The Kigali Genocide Memorial has hosted a special conversation on how young people contribute to peace building through remembrance, policy making and community development.
The discussion, part of the memorial’s Ubumuntu Exchange series of events, covered how young Rwandans are building peace in their communities and how we can all be part of these efforts.
After a screening of the short film, “Rwanda’s Peace Education Plan with Aegis Trust”, produced by the Genocide Archive of Rwanda, a conversation was conducted with young leaders working tirelessly to promote peace. They included Marc Gwamaka, Youth Coordinator at the Aegis Trust, Rameau Twizerimana, Youth Peace Champion and Sandra Olga Uwiringiyimana, also a Youth Peace Champion.
Marc Gwamaka welcomed the guests by introducing the other speakers and gave an overview of what the exchange would cover. In his introduction, he emphasised the role of education in peace building.
“During our programmes, when we are training, and even in perpetrators’ videos that we show, one of the things that keeps coming up is: “We were taught, and we did”, but we want a new generation who when they are told this is what you should do, they will reply “Why should we do that?” We want critical thinkers, who are there to come up with solutions. That’s the role of education in peace building,” said Mark.
The exchange started by trying to find the similarities and differences between peace and security through group discussions. The participants concluded that the two are highly connected. The general difference that came from group discussion was that peace is often from inside and you can have peace as an individual. But when we think about security, we mainly consider it to be important for a large group of people – such as a community or nation.
The discussion continued by exploring the contribution of young people in building peace. Participants shared what can cause a lack of peace such as the absence of self-confidence, lack of love, wars and discrimination.
They also discussed the solutions to peace building. Everyone shared their own solution including promoting unity, love and education.
Marc Gwamaka concluded the Ubumuntu Exchange by encouraging guests to take what they have learnt and put it into practice in their own circle of friends or family.
At the end of the exchange, the participants left messages in Kigali Genocide Memorial guestbook.
“Thank you for the contribution you are bringing to make peace with one onother.” – Jean Baptiste Ndayisaba
“Let us be ambassadors and practitioner of peace and accept and respect difference and love one another.” – Carine M. Rutari
“I believe and hope that young people will participate more in these discussions. Keep it up!” – Joel Rugagi
Video: Evolution of Peace Education at the Kigali Genocide Memorial