It is natural for ones to feel lonely when they are isolated from the others, but it doesn’t hurt as hard as when someone feels rejected, unable to connect with people due to one’s dark past experience and the difficult life they went through.
This makes one feeling hopeless.
The above situation befell Iréné Mizero, a 32 years old after knowing that his parents were jailed due to their participation in genocide perpetrated against Tutsis.
He experienced adverse impacts of isolation, loneliness and rejection.
Enduring the aftermath of the 1994 genocide for Mizero was a hard task to manage.
His parents’ imprisonment profoundly hurt his inner heart and made him feeling socially rejected.
“Before, we used to live a good life with my parents. After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, life became hard and our relatives decided to put us in different families. We were six children.” he revealed.
Nevertheless, time combined with God’s mercy and helping hand of friends Mizero came out with necessary strength to cope with daily hardships.
Today, he regained strength and hope for a bright future.
In 2013, he initiated the Mizero Care Organization which focuses on projects aiming at taking youths out of isolation, promoting health, education, and economic growth through confronting isolation and loneliness.
He reached young people in their respective homes.
Most of the beneficiaries are students who are still in schools. Through their stories, many of them were in a state where they saw education as waste of time and those who tried it out, find themselves failing or dropped out.
The organization also caters for school fees for some of the students in TVET schools. During Christmas holidays, they bring the beneficiaries together as a symbol of a united family. This avoids the negative feelings of loneliness and bitter isolation.
Working together with cells, sectors and districts to identify the isolated youths, the organization operates in Nyarugenge, Nyamagabe, Kicukiro and Gasabo districts.
Up to now, the organization has positively transformed hundred lives of psychologically and financially affected students through psychotherapy services, education and economic empowerment.
According to Mizero, Founder and CEO of Mizero Care Organization, the acquired psychotherapy services by the youths will enable them fit on the society as others.
“They have developed themselves and become the beacon of wellbeing and social inclusion. Those still isolated will one day benefit from the experience of our first trained ones”. he said.
Mizero underlines the importance of training the youth as it helps them to become effective developmental partners for Rwanda.
His organization is currently enrolling new beneficiaries to undergo the program of Mizero Care joy project in coming years.
Emmanuel Ndayisaba, an ICT student at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC) Butare, lost his parents during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, when he was only five.
“I was lucky to survive but again life didn’t go as I expected. I was taken in by a relative, who mistreated me to the point of seeking refuge to another place,
“After failing to get where to stay comfortably, I kept on staying at one place for sometimes then move to another one, which affected my study terribly,” he says.
The 25 year old said it affected him emotionally and psychologically, the whole situation made him dropping out schools and thereafter became a bad element of the society.
Luckily, in 2014 he joined the organization which, according to him, became a relief to his psychological and financial misfortunes.
He thereafter started schooling and completed his secondary education.
Pierrine Musabyemariya, a third year student at College of business and economics says she lived in isolation and rejection since she was born as long as she can remember.
“I was born outside wedlock; I never experienced the love of any parents. At a young age I found myself living with my uncle who was supposed to be my guardian,” she says.
After she completed her primary school, her uncle got married and the wife chased her away. She was now surviving through the help of good Samaritans who will take her in for sometimes. With all that suffering at a young age, Musabyemariya lost hope of living and started living darkness and hopelessness.
Although she cannot explain the whereabouts of her parents, she benefited from a church’s support until 2013, when she was introduced to Mizero Care Organization.
She is now glad to be part of the organization that financially supported her to joining the University. Her life became normal and praising as anyone else’s.
The organization also has psychotherapy services, where they partner with different clinical psychologists to help the youth on how to handle their problems.
According to Sylvester Twizerimana, a clinical psychologist who offers support to the youths and helps them to handle such cases reveals that always putting them in different groups and use various approaches to deal with their problems is an ideal tool.
He says group individual and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) are some of the techniques to use as to help youth re-integrate the normal life.
CBT is a technique to use as to educate youth on how to overcome, handle and cope with psychological problems.
“Here, we are able to help those suffering from different problems including trauma, hopeless, school failure and depression too,
“Our main purpose is to help them change the way they perceive the life they grow up, how they are feeling, and how they can change that and how positively live with others,” he says.
Giving them a chance to explain and tell their stories is important, said Twizerimana.
The advice, he says, is always to encourage them to stay away from things that are susceptible of making feel lonely, isolated and depressed.
He says they can do this through relaxing, listen to slow music, God worshipping in church and community activities involvement.
All this will have impact on their emotions thus help them to change positively with time.
Consequences of isolation
According to Emmanuella Mahoro, a psychologist at Caring for Impact Ministries Rwanda, and also works with Mizero Care Organization, it is a responsibility of the entire nation to work together in helping youth to overcome this daily huge dilemma.
“There is a huge harm that results from youth isolation, rejection, it’s easier for them to develop problems such as depression once they feel rejected.” she underlined.
“When they are depressed, they cannot work or engage in productive activities, instead, they end up being useless, involved in drug abuse and social deviant,” she says.
She adds that isolation also leads to lack of sleep, pressure, loose hope in life, mental health problems and sometimes also death can occur. She however notes that addressing this problem earlier is better.
By Mizero Care Organization Press