Thursday, June 30, 2011

Peace Education continues in northern Uganda...

We are well into the second term of Peace Education at Police Primary School and it’s going great.

Before the term started we experienced a challenging time; as it was questionable whether or not the IPEP team would be returning to both Police and Paicho Primary Schools. However, we received the go ahead and the Insight Peace Education Project is reaching the students in Gulu District that need it most.

If you’ve been keeping up-to-date with us, you know that we had a Master’s student, Gwen Bogels, in Gulu earlier this year researching the ins and outs of the project. We wanted to share with you what our IPEP students shared with Gwen:

“I love it [peace education], before I didn’t know anything about conflict. I want it to continue, it is important. I should not be the only one to know about conflict, more people should. It can help other children to know what they didn’t know. I learned a lot. People saying these are your rights, but I didn’t know. But last week we got to know 26 of them, that should continue. It helped to know what happened in other countries, because we saw pictures of it.” - Ojok Benson, P7 student, 16 years old

“The goal of peace education is for children to have respect. When Miriam started coming, children talked about bad things. Now there is some improvement. We were used to fight, but now there is reduction in fighting.” – Akwero Jeneth, P7 student, 14 years old

“Last year I heard about peace education for the first time. This changed my life.” – Okema Timothy, P7 student, 14 years old

In a region divided by conflict, peace education is encouraging these children to ask more questions, to develop their skills, to know their rights and to fight against violence in their schools. Peace education does not just teach students what to think, but rather how to think critically. It does not only affect the individual, it concerns the community at large and how the next generation of northern Ugandans can grow in a region of continuous peace. We’ve been in Gulu now for almost 2 years and we see the potential this region has. With lasting peace, there is nowhere to go but up.

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