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The Power of Peace Education from an African Perspective

Peace Education Article

Transforming the World through Peace Education

World Peace, a euphoric idea, one that’s desired by many. Relatively, no one would desire to live in a world infested with wars and afflictions. We all wish to be a part of an amicable global union, where nation is in good books with every other nation, where men and women are treated fairly and equally. We all wish to live where children coexist in harmony with other children and with their elders; where justice is the epitome of life. One would ask, “Is it possible to attain World Peace, with all the chaos we see everyday?” Everyone wonders, but what good would it be if we didn’t act on that question?

World Peace is not only possible, but Inevitable.

— The Promise of World Peace

How does Peace Education come into this?

Peace Education is one of the great resolves to attaining World Peace. Hosea once said, “My People perish because of lack of Knowledge.” Sometimes people get into conflicts because they see no other options apart from fighting. Such people don’t have much knowledge about Peace, and they aren’t knowledgeable regarding the nonviolent transformative ways of dealing with conflicts. Africa Peacebuilding Institute, amongst other organizations has resolved to fighting World Chaos through providing Peace Education. Mennonite Central Committee on the other hand has also provided facilities and assistance to organisations whose sole purposes are to provide Peace Education. All this is done with the intention and a goal to achieve World Peace.

An African’s Point of view

According to Tino Gumbo, a member of MCC Zimbabwe, “Peace Education has done a lot in breaking certain cultural norms in African societies. Some of those cultural norms include voicelessness amongst children and women in the society; Child abuses both at home and schools, and children manipulations among others.” He also says that when children are taught about keeping peace and building peace, it gives them an innate confidence and skill to resolving conflicts and maintaining peace during confrontations.

Peace Education is therefore, imperative in our societies, because it builds much better communities, making our world a better place. At Africa Peacebuilding Institute, we are of the view that Peace Education can help a lot of people live in perfect harmony as God had initially intended for humans.

Peace Education Success Stories

In Zambia, like in most African countries, women and girls have always been considered second class citizens. A perfect example would be when a family has four children, two boys and two girls. in any case that family encounters financial constraints, naturally it would be considered rightful to send only the two boys to school. This was usually the norm in Zambia, until when Women and Children rights activists stood together with Peace Clubs in schools to challenge a Zambian system which discriminated the girl child.

Again in Zambia it was the case that when a girl child would get pregnant at school. The system would not allow the child to continue with her education. Through Peace Clubs and Activism, this was challenged and the Zambian Government finally resolved to setting up a Child Reintegration Policy which protected all children from being discriminated.

In Rwanda and Burundi, it took enacting Community Peace Centres to help resolve certain Ethnic Conflicts after the mass killings and genocides. In every community and Ward in these countries You find Peace Educators and facilitators who help ease and resolve ethnic enmities.

Is Peace Education really helpful?

At Africa Peacebuilding Institute we have seen a lot of people getting transformed by Peace Education. On getting most of the knowledge from our Courses, Participants go on to practice what they have learnt. The feedback we receive is that Peace Education helps ease tensions. So, I can safely say that Peace Education is truly helpful in our communities and I believe it can help us all attain World Peace.

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