Patrica Pasick, Ph.D
Re-Storying Rwanda | Rwanda/Michigan PenPals | Rwanda School Tuition
Featured Projects | Re-Storying Rwanda

Stories For Hope


 Hapa: The Private History Of Asian-American RootsAgainst the effects of violent loss, we pair girls & elders, all survivors of the 1994 genocide. In storytelling sessions, untold tales about resilience are preserved for participants & the nation.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Millions of young men and women in Rwanda inherit a formidable legacy of violence, trauma, and loss. They need access to the past without having to re-experience it. The youngest do not know, and fear asking, about what happened in their families and villages. Many of the oldest are traumatized. Elders are quiet, for fear of sparking revenge, or new grief. This conspiracy of silence burdens the next generation, many of whom lack the confidence and support to move forward positively.

How will this project solve this problem?

We train counselors how to elicit untold stories & strengths through storytelling dialogues between a young person & chosen elder. Our goal is emotional healing, particularly among the most vulnerable, like female orphans, and sons of perpetrators.

Potential Long Term Impact

The more known about the positive values in your family and culture, the more choices you have about how to follow positively in your ancestors' footsteps.Using radio and print journalism, we broadcast examples of this to millions in rural areas.

Project Message

"I came to know [my mother, Mukakayonde Anna] as a human being with human rights I know I am actually a human being with human rights. ..." Recorded in Kigali, August, 2009.
- Nyiranzeyimana Solange, Participant with her Aunt, at a one-yr. evaluation


  • Dr. Pasick is accepting new clients, after a leave of absence to work in Rwanda.
  • Featured in the New York Times
  • September 21, 2010, Stories For Hope was mentioned on Neal Conan's Talk of the Nation , "Saving the World with Apps & Twitter" ( Transcript, Tape)
  • By raising over $4000 from over 50 donors, Stories For Hope Rwanda earned a permanent place on Global , a prestigious donation site for international aid projects.
  • Dr. Pasick has won a 2010 Humanitarian Service Award from the University of Michigan School of Literature Sciences, & the Arts, for her work to establish Stories For Hope Rwanda.
  • A presentation on intergenerational transmission of trauma was accepted , for presentation at the 26th Annual Meeting of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies in Montreal (2010).
  • Stories For Hope was featured in the Fall 2010 School of Information Alumnae magazine, University of Michigan. Story (see page 6)
  • With a colleague, Celestin Zimulinda, Dr. Pasick has published "For Gloria," a creative non-fiction piece for the journal Memoir (and). The work, about a Rwandan brother & sister, will appear in September 2010.
  • Dr. Pasick, with a team assembled in Rwanda, completed a 3-week trip to Rwanda to implement two grants: one to follow-up participants from 2009, the other to begin a new action/research project in Byumba.
  • In May, 2010 Dr. Pasick met with faculty from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) to collaborate on a reconciliation project in Byumba, Rwanda.
  • Stories For Hope Rwanda was awarded a grant from Psychology Beyond Borders, to evaluate the effectiveness of intergenerational storytelling, an intervention created for Rwanda.
  • Stories For Hope Rwanda was part of a grant awarded to David Wallace, Ph.D., University of Michigan School of Information, to help archive genocide & recovery stories in Rwanda’s national archive Rwanda, and on the Internet.
  • Pat applies to deliver a workshop on Helping Parents Understand Ethnic Identity at the 2009 APA conference.
  • Collaborators at Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Michigan, meet with Pat to apply for grants to help fund Stories For Hope (SFH).
  • The Ministry of Sports and Culture (Rwanda) signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Stories For Hope, and agrees to fund start-up costs.
  • Pat's new book project, Preparing the Way: Raising Strong Children in a Still-Racial World, is shopped among publishers.
  • In NYC Pat meets with her new literary agent, Anna Ghosh, partner at Scovil, Gavil, and Ghosh.
  • A column "Lessons from Rwanda" is published. click here
  • Pat expands her professional network, joining the Asian-American Psychological Association, and the National Assoc. for Multicultural Educators.
  • Stories For Hope-Rwanda (SFH)is certified by Rwanda, to be an International Non-governmental Organization (INGO).
  • The New York Times publishes Pat's Letter to the Editor: click here
  • SFH sets up an office in the Remera sector outside Kigali.
  • SFH hires Evas Kyomugisha as in-country director, and John Bosco Bugingo, as attorney.
  • On a fourth visit to Rwanda, Pat obtains a Letter of Agreement from the Ministry of Sports and Cultur, to conduct the pilot of Stories For Hope.
  • An Emmy award-winning producer begins talks with Pat about a documentary of her work in Rwanda.
  • Pat begins a writing collaboration with the brother of a Rwandan genocide victim.
  • On a fifth trip to Rwanda, Pat obtains fund for the pilot of Stories For Hope.
  • Pat meets Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, and makes her own tape with son Daniel, in Lower Manhattan.
  • The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, receives Pat's draft of "The Origins of Leadership: Personal Stories from the Top 100 Leaders in Rwanda.
  • "Re-Storying Rwanda" The Republic of Rwanda considers Patricia's proposal to bring a mobile storytelling unit around the country, to help Rwanda's first generation to be born after the genocide.
  • Patricia makes a third visit to Rwanda, delivering over $4500 in donations to 15 school children needing tuition assistance, penpal letters from three Michigan schools, and a mental health proposal to the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture. Work on leadership stories continues.
  • Presentation to Northville Public Schools on The College Transition
  • Visit to StoryCorps headquarters in New York.

[ more news ]