Great Lakes Region Youth Meet In Rwanda For Peace Building Program

A peace building program intended to empower youth with opportunities to become active citizens is going on in Kigali, Rwanda graced by young professionals and university students from the Great Lakes Region.

Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza, a co-founder of NAR addressing the Youths
Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza, a co-founder of NAR addressing the Youths

The program, Peace Building Institute (PBI) is organized by Never Again Rwanda (NAR) a human rights and peace building organization based in Kigali.

Participants are from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Burundi and will be at it for two weeks until January 10, 2016.

They are trained by respected peace advocates from Rwanda under the theme “What Can Rwanda Teach The World?”

This is being done through engaging of readings of shared set of texts, site visits and group discussions.

On Monday, participants visited Kigali Genocide Memorial site and have also had lectures at National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) in Kigali.

Lectures about genocide prevention, restorative justice, unity and reconciliation have been conducted by peace advocates like Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza, a co-founder of NAR, Florence Batoni (specialist in conflict management) and Odeth Katengwa (Research Coordinator).

PBI happens twice a year and has been at it since 2008 and over the years, approximately 150 youth been trained.

Youth attending the Peace Building Program in Kigali, Rwanda
Youth attending the Peace Building Program in Kigali, Rwanda

Dr. Nkurunziza said the aim of the event is to empower youth globally to become critical thinkers and able leaders.

“In Rwanda, the genocide committed against the Tutsi happened because many youth were manipulated and they participated in it. Such mistakes should not happen anywhere. The youth have the future and they must have the knowledge as well to prevent genocide in their countries. We hope Burundi does not take the same direction,” he said.

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