The ‘HWPL Peace Camp’ was held at seven elementary schools in Ivory Coast and Mali from December 9th to the 23rd of last year. The message of ‘Peace and Safety, Respect and Cooperation’ from Peace Camp was significant since both neighboring countries in the Sahel region of West Africa suffered conflicts between French military and Islamic extremism in the same month.
The first five-day activities in Ivory Coast made local educators feel the need for peace-education. Allou Fatimata Marie Christ, Director of the Sainte Marie High School in Abidjan, who attended the Peace Camp, emphasized the role of peace-education as she expressed, “To live in this world as a human being, it is important to learn about peace because we must create a peaceful world.”
In addition, the UNESCO National Committee of the Ivory Coast immediately organized a meeting between UNESCO officials and educators, as the educators felt that the importance and necessity of peace-education should be understood. The MOU on peace-education with HWPL, which was discussed prior to the meeting, enabled the establishment of a cooperative relationship.
In the meantime, peace camps will be held at four schools in Mali until the 23rd. The government held a meeting with education officials to discuss the future peace-education plan of Mali and to conduct peace-education through mutual cooperation. Students have had time to learn peace by practicing peace on their own, and peace-education will continue to be implemented based on schools’ responses about the hope and need for peace-education.
KNATCOM is the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO. She is the Secretary General Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Dr. Evangeline Njoka, 5 years ago. Their Mission is “to promote building of peace, eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intellectual dialogue through education, sciences, culture, communication and information.”
“1st Peace Educator Workshop for the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) in 2019” took place in Kenya Education Management Institute on 11, December. Hosted by KNATCOM HWPL, this workshop was organized by an international NGO named HWPL affiliated with the UN ECOSOC. 34 people including principal education officer of the Ministry of Education, deputy director of programme of KNATCOM and educators from UNESCO associated schools participated in the event.
The workshop was devoted to enabling educators from UNESCO associated schools to experience and practice peace value education in the fields through presentation sessions on peace education materials and pilot class.
Q. What is the aim of HWPL Peace Education?
A. HWPL says that peace education serves as a global platform with the aim of “leaving peace as a legacy to the future generations” by raising awareness of building peace from citizens and fostering a culture of peace to challenge the threat from war and violence.
Ms. Dorah Kitala, principal education officer of Ministry of Education said, “Peace education textbooks and the curricula are innovative. After the demonstration, I could feel that peace education is necessary for Kenya and would work with HWPL in the future.”
With the need for teaching values of peace to Kenyan students, 20 educators from UNESCO associated schools signed an agreement, which says they teach the right character for those who would carry the future of the country and to disperse peace education in Kenya. HWPL, KNATCOM and the Ministry of Education of Kenya are considering formalizing peace education activities throughout the country.