Date of publication: February 2015
Fostering Reconciliation Through Tree Planting
This booklet is an illustration of the creativity of the human spirit. Communities in Rwanda addressed the issue of fostering reconciliation from an innovative and homegrown approach – that of tree planting. Specifically, tree planting can take on the function of catalysing and enabling social interaction which can lay the foundation for deep transformation through dialogue between former victim and perpetrators. The tree planting has symbolic and practical significance. At its core the act of planting is symbolic of laying new foundations for a transformed relationship, which needs to be nurtured. The act of nurturing the tree symbolises the persistent effort that is required to transform societies. Ultimately, the growth of the tree is representative of the fostering of reconciliation, a process that can transcend several generations of human society. The planting of a tree also creates a space where community members can physically meet, have dialogue on issues that hinder their reconciliation, and discuss possible and practical solutions that are adapted to their specific situation.