2021 HWPL Western Africa Peace Initiative: Peace Educator Empowerment Training
In June, the online “Peace Educator Empowerment Training” program was hosted in West Africa. The program began at the request of African educators and it has been conducted a total of eight times so far for educators and education officials in Nigeria and Ghana.
Africa’s population accounts for one-seventh of the world’s population, which is more than three times larger than the United States, with more than 2,000 diverse ethnicities and languages. It is called the continent of hope due to its abundant underground resources and endless potential for development. However, disputes and conflicts have arisen among various tribes as well as issues such as poverty, discrimination, and marginalization.
In particular, Nigeria had a total of 800 people killed and 65,000 refugees due to religious conflicts that began in the 1990s. Africa is still living in fear and anxiety of conflicts that can arise again among tribes. For this reason, educators in Africa are voicing the need for peace education and equipping themselves with the qualifications and the skills to become peace educators who can personally educate people on peace.
During this program, lessons 1 to 12 of HWPL’s peace education curriculum were introduced and the future of West Africa’s peace education plans were discussed. At the end of the program, a completion ceremony where educators were given duties was held. Educators who participated gained confidence in being able to achieve peace in Africa through this peace education.
Margaret ChiChi Nkire, the Executive Director of Leadership Empowerment and Development Innovation Initiative Africa (LEADIN AFRICA) showed a determination in working to the best of her ability as a peace educator as she said, “HWPL Peace Education has given me the skills needed to pass the message of peace differently through teaching, by using the training module and contents to teach virtues of living in harmony and peaceful coexistence such as sacrifice and forgiveness.”
Educators in Africa hope all students will love and practice peace by realizing the importance and value of peace through HWPL’s peace education. This can happen because they believe if everyone practices the value of peace, the seed of conflict and disputes will surely transform into a seed of peace. Through this program, the 375 educators and education officials will become leaders who will lead youths who are exposed to conflicts, discrimination, poverty, and violence to become seeds of peace.