Our Youth Peace Camp brings Rwandan youth together for one week to learn in depth the history of Rwanda and develop skills to build and maintain peace in their communities, ensuring a stable future for their country. These young change-makers return home to initiate projects of their own that sustain social cohesion and foster peace in their communities. Through these activities, CTP alumni share their training and new-found skills learned to more than 1,000 young people nationwide.
April marks twenty-five years since the Rwandan Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi. In addition to the innumerable fatalities, families were decimated and communities disbanded. The perpetration of this atrocity was possible because the practice of critical thinking was not prevalent. Youth unquestioningly followed the instructions of their teachers, the media, the government, and their parents to kill. Few had the skills to critically evaluate the hateful rhetoric they were fed.
We provide peace education for students across Rwanda designed to develop skills necessary to critically examine information received via media and authority figures. Intensive sessions led by historians and peace-building experts equip the students with tools to fight harmful genocide ideology and design projects that promote social cohesion in their home communities. This often takes the form of community service or school clubs, a key component of which is to spread this training further.
In 3 years, our camp has spread peace education to 200 youth, yet nearly 1,000 have been impacted by our project. How is this possible? At the end of the camp, we challenge our students to assess the needs of their home communities and design projects, programs, and events that address these needs and promote peace. Through these student-run projects, our alumni train other youth in their communities, exponentially growing our project's impact.