palliative care education with 'Al Amal'

Providing Training to Al-Amal

Becky Resnick, MSW, LICSW


Al Amal is translated into English from Arabic to mean either “the hope”or “the work”.  There is a small grass-roots organization started by several members of the Muslim community in the Nyuragenge District of Kigali that provides in-home palliative care through a team of volunteers, mostly from non-medical backgrounds, but a strong desire to serve.  Al-Amal merges the 2 definitions as they work tirelessly to bring hope to with incurable illness and their families patients from all spiritual and religious faiths. After joining this team on several occasions making visits in the community and talking with the leaders of the team it was clear that many of their volunteers were needing some additional support for themselves so they could better support their patients, as they were struggling with the complex emotional challenges facing terminally ill patients and families.


We shared many laughs and many tears during these sessions, and at each training volunteers were able to share their experience of how they used what they had learned during the prior session(s). 



This photo shows one of the training sessions on Anticipatory Grief at the Al Amal offices where Becky shared her passion for working with patients and families facing life limiting and terminal illness.   


We are grateful to Al Amal for sharing their work with us, providing us the opportunity to offer our support, and allowing our colleague to share her expertise and perspective on these important topics of anticipatory grief, being present to dying, and difficult conversations.  


One of the most important aspects of our trainings in Rwanda is to insure that after the successful completion of the course material, there is a graduation ceremony and a certificate is presented.  


These certificates often count for Rwandan health care practitioners as continuing education units.


They are also a potent symbol of the accomplishment for both the individual student and the group collectively. 

turi kumwe

Turi Kumwe means ~ We are together!   We are present to both the happiness and suffering of our lives and those of our patients. 


This is the spirit of palliative care:  that we have met upon the path and now, we are together.  


This photo of Becky with the Al Amal part-time nurse Janet captures 

the spirit of turi kumwe. 


Together, they are bound in service to the patients and families and to one another as colleagues and friends. 


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