Africa: The Institute Igoki in the DR Congo

The IGOKI-Institute, member of GPENreformation, gives an overview of the questionnaire on participatory action on peace and conflict in Protestant schools worldwide and presents the results by means of a poem, a definition of peace and conflict, a video and photos of the members of the school peace club.

Poem: Indispensable Peace

Where can we live without Peace?

Where can we work without Peace?

Indispensable Peace surrounds us in our society.

Without Peace there is no life.

Without Peace there is no progress.

Without Peace there is no joy.

Indispensable Peace floods our hearts.

The whole world needs Peace

Peace is indispensable during the journey.

Peace is indispensable at school.

Development takes place in Peace

Indispensable Peace, indispensable Peace

For the success and progress of all mankind.

Indispensable Peace, dove fluttering around us.

Indispensable Peace, olive branch that keeps us under its shadow.

Indispensable Peace, indispensable Peace.

This poem was written in French.

What is Peace?

Peace is the result of democratic behaviour inspired by human rights, which puts individuals in a state of rest and freedom and leads to a total absence of all forms of aggression and violence.

Peace also refers to a state of serenity which is reflected in peaceful coexistence between individuals, between communities and between states excluding wars and conflicts.

Peace means for the people around me to live in harmony, unity and community in order to promote peaceful coexistence.

The Bible says that peace is the key to the kingdom of heaven (Hebrews 12:14: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;without holiness no one will see the Lord).
Peace also lives in the presence of the Lord (Matthew 5:9; Romans 17:18).

What are Conflicts?

A conflict is the discovery of a difference of opinion and the general absence of peace, which reflects a lack of harmony and understanding, can lead to serious injury of any kind and is the cause of hostility.

Conflicts are mutual absence of love and can lead to unworthy actions (aggression, crime, social injustice, vandalism, barbarism…).

Conflicts can also be found in the Holy Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 20:1: “After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.”;
2 Samuel 15:12: “And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for[a] Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing”.

When will there be Peace in our School?

Peace reigns everywhere in and around the school, especially in the classroom, the playground and even the office.
There are conflicts in the school community between students, teachers and administrative staff and even with neighbouring schools, parents and teachers.
There is peace at our school because we want it, because we seek it and because we are willing to preserve it.
In order to guarantee peace, cooperation, unity and collegial love must be strengthened.

There are conflicts at our school when there are misunderstandings, disobedience and lack of information. In this case, we move to reconciliation to support both victims.

The poem was written by teacher Aristote Makutha. The explanations on peace and war originate from the work of the Institute’s Peace Club and were accompanied by Ibanzi Ibra.