Message from the Executive Director
Global Newsletter – January 2012 – “As we start 2012, our thoughts are with all of those around the world who are hoping to live in peace, in harmony, in an environment where they do not have to fear for their lives, where they can live and work as responsible and independent human-beings, go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning, knowing that they, their families, their loved ones are are all safe and sound and not in harm’s way. All of us at the RET, are committed to the process of peace-building, catalyzing relevant actors to participate in the process of dialogue to provide relevant and quality education, bringing together a variety of actors from civil society, governments, international organisations, and academia. We recently enjoyed such a session during December, hosted by the RET at our headquarters office in Geneva with our colleagues, practitioners, scholars, and institutional actors representing perspectives, experiences, lessons learnt, sharing best practices from over 20 countries.
In 2012, it is our intention to include “Peace Education” and the message of peace in nearly all of the RET programmes around the world. The RET’s mandate is to “protect through education”, to provide the most vulnerable young people around the world, affected by displacement due to wars, political conflicts, violence, and natural disasters, an “education” that will enable them to become self-reliant and to contribute to the stabilization of their communities and the society at large, their countries, their often war-torn regions. Education is the medium in which we, firstly, provide protection, and then build the skills needed by the learners to get them on their feet as quickly as possible. This “education” does not necessarily have to come in the form of classical “bricks and mortar” schools, but can also be provided informally, in a variety of different contexts, and a plethora of different levels and contents from basic education, literacy and numeracy, maths and sciences, health education, children’s rights, women’s rights, refugee rights, vocational training, livelihoods and skills training, university preparation classes, remedial and accelerated courses, secondary education through distance learning, and much more.
We are thrilled to share with you that in 2011, the young RET has celebrated its ten years of operations on the ground, bridging the gaps in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Our RET team has been able to directly assist over 600,000 students and learners, 10,000 teachers and educators, and over 4 million family and community members indirectly with its interventions during these ten years. We have every hope and high degree of passion and commitment to ensure that in 2012 and in the next decade of the young RET’s existence, we will be able to intervene in many more millions of lives, ensuring the exercise of their rights and bringing to them the opportunities to enjoy peaceful healthy lives, to become the next generation of educated leaders of their communities and states, while transforming their societies into more stable, well governed, democratic ones that ensure human rights, justice, equality, and PEACE for all.”
Zeynep Gündüz – Executive Director & CEO