Rwanda: Engaging youth in the peace process
May 2, 2013
Interpeace’s local partner in Rwanda, the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), engages young people in the peacebuilding process.
Schools of Debate – promoting a culture of peace
Since 2006, the School of Debate programme has been working with youth in secondary schools and universities to promote a culture of debate and critical thinking as fundamental aspects of a functioning democracy.
The programme which provides a space for debate and fosters a culture of critical and independent thinking among Rwandan youth, is currently being implemented in 25 schools and four universities. Each participating school has two debate clubs with about 30 members. The students meet once a month to discuss themes related to democratic principles and tolerance, such as gender equality or civil and policitcal rights.
Fostering exchange between the schools
IRDP is training facilitators who accompany the debate clubs and regularly brings them together so they can share experiences from different schools with each other. “People learned to accept ideas from the others,” shares Fr. Pascal Tuyisenge at the last meeting which took place last month at IRDP’s Peace Center in Kigali. Almost 50 educators from all over the country came together to share lessons learned. They were also exposed to new debate techniques and the programme is being extended to additional education institutions.
“The School of Debate is an occasion to give hope to the students and the nation of Rwanda,” concludes Fr. Elie Nyandwi.
The views of four educators were caught on camera after the meeting.