Sweden Donates U.S. $7 Million to Peace Education Programme in Rwanda

SIDA - the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency - has made available $ 7 million for the Rwandan Peace Education programme (RPEP) for a three-year period to a consortium of partners lead by Aegis Trust and including the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), USC Shoah Foundation and Radio La Benevolencija (RLB).

The vision of the Rwandan Peace Education programme (RPEP) is to promote social cohesion, positive values - including pluralism and personal responsibility – empathy, critical thinking and action in order to build a more peaceful society.  The core of the programme is a mobile exhibition with an accompanying 3-week educational programme that will tour along 20 rural communities in Rwanda.

The role of Radio La Benevolencija in this programme is to organise art and theatre workshops, performances, school debates, teacher trainings and radio debates involving members of the community. Members of RLB's local grass roots organisations will participate in these activities and function as role models. In addition, La Benevolencija will continue to produce weekly episodes of its popular educational radio drama Musekeweya (New Dawn) that is broadcast nationwide.

This RPEP proposal seeks to achieve significant and lasting behavioural change in Rwanda.  It is recognised that this programme is part of wider peacebuilding efforts and that enduring success will take longer than three years.  Whilst this is a new programme, it builds on years of partner experience, which reduces the risks associated with a new venture and makes more likely the successful achievement of the vision, mission and goals. 

The combined experience of the partners in peace media, story telling, dialogue, debate, developing community leaders and working in rural communities should have a significant impact on peace education in Rwanda.