course of one week in June 2008 we—Emily
Higgs and Pastor Nyatomba Emmanuel—traveled to the three camps
of Nemba, Ndego and Kageyo to meet with participants and leaders.
We interviewed 59
individuals, including seven AVP facilitators in Kigali, in an effort
to evaluate AVP’s impact on the individuals and life in the camp.
We chose individual interviews as our primary approach because this
allowed us to hear personal testimony and ask follow-up questions for
clarification. We also included group discussion wherever possible.
Individuals to be interviewed were selected by the leaders at each
camp. With the help of FPH an individual leader in each camp was notified
of our arrival plans and the AVP group to be interviewed was always
gathered and ready for us when we arrived. In each camp we were able
to interview an impressive group with varied and diverse backgrounds.
We conducted no interviews in Nasho due to previously scheduled events
there on the day we had planned to visit. Also, many of the AVP participants
in Nasho had since left the camp and moved to other resettlement areas.
With one exception,
the interviews were conducted via translation. The questions were
translated into Kinyarwanda and the responses translated
back into English and recorded by hand. After each round of interviews
we discussed how to elicit thorough responses and fine-tune our questions
to delve more deeply into the issues with each individual. Despite
Pastor Emmanuel’s skills there are always limitations and challenges
presented by translation. Certain nuances, not to mention the character
and spirit of each language, are lost in the gap between translation
and understanding. In an effort to minimize the loss of accurate translation
we would often ask the interviewee to pause in between thoughts or
sentences, so the translation would be as close to the speaker’s
intention as possible and not just a summary. All of the quotations
used in this evaluation appear exactly as they have been translated,
though some have been edited slightly for grammar to make sure the
message is clearly understood.
Access to the camps, bad roads and the distance between Kigali and
each camp, negatively affected the amount of time we were able to spend
at each. Consequently we were unable to spend as much time with each
individual as we would have liked. However, the similarity of the responses
at each camp indicates that we were getting responses that struck to
the heart of the issues. We would have liked to interview more non-AVP
participants in an effort to see if they had noticed any change in
the camps. We were able to interview only one non-participant, a leader
in Nemba, who was very attuned to the effects of AVP in the camp. Interviewing
family and friends of AVP participants would also have been helpful,
not only in verifying the responses we got from those we interviewed,
but to understand the broader ripple effects of AVP in each place.
next page: Findings