Forgiveness: A Pathway to Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions – From Rwanda to the World
TWCF Number
Project Duration
January 19 / 2024
- January 18 / 2027
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
Amount Awarded

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Jonathan Tirrell
Institution Tufts University

Freddy Mutanguha
Institution Aegis Trust

In Rwanda, the impact of the genocide is felt at the individual, communal, and national levels. The consequences of violence are not unique to Rwanda; but the extent to which forgiveness and reconciliation have occurred over the past 29 years is remarkable. How can someone forgive those responsible for the killing of their close family members and loved ones? Even if one can come to forgive, how can this process be replicated or scaled across a community, a nation — a world?

This project is a researcher-practitioner partnership between Aegis Trust's Kigali Genocide Memorial and the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development (IARYD) at Tufts University. The project team, led by Jonathan Tirrell from IARYD and co-directed by Freddy Mutanguha of Aegis Trust , aims to build an actionable theory-of-change model and associated measurement tools to enable future evaluations and scaling of the Aegis Trust forgiveness and peace-and-values programs.

The following questions will be explored:

  • Can learning from the testimonies of Rwandans inform a useful theory-of-change model and associated measures of effective processes and outcomes of forgiveness and peacebuilding to inform the work of the Aegis Trust?
  • Can research testing the theory-of-change model link forgiveness with character virtue development and community development?
  • Can these models and measures be useful in evaluating and scaling Aegis Trust's peace education programs and the forthcoming Aegis Trust peace institute?

The team plans to carry out mixed-methods, participatory action research (PAR) in collaboration with exemplary community peacebuilders in Rwanda. This will begin with conducting needs assessments, focus group discussions, and qualitative interviews to inform the development of quantitative surveys. Next, these measurement tools will be tested and refined with adolescents, teachers, and the PAR group engaged in peacebuilding. Outputs will include at least four tools related to forgiveness, critical thinking, empathy, and personal responsibility.

Opinions expressed on this page, or any media linked to it, do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. does not control the content of external links.
Related Blog Post
Kigali20 Genocide20 Memorial20photos202
Encountering Genocide: How the Kigali Genocide Memorial Teaches the World to Forgive
The genocide memorial in Kigali, Rwanda is a key component of bringing the nation’s achievements in truth and reconciliation to the world.

Read More
Person doing research
Projects &
Explore the projects we’ve funded. We’ve awarded hundreds of grants to researchers and institutions worldwide.

Projects & Resources