An innovative new online peace education platform is set to be launched in Rwanda today. The Aegis Trust and the Rwanda Education Board will officially launch the Ubumuntu Digital Platform – www.ubumuntu.rw – at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Peace School, 3:00pm local time this afternoon.
Developed by Aegis to support delivery and expansion of its peace and values education programmes in Rwanda and beyond, the interactive platform contains resources designed to help teachers, students, parents, researchers and policy-makers to build the knowledge, skills and ‘ubumuntu’ (greatness of heart) necessary to achieve and maintain sustainable peace in their communities. The platform’s development has been made possible by The Embassy of The Kingdom of Belgium in Rwanda.
Integration of Peace and Values Education as a crosscutting issue in Rwanda’s new national schools curriculum has been one of the most significant achievements to emerge over the past five years from the Aegis Trust’s collaboration with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Education Board (REB). Since July 2016, Aegis has been implementing Education for Sustainable Peace in Rwanda (ESPR), a programme to improve delivery of peace and values education and support its implementation as part of the curriculum.
“We believe that the digitisation of the Teaching and Learning Materials about Peace and Values Education through the Ubumuntu Digital Platform will hugely contribute to the integration and supported application of Peace and Values Education in our schools,” says Dr Irénée Ndayambaje, the Director General of Rwanda Education Board. “I encourage teachers and indeed parents and youth to use this platform extensively and share their learning outcomes and success stories.”
“For the last ten years, Aegis Trust has reached tens of thousands of individuals through Peace and Values Education training at our peace schools. Taking our PVE model online is going to help us impact millions of lives,” says Aegis Executive Director Freddy Mutanguha. “Our bigger vision is to continue to expand and take this platform beyond Rwanda to help communities in crisis today and to overcome hatred, discrimination and build sustainable peace.”
Founded in July 2000, the Aegis Trust’s mission is to prevent genocide and promote humanity globally. At the request of the Rwandan Government and Kigali City Council, Aegis established the Kigali Genocide Memorial in 2004 and continues to run it on behalf of CNLG – the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide – as a place both of remembrance and learning.
In 2009, Aegis developed an innovative education methodology that breaks cycles of hatred, prevents violence and strengthens social bonds, including reducing symptoms of trauma. It is this methodology which has been adopted across Rwanda’s national schools curriculum.