The Aegis Trust, Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) South Africa have partnered with the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) to run a 3-day ‘train the trainer’ Change Makers Programme for 25 leaders and educators in Zambia.
“I think the youth of Zambia can do quite a number of things to eradicate stereotypes, because it starts from ignorance,” says one participant. “So we can start by educating people about the dangers of stereotypes, prejudice.”
“We ought to have a peace which is sustainable,” says another. “It’s for us to recognize that peace does not come on its own, but it’s the people who create this, the peace, and we should learn from other countries where genocide or wars have happened.”
Conducting training for the programme, Marc Gwamaka – the Aegis Trust’s Engagement Outreach Coordinator – was interviewed on United Voice Radio, where he discussed the role of media in promoting unity and peace. “The media must be careful in the manner they cover stories on ethnicity to avoid what happened in Rwanda,” Gwamaka told listeners. “The media in Rwanda did not play its role properly as they championed ethnicity, which led to the genocide. Media in Rwanda played a bigger role in the ethnic conflict, which led to the death of many people.”
“The changemakers programme which Aegis and the partners have brought to Zambia, it has come at the right time, especially for the youth of Zambia,” says Moses Banda, Provincial Coordinator for the CCMG. “The programme actually promotes a very good opportunity for us, as youth, to go out into the community because right now we’re going to be equipped with skills that will help us train other community members about the importance of maintaining peace, law and order, even after elections.”
“It is such a pleasure to do the Changemakers programme in Zambia, because you can see already this young group of leaders making the connections to Zambia, some of the issues that they are encountering, if it is issues of differences and othering, if it is political issues or tribal issues, you see the connections are made now, in real time,” says Tali Nates, Founder and Executive Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. “Our hopes are that all these young leaders become facilitators. They will facilitate the programme in churches, in schools, in universities. They will spread the word and train more trainers.”