TTT in Rwanda´s prisons

During the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 over 800 000 people were killed. Thousands of the perpetrators are still in prison. From the acts of violence they did they suffer from trauma. This creates a lot of problems for their rehabilitation and their possibilities to reconcile with society. The staff also express that they have no tools to change the well being of the detainees before they get back into society. 

Peaceful Heart Network was asked to do trainings in TTT to see if the releasing of the inner wounds can contribute to the healing of the individuals and in that way to the healing of the society in general.

A theory we hold for true is that when individuals suffering Post Traumatic Stress reactions from inner wounds interact in a society it is hard to create stability and peace, since aggression and fear are part of these reactions. With TTT our intent is to help heal the individuals, and in this way contribute to the healing of the society in general.

The person doing the trainings is Murigo Veneranda, herself an orphan and survivor of the genocide and the detainees are mainly perpetrators of the genocide. The project has in that way become an act of reconciliation in itself.

 “Some survivors of the genocide ask me: “What are you doing in the prisons with those criminals? Why do you help them?” tells Murigo.

“I understand what they mean, because just two years ago iI would have said the same. Then it would been impossible for me to do this work. I was full of hate and feelings of vengeance towards those who acted the violence during the genocide. Now it is different. And it is all because of TTT that I have no problem with that anymore. “

“Now, for me this shows that everything is possible. The detainees as well as the staff are my colleagues now.”, Murigo says with a big smile. “It was like miracles happening in the prisons, Murigo says laughing. “You know, after the trainings we all shared sodas (soft drinks), and were dancing and singing together. “

So far Murigo has given trainings in six of the 14 prisons in Rwanda:  Nyamagabe, Muhanga, Nyanza, Huye, Rusizi, Rubavu. All in all she has trained 370 detainees and 160 staff. Still more to come.

Murigo Veneranda, herself an orphan of the genocide, is teaching TTT in the Rwandan prisons where most of the detainees are convicted of crimes committed during the genocide.   

“Doctor TTT” in Chad

After the crisis in Libya a lot of people lost family and property and had to flee the country. One of our Trauma tapping colleagues in Chad, Cherif Choukou, is working with chadiene refugees  for IMO – International Organization of Migration close to Moussoro.

Many of the refugees were traumatized so Cherif offered trainings in TTT. After experiencing that his “medicine”, the tapping procedure, has truly helped them heal a lot of their inner emotions, they now call him “Doctor TTT”. 

Cherif Marabou and participants

“Thank you for teaching TTT” said the marabout, traditional leader, and the children to Cherif Choukou (in white shirt).


Orphans in Chad

These two orphans lost their parents in Libya and came as refugees to Chad. They didn´t sleep for many weeks and had little appetite for eating. After learning TTT from Cherif they say that they suffer less and can eat and sleep again.

TTT pioneers of South Sudan

TTT Pioneers Group in Souty Sudan

Some of the pioneering Trauma Tappers in South Sudan. Trauma is a big problem in the country after 50 years of war.

TTT has been planted in the world´s youngest nation South Sudan. Peaceful Heart Network was invited to do TTT workshops during a training of 200 peace mobilizers organized by Initiatives of Change (  and the government of South Sudan.

The people of South Sudan have lived with war the last 50 years. A majority of the population has experienced violence and atrocities at close range. Trauma is now a big problem. The fascinating thing is that the authorities openly talk about it and eagerly want to do something to help those traumatized.

A group of 20 of the 200 Peace Mobilizers got extra training in TTT so that they should be able to teach the technique to others in their communities and states where they come from. In the deep shadow under a beautiful mango tree just beside we discussed experiences of trauma, symptoms of trauma and practiced the TTT. It was too hot to be inside. 

This group is the Trauma Tapping pioneers in their country. Maketh Kuot Deng – one of them sent this email some days after the training was finished.

“Dear, I hope God has guided you safely back home to meet your family. I will be happy to hear from you.

We are working well with TTT in our state Jonglei . People enjoy it, they see it as the best way of killing trauma in South Sudan. It is welcome.”

TTT Nyakun in Soth Sudan

Maketh Kuot Deng and Nyakun Peter Koang, two of the Trauma Tappers in South Sudan.


One of the participants – Ajing Chol Giir  – made a song for the tapping. We performed it for all the other participants. Music is one of the new components we encourage trauma tappers to use when teaching TTT. It makes the healing more powerful. Music and dance is one of the traditional ways of healing in many cultures, especially in Africa.

Ajing´s song is in the dinka language – one of the biggest languages in South Sudan. 

Gunilla and Ajing o Gu in South Sudan

Ajing Chol Giir explains the text of the TTT song he has written “If you wake up with war nightmares, just tap …..”


We got an email from Ajing the other day:

“Hey dear Ulf, I am very glad to connect with you at this time.   I am also very lucky and proud that i have got to know somebody like Gunilla Hamne who amicably taught me a very important technique. I am using it now on many war traumatized people. My trauma song is doing great and the children are now using it in their playing in my home village. I will send u guys a video as soon as i put it together.” 

 Watch Ajing´s song here


Under Tree in South Sudan

Amandu and Angelina in South Sudan

Amandu Night Joy and Angelina Paulino Rial.

Nyabika in Soth Sudan

Nyabika Ruei Kuang

TTT Trainining in South Sudan

TTT training with 200 Peace Mobilizers in Juba, South Sudan. Also several of the 25 facilitators learnt the technique.

Gunilla performing TTT Training in South Sudan

Multiplying effect reaches refugees

Trauma Tappng in Kigeme

When Murigo Veneranda started her multiplying effect experiment together with the refugees in Kigeme camp she trained 8 people. She told them to train five people each. After a couple of weeks they called her and said. “OK, now we are 40….” That was a month ago. 


“It is now over 500 refugees who have been trained in TTT” she says over the phone. “They will still teach others. Imagine if we could reach almost everybody in the camp!” 

There are 17 000 living there… How far can we reach?

As we wrote here in the blog before Murigo Veneranda has started a multiplying scheme of TTT in the refugee camp of Kigeme in the southwest of Rwanda. There are 17 000 refugees who have had to flee the violence in the neighbor country DR Congo. The plastic houses look like sugar cubes on the hill where they have been placed by the UN refugee commission UNHCR . 

Murigo started out by training 8 people, among them the president of the refugee committee Benjamin. When I came with her some time later they were 40, since she had told them to train 5 people each. 

We met in the local bar, since we are not allowed to enter the camp itself without special permit. Squeezed on benches all managed to get in, sharing some soft drinks and chatting about what had happened since Murigo was there last time.  

Mr Safari translated for me from French to Kinyarwanda and Swahili. His name is Safari which means Travel. He got this name because he was born when his mother was fleeing from Rwanda to Congo. And now he has been forced to flee……back to where they came from. Forced travels. 

All those who had come were very enthusiastic and eager to know more about how to deal with those internal images of violence and atrocities that many of them live with after being attacked in their villages back home. They demonstrated how they did the Tapping. We showed some videos and did our best to answer all their questions.

“Can we use TTT for children? Some scream of nightmares almost every night”

“Are those who just talk to themselves like a crazy traumatized?”

“Some don´t eat at all, can that be a symptom of trauma?”

“How often can we use TTT?” etcetera

Since then the multiplying effect has continued. Now they are more than 500 Trauma Tappers in Kigeme refugee camp. We will see how Murigo will manage to meet them all. She is planning to go there soon. 

Murigo tapping in Kigeme


Murigo, Safari and Benjamin in Kigeme

Murigo Veneranda (left), Chairman of the refugee committee Benjamin (right), Safari (with the cap).

Refugee Camp in Kigeme

Like sugar cubes of 3×4 meter, are the plastic houses for the 17 000 congolese refugees placed on a hill top in the southwest of Rwanda.



Tapping in Senegal and Sierra Leone

Trauma Tappers in Senegal

“We are very grateful for TTT” wrote our colleague Margherita Zilliacus from Finland after teaching TTT in Senegal and Sierra Leone.


One of our Tapping colleagues, Margherita Zilliacus from Finland, has been doing TTT training at a rehabilitation center for drug addicts in Dakar in Senegal. The social workers who participated found the method useful and gave it a new name: Nioko Bokk which in their language wolof means “This is for everybody”.

Already after the first couple of sessions they said that it had helped them with symptoms like pain, congestion, tiredness, sleeplessness, stress, headache etcetera. They will now continue to use the TTT for the clients at the center and in a prison for women.  

Margherita also went to the neighbor country Sierra Leone volunteering for Fambul Tok – a world renowned organization known for their community approach to reconciliation,  restoring trust between people after the ten year long (un)civil war (

Me and our colleague Robert Ntabwoba worked with them a couple of years ago doing TTT trainings with their groups of Peace Mothers, i.e. widows of the war.

After her visit Margherita wrote: 

 “I went with Liliana (one of the Fambul Tok staff) to the village of Woama in Tankoro chiefdom. The chairlady of the Peace Mothers told me they still use TTT since you were there, every time they meet and also for themselves and others. They find it very helpful. They send greetings to you. Liliana is great. She really appreciated your work here. We also did TTT trainings in other villages.”

You can see the chairlady Sia James doing TTT in our video from Sierra Leone.


From Kibera to Siaya

We got an email from Joseph Ochieng, an activist and
TTT trainer from Kibera, supposed to be Africa´s largest shanty town,
telling about his initiative to reach out to vulnerable women and children
in an other neglected part of his country Kenya. He himself was trained in TTT during a workshop in collaboration between Initiatives of Change ( and Peaceful  Heart Network in Nakuru, north from Nairobi in Kenya:


I trust that you are doing fine. 

I recently went to Nyanza province near Lake Victoria to meet a group of women at Bar-Ober in Siaya county that I know since an outreach program of our organization Pillars of Kibera ( I am humbled to let you know that the Trauma Tapping Training has come to be a tool of great help to the vulnerable women and the youth in Siaya. 

They suggested that if we could do a short documentary on Trauma Tapping Technique, it could be screened in their communites during meetings, in schools and in other institutions.

I also got opportunity to meet with the principal of Butere primary school and had a lengthy discussion with him elaborating the concept of TTT and how it could be of use in schools in the rural areas, where children have a lot of challenges that affects their studies.

I must say that i am very touched and honored by your efforts to contribute to some solution to the challenges that many people are going through. The TTT offer an opportunity that I wish we had more of.

Thanks once again for the support and opportunity that you offer to me by standing with us. Best greetings Joseph of Pillar of Kibera.


Thank you for helping last month in D.R. Congo!

We humbly realize our limitations in spreading trauma relief. One of them is finances. We currently fund everything out of our own pockets and with help from those of you who donate. Normally money is the best way to help us, because our main costs are transportation and water for trainings. On rare occasions we need materials. This was one. 

Thank you so much to Swedish Printing company GL-Tryck for enabling us to spread the pocket size instruction booklet in french and english in both D.R. Congo and Rwanda in thousands of copies that we could never afford to print ourselves. 

If you ever print in Sweden and care for what we do, honor this printing company. They helped us print two boxes of Trauma Tapping instructions and speed delivered for our project in D.R. Congo as a donation.

Young boys in D.R Congo

In the photo you can see liberated child soldiers at BVES with the Trauma Tapping pocket instruction. Thanks Marina Wiking for the layout help and Caroline Piers for the French translation. We are very thankful. You have all made a difference. Special thanks Hans Mossberg and GL-Tryck from Ulf and Gunilla. VISIT THEM NOW:


TTT at Kigeme refugee camp




kigeme 6

Murigo Veneranda, (in the middle) one of Peaceful Heart Networks Trauma Tappers in Rwanda has done a great scheme of TTT trainings for refugees in Kigema camp at the congolese border. After training eight of the responsible people in the camp, she has obliged them to train five people each in the camp till next time she comes. And then those 40 are going to train five each and so on. That is how you create a movement! If you have seen the film “Pay it forward” this is similar.

Will it be possible to reach all 14 000 in the camp? 

The refugees fled from DR Congo to Rwanda last year during the attacks of rebel groups during the M23 offensive.

Murigo and myself will go to Kigeme tomorrow.

kigeme 4


kigeme 1

kigeme 3

kigeme camp



Tapping Gives Results in Bukavu

 bukavu centre 3

I find it truly inspiring to visit and see the work done by the Trauma Tapping teams we support in DR Congo. The other day I went to see  the Trauma Tapping Centre in Bukavu. To get there you go from the centre of the city  towards the port, then turn up one of the hills overlooking Lake Kivu, passing the Psychiatric Hospital Sosame  and then you go down on a local unpaved road leading through the community called Kalele. All along the way people are moving, children on their way to school in their white and blue uniforms, others carrying loads on their heads, minibuses with the conductor hanging out the door to get more passengers, motorbikes… 

The TTT centre is just in the centre of the community in a small whitewashed house. The doors are open to anybody and somebody from the team is  present  more or less every day except sunday. People come by having heard about the centre from somebody, having heard that here is a place where you can get help when you have heavy thoughts, can´t sleep, are feeling sad or have thought about suicide because of problems and events you have lived through. Nobody has offered that before. But the needs are there.

bukavu centre 2

I am welcomed by the Trauma Tapping team: Germando, Sylvie, Duni and Batu. Before we sit down to talk they receive and treat some clients who have already come to see them: a young girl of 17 who has difficulties to concentrate in school because of thinking of her parents who have died. A woman who suffers from insomnia and headache after losing her husband. An old man on crutches having amputated  his leg after an operation who says he feels useless and often gets angry for nothing. He has tried to hang himself twice.

“You know even a small problem for one person can destabilize a whole family and that family can destabilize the  whole community”, comments Germando after treating the old man. “That is what we see happening here. So many are living with traumas after years of conflict, difficult economy and frustration.”

The others agree and confirms how needed this centre has shown to be. When approaching schools and churches talking about trauma, how it shows and that it can be treated, they always get the same comment:

“Oh yes, you are right trauma is a big problem for us.”

bukavu centre 4

“There should be centers like this everywhere to help people”, says Batu. “Then people would understand of what trauma is  and how it affects people and the society. And learn how to deal with it. The whole world should learn TTT, that is my opinion after experiencing this technique.”

“Yes, it is such a great feeling to see a smile from somebody who was so sad and traumatized before getting treated”, adds Germando. “Imaging if we could stop worrying about financing the center and focus on starting a new one in for example in Nindja where people have experiences so much violence from all the armed groups. I just hope people understand how much every dollar they donate means here. Even the smallest contribution is one more day of work made possible for us.” 

bukavu:centre 1 

Is Trauma Healing a Vital Part of Reconciliation?

newsletter 2: I&P

I met legendary Peace Builders Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa from Nigeria and the filmmaker Alan Channer, who has filmed documentaries about their work, a year ago in Canada. We all soon realized how well our different missions fit together. At a later point we reunited in Chad under the black Saharan sky, and continued our discussions how to work together. In November it came true in Kenya.

Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye were enemies, one being part of a muslim militia and the other of a christian one. Finally they realized the futility in being enemies and started working together building a platform to be able to assist groups of people to build peace.

Because of the documentary of Alan Channer, their work got known worldwide. Today they are invited all over the globe to assist people in reconciliation and peace building processes. Their method is well received because it has given positive results in many places.

Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye recognize the work of Peaceful Heart Network and the methodology of Trauma Tapping. During our joint workshop in Kenya they introduced the method to the participants who came from different ethnic groups:

This Trauma Tapping is a new and universal method. The method crosses over all the borders of spiritual traditions, nationality, gender and race. And it is so simple. We need such an approach to help those who are traumatized and to be able to build long lasting peace.

We held the TTT training as part of the reconciliation work, showed our videos from other workshops and exchanged experiences on symptoms of trauma and what makes people traumatized.

One of the participants, the tall Chief Zephaniah Lekachuma from the cattle herders in the north west of Kenya, was very keen to learn. I asked him to demonstrate his new knowledge to the others and have them to follow the procedure from him instead of me. He was more than willing.

newletter:2 chief

I asked how he found the Tapping:

“I feel very relaxed”, he said somewhat surprised. “Specially when tapping on the chest and on the eyebrows. I will definitely use this in my area. So many people come to my office and tell they are traumatized for different reasons.”

Everybody applauded him and laughed in the relaxed atmosphere that mostly settles after a trauma tapping training.

newsletter 2:i, p g

After the workshop Pastor Wuye wrote:

“Thank you for what you offered to the people of Kenya. Many said you have given them a life long gift.


Here is a trailer to the film “An African Answer” about the work of Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye:


“For anyone who wants to do holistic peacemaking, you need to recognize and know how to handle trauma — because conflict is about causing injuries to people.”

These words come from the manual on Peace building that comes with the film “An African Answer”. These words that made me happy, because this resonates with the thinking of Peaceful Heart Network: “you need to address the trauma to be able to build long lasting peace!”

It is a dream coming true to work with these committed people and be able to move trauma work to being part of reconciliation.


The workshops were arranged in a collaboration between Initiatives of Change ( and US Institute of Peace (