Publication Date

Summer 2012

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Jim Levinson

Abstract

This research paper is an analysis of a grassroots, agricultural project carried out from 2010 to 2011 in Gitarama Cell, a rural community in Rwanda, East Africa, during my United States Peace Corps Volunteer service (2009-2011). The project began as the Twizere Agriculture Club at Gitarama Primary School. The goal of the club was to increase food security among community members through rabbit and chicken husbandry, and the study of such agriculture techniques as composting, double digging, and the establishment of microgardens.

Despite the acknowledged need for this club, the Twizere Agriculture Club project met multiple constraints that affected its outcomes. Discussing them with community members, club participants, and local leaders, and analyzing the constraints provided valuable insight on the psychological and social effects of trauma emanating from domestic conflict and genocide.

The primary findings of the analysis manifest the totalitarian, hard-version Theory X leadership style the current ruling party uses to control the public, as well as corruption and Stockholm syndrome conceivably among the local leader project stakeholders. Evidence revealed appeasement and post-traumatic stress likely within many of the project stakeholders, in addition to divided relationships, showing fear, anger, and mistrust among the project beneficiaries—being probable effects of the 1994 Genocide. The data also illustrated possible dependency syndrome in the project stakeholders.

The analysis led way to the formation of a hypothesis called The Post-Conflict/Genocide Development Hypothesis. This hypothesis and the analysis’ primary findings may be useful to development workers implementing projects at the grassroots level in post-conflict/genocide societies by preventing some or all of the same constraints that transpired in the Twizere Agriculture Club Project.

Disciplines

Agriculture | Civic and Community Engagement | Inequality and Stratification | Natural Resource Economics | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Sustainability