The National Office of Protestant Education (BNEP) working within the Protestant Council of Rwanda (CPR), through its service of peace education, has just organized a workshop for the creation of peace clubs which was held from 05 to 06 April 2021 at the reception centre of the League for Bible Reading in Rwanda (LLBR). This workshop was aimed at mobilizing the leaders of 20 Protestant schools targeted in the framework of the project for the promotion of peace education in schools in Rwanda. At the end of the workshop, the leaders committed themselves to play an important role in the creation of peace clubs for the promotion of peace education as one of the values of Protestantism.
The official opening of the workshop was marked by the presence of Bishop Samuel Kayinamura, President of the CPR and Bishop of the Free Methodist Church in Rwanda (EMLR), who reminded the school leaders to build peace on the foundation of the Word of God. With the help of the biblical reflection on the text of 2 Timothy 3:16, he further emphasised that the inspired Scriptures of God are well placed to serve as an unshakeable foundation for peace education in our Protestant schools.
In the Bible meditation session, Bishop Kayinamura sings the peace song with the participants.
Pastor Samuel Mutabazi, Director of BNEP, made a presentation on the importance, opportunities and challenges of peace education in schools. He showed that schools are privileged places to prepare the peace builders that every society badly needs for its integral and harmonious development. Since schools are not spared from conflicts and violence, they must play a leading role in promoting peace education. Protestant schools therefore have a mission to enable every individual to live in harmony with himself, with God, with society and with nature.
During the presentation, Pastor Samuel Mutabazi, Director of BNEP, explains the importance, opportunities and challenges of peace education in Protestant schools in Rwanda
Pastor Pierre Claver Bisanze, in charge of peace education at CPR, insisted on the role, functioning and management of peace clubs in schools. A peace club is made up of different members, including learners, teachers and leaders, who commit to contributing peacefully and voluntarily to the resolution of conflicts and violence that may arise in school and extracurricular life. For this to happen, a peace club in a school must have a certain structure enabling it to function and assume its role and commitments. The functioning of a peace club is based on the practice of the principles of democratic and pluralist citizenship inspired by human rights oriented towards sustainable development.
At the end of the workshop, all the leaders of 20 schools committed themselves to creating and strengthening peace clubs in order to contribute to the promotion of an active culture of peace in their schools and communities. BNEP’s mission is to transform these 20 schools into places where a culture of peace is imbued so that they can be models for other Protestant schools in Rwanda and in the sub-region.
Written in Kigali, 13 April 2021
Pastor Samuel Mutabazi
Director of the National Bureau of Protestant Education (BNEP) in Rwanda
Member of GPENreformation