners and peacemakers with headquarters in Bujumbura, Burundi. THARS practitioners contribute to healing and peacemaking in the Great Lakes Region of Africa using a holistic approach to psychosocial healing and resolution of differences for people in all walks of life. Our clients' stories of healing are a testament to the human spirit.

    Launched in 2000, THARS conducts workshops, operates “listening centers”, and facilitates support groups. In 2002, the Government of Burundi registered THARS as an independent, non-profit, inter-faith organization. David Niyonzima, Legal Representative and graduate of George Fox University’s M.A. program in counseling, coordinates the THARS staff. He serves as clinical intervention supervisor and trainer, along with an organized support team of seven staff members who are responsible for logistics, accounting, program administration, referrals and secretarial help. THARS has emphasized: 1) raising awareness and promoting sensitization, 2) training, and 3) clinical intervention. [learn more...]

    The THARS approach is a new path to peace, planting seeds of healing and reconciliation. At THARS we serve not only the people we call the “clients”, but the whole country of Burundi in its transition from war to peace. We believe that the positive change, healing, growth and strength of the population that we see today come from the impact of our work on the mental health of our members.

    THARS Services
    • Training for trainers, non-profit agencies and community leaders
    • Counseling for individuals, groups and families
    • Peace Clubs organized by community leaders
    • Rehabilitation for victims of torture
    • Listening Centers for trauma survivors
    • Shelters for sexual assault survivors
    • Child soldier counselling and reintegration
    • Micro-loans for small business start ups

    THARS projects have been supported by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Victims Of Torture (VOT) project, a cooperative effort with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which provides the many victims of torture in Burundi with legal assistance, advocacy, reintegration and psychosocial support.

    Other supporters have included EU, Care International, UNICEF, Swiss Cooperation, Kindernothilfe, The International Committee for the Red Cross, North Seattle Friends Church, Norwegian Church Aid, Quaker Hilfe Germany, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and private individuals.


    THARS is now seeking funding to continue and expand its operations, [learn more...] 

    THARS is an English language web site, but also provides some documents in French, Kirundi and Swahili.

    This website is provided through the generous support of the Charlottesville Friends Meeting, Virginia, USA and is designed by Jim Mustin, webmaster.