Ensure accessible, evidence-based, improved and innovated sexual and reproductive health services for empowered citizens - district support

Barame SRH Districts
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Rwanda : Client-centered communication, key approach for Gender-based Violence case management

  • Rwanda : Client-centered communication, key approach for Gender-based Violence case management

Client-centered communication and active listening are very important when working with people who are directly affected by any form of gender-based violence. Rwandans who are affected by domestic violence, specifically women and children victims of sexual assault, need psycho-social, legal and medical support from professionals who actively listen and support them in a client-centered manner.  

Enabel’s Barame Project and the GIZ’s Prevention of Sexual and gender-based Violence Project joined forces under their mandate of strengthening psychosocial, legal and medical services offered to persons affected by gender-based violence.

From 21 to 23 February, Enabel, GIZ and their Rwandan partners conducted a workshop on client-centered communication and active listening to tackle identified gaps in terms of communication with the vulnerable target groups, especially those sexually assaulted.  
The workshop brought together professionals from Enabel’s Barame project and GIZ partners, including health centres, Isange One Stop Centres, Haguruka Association and Health Development Initiative, who are working in psychosocial support and legal aid for GBV victims.  

Participants of the workshop were equipped with skills in methods of client-centered communication, active listening as well as self-care, which is key to providing need-based support to people affected by gender-based violence.  

This training also provided participants with methods in dealing with the psychological problems that professionals who work with gender-based violence victims often  face: triggering negative emotions and stress which can affect their performance and hence reduce the quality of care provided to the GBV service beneficiaries.  

“I learned how to better listen to my clients and how to develop a solution together with my client who is seeking support”
said one participant working in face-to-face counselling.
“We tended to rush into handing out solutions and my take-away is that there is a better way to listen empathically to better understand the situation and needs of the client. Instead of imposing a solution I think I will now listen with empathy and we develop a solution together with the client” she added.  

To further support the integration of the acquired skills into the daily work, both Enabel and GIZ projects will support the creation of local communities of practice  and refresher workshops.  

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