Rwanda’s young people build peace together

1 November 2014
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Aegis Trust has established the Rwanda Peace Education Programme to build peace and prevent future atrocities. The programme is helping to rebuild a society deeply damaged by the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. As part of the programme, students are taught about Rwandan history and the causes, implementation and consequences of the 1994 genocide. The programme also covers how to build sustainable peace and encourages students to reflect on their own actions and role in contributing to a peaceful future. The aim is for students to develop an understanding of the values and behaviours that contribute to peace building.


Speaking at the launch, then Minister of Education, Hon. Vincent Biruta emphasised that “education is our only hope that atrocities will not happen again”. He also said that the sustainability of peace education will be best ensured if it is integrated into all levels of the school curriculum.


The event was also attended by Maria Håkansson, Chargée d’Affaires at the Embassy of Sweden in Rwanda, who said: “The work and expertise that separate partners in this programme were doing has converged to benefit the current generation and generations to come. Sweden is pleased to be part of this programme. We are convinced that these combined efforts will lead to a greater impact in terms of peace building,” she said.


The programme aims to promote social cohesion, positive values – including pluralism and personal responsibility – empathy, critical thinking and action in order to build a more peaceful society and take peace education in Rwanda to a new level.


“As we officially launch the programme, I recall what one of the students who visited the Mobile Exhibition in Huye as part of the pilot programme said: “I feel more able to encourage my fellow young people to spend more time in what promotes unity and love accompanied by actions instead of wasting time in useless ideas. The best thing I gained is that what connects us is stronger than what divides us.” I cannot get better words to express what this programme intends to achieve,” said Freddy Mutanguha, Aegis Trust Country Director.

The organisations partnering with Aegis Trust for the Rwanda Peace Education Programme include:

  • The Embassy of Sweden in Rwanda through the Swedish International Development Agency

  • Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace

  • Radio La Benevolencija

  • The University of Southern California Shoah Foundation

  • The Netherlands Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies

  • Rwanda Development Board

  • University of Texas Libraries

The programme brings together efforts and experience from different partners involved in peacebuilding through different approaches. The programme began in July 2013 and has recorded many successes thanks in part to the Ministry of Education’s support and local government involvement.


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