The RET’s Inspiring Programme in Burundi
Great projects are not only important for beneficiaries; they also set examples and spread great ideas. This is why the RET along with other oganisations such as UNICEF and IFRC have shared their success stories in a new publication by Education Above All called “Education for Global Citizenship”.
Education Above All is a policy research and advocacy organisation concerned with protecting the right to education in insecurity and conflict. It is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser of Qatar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education.
The article proposed by the RET gives a detailed account of our successful Citizenship Education Programme in Burundi. Its aim is to build peaceful communities by promoting cohabitation between refugee adolescents and youth who returned from Tanzania and the local population, which had remained in Burundi during the civil war. Learning to live together is essential to the peaceful and sustainable development of Burundi.
Practical education on communication, inclusion or argument management allows vulnerable youth to face everyday violence and discrimination, while involving them in their communities. One of the key insights is that knowledge does not always lead to changes in behaviour. Training for teachers and students must, therefore, focus on applied skills. The RET consequently developed innovative tools such as radio programmes, art competitions and participatory theatre, as media in which to communicate.
In order to generate stakeholder ownership of the RET programme, representatives of all levels of the education authorities were involved. This also paves the way to the incorporation of the developed material into the Ministry of Education’s curriculum. The effects of such inclusion from ground zero are starting to show and scale. In 2011, the RET’s programme was extended to Congolese refugee camps in Burundi.
At the RET, we were delighted to collaborate in this publication. It puts forward the role which education plays in protecting vulnerable adolescents and youth. It also allows us to, once more, underline the excellent quality work of our RET teams and partners in the field and to thank the Belgium’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their continued support of the RET’s programmes over the last decade. However, the article essentially illustrates how it is the young persons themselves who are getting involved to build their own future, while we and others are simply catalysts galvanizing the process. This is the most important lesson of all.
For all those interested “Education for Global Citizenship” can be downloaded at the following link: