Peace education

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Peace education2021-02-03T12:20:56+00:00

"Don't be afraid to ask questions. We need to talk about ethnicity,
even if it makes you uncomfortable, because it is part of our history."
Nepo Ndahimana, Aegis Education Officer
"I cannot over-emphasise the importance of this programme.
Education is our only hope that atrocities will not happen again."
Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Education Minister

The Aegis Trust has developed a successful model for peace education in Rwanda, supporting tens of thousands of young people across the country with the knowledge and skills to overcome the legacy of  genocide.

Peace education started as a pilot in 2008 at Kigali Genocide Memorial. A participatory and interactive methodology, where participants learn by doing, is central to Aegis’ peace education programme. In 2013-16 the programme expanded to cover 22 districts, through the Aegis-led Rwanda Peace Education Programme (RPEP) and the Genocide Research and Reconciliation Programme (GRRP). Programme partners included USC Shoah Foundation, Radio la Benevolencija and the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP).

In 2014, the Rwanda Education Board announced inclusion of peace and values education as a cross-cutting subject in Rwanda’s new national curriculum.

From 2016 Aegis Rwanda’s Education for Sustainable Peace in Rwanda (ESPR) programme supported the curriculum change, embedding peace and values education in the classroom, while strengthening the skills of teachers through Peace Schools. A major shift of the new competency based curriculum is the emphasis on skills: critical thinking, empathy, personal responsibility and trust are strengthened through interactive teaching methods. This 3-year programme focused on Teachers and Parents as educators as well as Youth.

An international Colloquium held in Kigali in Feb 2017 brought together experts working on peace education to discuss Strengthening Resilience to Genocide: Concepts, Methods and Impact.

In the media

Journalist Veronique Mistiaen wrote a feature on the Aegis Trust’s peace-building education in Rwanda for the Guardian in 2013; you can read it here.


On Soundcloud

Interview with Jean Nepo Ndahimana, an education officer for the Aegis Trust, conducted in Rwanda in 2014 by the journalist and actor Felicity Finch.


Independent report

Analysis of Aegis’ peace education by Minerva Research in 2012 indicated a positive impact not only on participating students but on entire school communities.


Peace education in Rwanda

With over 60% aged under 24, many Rwandans were born after the genocide, with little knowledge of what led to it. Since 2008, Aegis’ peace-building education has reached tens of thousands of young Rwandans. Independent analysis shows it is changing attitudes and behavior among students and their communities. Developed by Aegis in conjunction with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education, a new mobile exhibition for peace education was launched in May 2013. Called Peace-building After Genocide, it tells the amazing stories of Rwandans who stood against genocide and have worked to build peace in their communities, inspiring others to do the same. Our peace education work significantly developed in 2014 with the launch of the Rwanda Peace Education Programme (RPEP) and the Genocide Research and Reconciliation Programme (GRRP). Funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), these enabled the existing education programmes at the Kigali Genocide Memorial to increase in number whilst a new outreach education programme was launched. Aegis is delivering the peace education program in collaboration with partners who bring an exciting wealth of experience to the task. They include Rwanda’s Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), the USC Shoah Foundation – which has incorporated Rwandan elements into its IWitness interactive educational platform – and Radio La Benevolencija, whose soap opera, Musekewaya‚ is listened to by 90% of Rwanda’s population. Supporting partners also include the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Netherlands Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (NIOD) and the University of Texas Libraries (UTL). The peace education outreach incorporates the mobile exhibition telling stories
 of reconciliation and supports teacher training workshops, secondary school workshops, public events, arts and drama workshops and debates. 
It also involves training for District Education Officers (DEO), Sector Education Officers (SEO) and School Inspectors. The school workshops at the Kigali Genocide Memorial have continued their successful approach and have also adopted
 the teacher training methodologies used in the outreach programme. Following phase one of the expansion of the Memorial site, completed in April 2014, four new classrooms – situated above the new open-air amphitheatre – have enabled the number of workshops to increase. Of critical importance in 2014 was the work of the Rwanda Peace Education Programme’s Pedagogical Committee. It worked closely with the Rwanda Education Board (REB) to infuse peace-building education as a cross-cutting part of Rwanda’s new national schools curriculum. At the end of the year, the REB formally announced its inclusion and in May 2015, teacher trainers received training in delivery of this new element of the curriculum. “It is our duty to remember them. And for us to be able to remember, we must teach every child in every school in Africa, from the north, to the south, to the east, to the west. Every African leader… you have a duty to come here; to see; to remember; and to teach.” Comments by Strive Masiyiwa, African business leader, at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in 2014.

“The Aegis Trust has helped Rwanda to rise from the Ashes. We have seen the result: Rwandan youth have understood the past that led them into darkness… It’s about time that our friends from Rwanda come and help us.”

Archbishop of Bangui, CAR

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