Abstract This paper aims to unpack the empirical and theoretical complexity that surrounds ‘resilience’, with particular attention to its application to war-affected children and youth. We expand current conceptual frameworks to adopt a more inclusive and intergenerational approach that accounts for the added layers of national, global and intergenerational resilience, arguing for greater recognition of the shared or relational nature of resilience. We introduce a multidimensional model of resilience that integrates the macro- and micro-level to include resilience-enabling systems at the family, community, national, global and intergenerational levels. The purpose of this conceptual framework is to provide a more holistic and integrative model that combines both bottom-up and top-down approaches to cultivating resilience, highlighting the power of interconnections across interrelated systems and social structures. Using the case example of post-genocide Rwanda and the experiences of children born of genocidal rape, we apply our multidimensional model to illustrate concrete examples of resilience-enabling systems at the family, community, national, global and intergenerational levels. Our proposed multidimensional model as applied to youth born of genocidal rape in Rwanda reveals key gaps in their surrounding social ecological systems, highlighting the importance of coordinated and mutually-reinforcing efforts to engender resilience across all dimensions concurrently. We conclude with a set of policy and practice implications, directions for future research, and lessons-learned on how best to champion the resilience of this unique and important population of children.