Aegis Trust has launched a new peace education program called Action for Sustainable Peace, Inclusion, Rights and Equality (ASPIRE), which aims to promote peace, reconciliation and positive values in Rwandan society.
Registered in Rwanda as an NGO, Aegis Trust is an international organization working for the prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity.
The program, announced Tuesday, November 30 during the celebration of the four years of the NGO’s journey for peace, will see the opening of three peacebuilding centers in different parts of the country, including the districts of Huye and Nyagatare and will become operational from December 2021..
Targeting young people, educators, parents, decision-makers and researchers, the four-year program will be implemented by maintaining the milestones of reconciliation, but also by supporting political decision-makers to lobby for resolutions that promote l ‘unity.
Sandra Shenge, program director of Aegis Trust, said the new initiative is a first step for the NGO to promote values of peace from below.
“We are making an extra effort instead of bringing people to train, we will find them in their communities and create centers to be near them, and we will bring these same beneficiaries to the peace centers that will host the training” , she said. .
We will focus on strengthening what we have achieved, through these peace centers and these research processes, she says, but we will reach more people and we will ensure that we support political decision-makers in the application of the recommendations given.
Freddy Mutanguha, the executive secretary of Aegis Trust was optimistic about the new program, stressing the role of reaching out to beneficiaries in their local villages.
“By approaching the teachers, they were open to us and underlined that through the training, they acquired a holistic approach to integrate the values of peace in their daily work, by interacting with the students, that is why we want to keep approaching them to gain a deeper understanding of the problem, ”he said.
He stressed that in order to achieve maximum healing of the population, people must dare to face their past, remember it and maintain the memorial culture.
Aegis Trust’s first peace education program saw content related to the values of peace and reconciliation disseminated to 5,102 teachers, 298 parents, 441 youth champions as well as 319 decision makers.
Addressing participants, Christina Wedekull, Deputy Mission Director and Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy, said her embassy was proud to be part of this solution.
“Despite the progress made with Aegis Trust, we have also signed another 4-year agreement for this new program because as the Swedish Embassy, peace and creating hope for the future is our priority,” said she declared.
Citing the 2020 Rwanda Reconciliation Barometer, Christina said there are still reconciliation gaps, stressing that this project is timely.
“We still need to do more, because there are still gaps in reconciliation here in Rwanda, and our history has taught us that reconciliation should never be taken for granted in any society,” she said.
For her part, Anitha Kayiranga, Director General of National Unity, Itorero and Citizenship Education at the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement, said the time has come to launch initiatives that move society from the dark chapter of life to a brighter world. future.
“Our unity has been through tribulations, but it is our duty as Friends of Peace to be careful not to relive what we have been through; Rwandans are together and under no circumstances will they be separated, ”she said.
Kayiranga then pledged the commitment of the Ministry of Unity and Civic Engagement to go one kilometer with Aegis Trust.
The four-year program targets 2,688 schools with 940,800 students and 18,816 students.