Award for Civil society – 2013


Association "Modeste et Innocent"

Tags: genocide, reconciliation, ubuntu, forgiveness.

« I wish to see a society which is full of ubuntu, a society that has some charity. »

« Peace cannot be achieved in a society where the human being does not feel it in himself. »

Laurien in a few words: It is in Leuven, where he prepares his dissertation in theology that Laurien Ntezimana discovers the Taoism as a philosophy. He decides then to engage his thesis for his future: leaving the easy ways and pursue the “good power”. For Laurien Ntezimana “good power” is the maturity of the human being (See Libres paroles d’un théologien rwandais : joyeux propos de bonne puissance, Karthala, Paris, 1998). He returns in Rwanda in the 90’s to fight against violence before, during and after the genocide. In 2000, he creates the association AMI as for continuing with his ways to develop the ubuntu through the “good power” vision.


The good power

A change in the logic

For making a genocide not repeatable changing the actors alone is not enough if there is no change in the logic. For Laurien people do often retaliate in response to an offence. Changing the logic allows to reach another level of awareness and allows to discover how things which discriminate people are quite minor compared with things that unite them.

Create the link

In order to help people move from the traumatism of the genocide, Laurien suggests a strategy for people to live together. The “method of the good power”, is what Laurien suggests. It is to transform the trauma into conscience which allows to free oneself from labels… "before one is a hutu or a tutsi a human being is a human being and she/he should be respected as such".

Freeing the word

Today, Rwandans have been trained in “good power”. They create active groups in different villages in Rwanda. Spaces have been allocated for people to meet. That has help to break the vicious circle of violence in Rwanda.


In brief: The method of the good power is based on solving conflicts while consolidating peace. The method is based on the bible with a considerable dose from the taoist philosophy. Initiatives which have been created are as follows:

  • creation of small groups for reconciliation
  • creation of spaces where all people meet for dialogue
  • creation of “clubs speak” in schools in order to promote the citizenship
  • education programs in psycho-social reintegration


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