About the Rwanda Rehabilitation, Community and Career Center
To promote the well-being of the individuals and families, as well as peaceful cohabitation of people by providing accessible, quality mental health and substance abuse/addiction care for children, adolescents, adults, and their families, utilizing a service system that emphasizes trust, respect, confidentiality, compassion, peace and reconciliation.
Our vision is of a world where people with mental illness receive the mental health care they need, and go on to live productive, fulfilling lives free from trauma.
The people of Rwanda were affected by the genocide in many ways. Some suffer severe post-traumatic stress as a result of the events they witnessed, many are struggling with grief at the loss of friends and family, some turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with that loss.
Even those who have successful careers and families of their own might experience depression or unwanted thoughts from time to time, but feel as though they can’t talk about it.
Our center will be a safe space for anyone who needs a little support provided by qualified, trained staff and experienced in dealing with the full range of conditions specific to genocide survivors and all affected people. We provide group therapy sessions, one-on-one counseling and a range of holistic activities to complement their recovery.
About the founders:
Damien Nkubana Bio:
Damien grew up in Rwanda. At the age of 17, he was a seminary student with the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide. Eventually, he graduated from seminary and became a Catholic priest. Due to uncontrollable circumstances and strong personal reasons, Damien left the priesthood. He now shows his conviction of creating a more peaceful world through his humanitarian efforts. Religion, race, and ethnicity: These things divide us. Damien has let go of dogma to follow the thread that unites us all, compassion. He has an undergraduate education in economics with post baccalaureate training in education and counseling. His counseling work is done through the University of Washington program called PEARLS. He can often be seen working in many villages near Musanze. He works, unrelentingly, to relieve the suffering of his people. Damien Nkubana is the leader and founder of PEARLS Rwanda.
Brandon Swann Bio:
Brandon (who also goes by “Swan”), grew up in a Christian Nationalist home in the Southern part of the United States. He went to private schools with a limited ideology designed to isolate him from others. At times, he was taken out of school to dress up as a Confederate soldier to do living history demonstrations with his father, a war historian and teacher.
Eventually, he joined the U.S. Army Infantry where he blew the whistle on abuse and was honorably discharged. After years of racism and religion, he let it all go and left society to live in the wilderness. He is now devoted to compassion and is part of a multicultural family. Currently, he is a student at Kansas State University and has devoted his life to becoming more compassionate. He is a founding volunteer with PEARLS.
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