All posts by CPNN Coordinator

About CPNN Coordinator

Dr David Adams is the coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the International Year for the Culture of Peace, proclaimed for the Year 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Exchange between students in France and Mali : An interview


An article from Sahel 2r3s

Emmanuelle Dufossez is a professor of Fine Arts at the Ferdinand Fabre College and High School in Bédarieux, in the Academy of Montpellier. In December 2018, in collaboration with Bakrene Ag Sidimohamed (who lives and works in Tessalit, in the Kidal region of northern Mali), she initiated an exchange between two groups of students from their respective municipalities. The objective of the project was to promote intercultural exchanges in a common spirit of citizenship, without neglecting the specific reality of each environment.

Video made by the students in Mali

First, can you explain to us the reasons why you started this project? What were the means used? How did you make the connection?

For personal reasons I joined a Facebook group linked to Tessalit and started chatting with Bakrene. In the third message, he asked me to help him contact children’s education NGOs. It was so direct, so unexpected … and it touched me. He didn’t know I was a teacher yet. As for me, I was far from imagining at the time the scale of the disaster in the region …

So I suggested to my principal, Mr. Pierre Fournier, that we set up an exchange between students and he immediately accepted (he was much more aware of the situation than I was), and put everything in place. to make this possible. With Françoise, the CPE, we organized a meeting of the students of the civic life council of the school, and they decided to take part. Two weeks later, I had a webcam and Skype in my room and we were waiting for Issouf, the principal and his students from Tessalit!

For his part Bakrene had succeeded in convincing the director of Minusma (the United Nations Peacekeeping Force) and he went to involve everyone in town. This is how the project began. It was very rock’n’roll, but we managed to talk to each other by videoconference, almost every week until the end of the year.

Sometimes the connection was not possible and we waited for nothing, but that was part of the game and everyone understood the difficulties. I give credit to Minusma which has played a good role in promoting a project clearly in favor of peace and sharing, and also the families in Tessalit who have agreed to take risks by allowing their children to participate in the exchange.

From this first year, we initiated a small educational project with a geography colleague who was to do a case study around the management of natural resources. The children sent the questions to the Tessalit group via Bakrene, and in return, they sent us short videos about the situation for water in Tessalit.

Our students in Bédarieux are very involved. They set up a book drive to rebuild the Tessalit library which was burnt down during the conflicts. We are now awaiting assistance to transport the books.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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What is the importance of your approach and that of the citizen competition project? What are your goals?

This year, we immediately wanted to start a long educational project with my history-geography colleague and a fourth grade class that we have in common, as well as our colleagues from Tessalit, Issouf Maïga, director and State teacher, Bakrene Ag Sidimohamed and Ahmed Ag Zouemar. It is about corresponding and getting to know each other through the simultaneous discovery of the text of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child signed by the members of the UN in 1989.

The exchange, the discovery of the other, their way of life, their habits, their tastes, everything that allows us to take into account otherness and differences is at the heart of our concerns.

It is time to reopen minds, in France as elsewhere, if we really want to live in a world at peace. This common reflection that we are carrying out with very young adolescents addresses the rights of children and at the same time reveals to them the disastrous situation in northern Mali; The program 2r3s contributes in its own way by involving young adults through the citizen competition.

For us in any case, this project is also a cry of alarm to the international community so that it can help us improve the education system in this conflict region.

How did the exchanges go between the students of Bédarieux and Tessalit?

The discussions turned out to be materially difficult given the dire situation of the school in Tessalit. Without the volunteer workers from the Tazunt association, Issouf, the teacher would not be able to carry out the work, since he is alone.

The language barrier was also a big difficulty. In addition, it is important to remember that schools closed in 2012 in the North and that they have struggled to reopen since 2018. The French language is being lost in the region, for lack of practice … but the amazing joy of living brings the children together.

On several occasions we even sent us short videos in which children, French and Malian alike, sang for their comrades! But the situation of the students of Tessalit is worrying for the future.

What are the differences that you have observed?

As I said above, the differences are glaring. It is even hard to believe that children live on the same planet in a world that has designed a common text for their equality. Nevertheless, they are children, who love to sing, laugh, and of course, play soccer!

Did you encounter any difficulties during this project? If so, what were they?

Given the security context in Mali, we had to face many difficulties. The differences in living conditions do not always make it possible to approach things in the same way, since it depends on whether one is positioned in Bédarieux or Tessalit. Material difficulties also have a strong impact.

Have you observed in the pupils a real awareness of the rights and duties which they have? Has their relationship to education changed?

Yes. For example, here in France, we have succeeded in recovering some students who were dropping out of school. As for the issue of awareness, it is real, in France as in Tessalit where part of the population is trying to find solutions, without much help for the moment. But my colleagues at Tessalit would be better able to answer this question.

Lawan, Forum Task Nigerians On Religious Tolerance


An article from Leadership Nigeria

Senate president Ahmed Lawan and Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace have said religious tolerance is a veritable tool for peaceful co-existence in a plural religious society like Nigeria.

They made the assertion yesterday in Abuja at the Interfaith Roundtable with the theme: “Building a culture of peace and unity in our country,” which was organised by the Methodist Church of Nigeria.

Senator Lawan who was represented by the Senate minority whip, Senator Philip Aduda, said the quest for peace and unity should be the responsibility of all citizens of the country because peace is a process that requires patience, understanding and tolerance to achieve.

He said, “By achieving this, it needs people of different faiths and it is also possible because we have come a long way and the efforts of our founding fathers have been rewarding enough for us to build upon as leaders.

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Question related to this article:
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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“We have again been instinctively in emphasising the importance of peace and the benefits of unity was great.”

Similarly, the president, Vision Africa and co-chair Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, said that there is a lack of tolerance among different religions.

He said this is the reason for the violent outbursts and hostility towards other beliefs and the manner they choose to practice or express their religious cravings.

According to him, intolerance towards people of different beliefs, because of blind and fixed psychological delusion that one is pure and the other is an error has resulted to various intra religious  disturbances.

Bishop Onuoha said another problem bedevilling the country was the ‘state of origin’ which he said if abolished would stop hatred, disunity, and agitations among people of different geopolitical zones.

He added that, “If we want to build one country, the state of origin should be removed from the bio-data.”

In his welcome address, the Bishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Chukwuemeka said the essence of organising the event is for the Muslims and Christians to be able to express their feelings.

Chukwuemeka said what is happening today is as a result of ignorance because people interpret religion differently.

The emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayaro, said social interaction would help “our people to build trust, harmony and embrace tolerance across all the religions.”

CEPEJ Takes Peace, Environmental Advocacy To Schools Across Nigeria


An article from Tribune Online

Niger Delta-based Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has inaugurated Peace and Environment Clubs (PECs) in over 15 secondary schools across the country with a mandate to promote peace and environmental best practices among young ones for a better society.

The most recent PECs were established at the Federal Capital Territory to serve as “safe spaces” with the idea of catching them young and bringing the next generation together from different social and cultural backgrounds to discuss critical issues relating to peace, conflict prevention/management and environmental sustainability, as well as share values of tolerance and civic responsibility.

The National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade appreciated the FCT board for the partnership to enable the NGO to establish the Peace and Environment Clubs and to inaugurate PEC coordinators for Government Senior Secondary School, Bwari, and Mabushi Secondary School, both in Abuja.

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(Click here for the original version of this article in French)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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FCT Secondary School Board Chairman, Hon. Yahaya Musa Muhammed, who was represented by Assistant Directors, Mr Itam Nneoyi and Mrs Mary Ajibola, appreciated CEPEJ for the laudable initiative.

They pledged to work with the CSO to educate and guide the youths in the ways of life.

Speaking in the same vein, the Principals of Government Secondary School, Bwari, Dr Mrs Nse Martina Ikwo, and Government Secondary School, Mabushi, Mr Muhammed Shaba thanked CEPEJ for establishing the peace clubs to educate pupils on the need to imbibe the culture of peace and environmental protection, highly needed in Nigeria today.

They promised to ensure the sustainability of the clubs.

The Programme Director of CEPEJ, Mrs Nafisat Amadu Abdulmalik, however, listed improved life skills (leadership, negotiation, decision making, values, self-esteem, conflict management etc.), enhanced advocacy skills-speaking up for self and for others, among others.

She said CEPEJ would facilitate training the trainers’ workshops in the coming weeks before the activities would kick off fully.

Others in attendance included Vice Principals, administrative staff, as well as senior teachers and students.

These advocacies are expected to help the young lads to imbibe values of mutual respect, fairness, teamwork, discipline and tolerance, in order to birth a society with a mindset that values peace and environmental best practices.

Colombia: ‘5th with 5th Crew’, rhymes and colors for peace in Norte de Santander


An article by Anderson Salinas for Radio Nacional Colombia

The cultural and social foundation ‘5ta con 5ta Crew’ was born in 2007, with the idea of ​​strengthening the social fabric among the youth in the department of Norte de Santander. It is a group that deals with violence through the arts from the Itinerant School of the North Bravos Hijos in 12 municipalities of the department.

With rap, graffiti, urban dance and audiovisual productions, this foundation has become a pedagogical path for young people in the department.

Rap video from the foundation

They are a team of 20 young professionals who travel through different rural and urban areas, bearing messages that transcend the memory of violence in the territories affected by the armed conflict.

“I started rapping long before, with passionate rap partners we began to share that music that we liked. To the point, that my mother’s house on 5th Street and 5th Avenue in the Motilones de Atalaya neighborhood, became the main headquarters for a time, ”explains Jorge Botello, leader of the foundation.

The initiative focused on working with young people between 16 and 25 years old, promoting artistic expressions in favor of life and the defense of the rights of youth, activities that provide the region with spaces for coexistence and reconciliation.

“In this space we begin to enjoy every moment from rap, graffiti, muralism, urban dance, audiovisuals, weaving, theater, community cinema, which began a new stage in the foundation, and where we try to manage always the historical look at our reality,” adds Jorge.

‘Ahiman,’ the artistic name by which Jorge is known, found that music provided a way to teach in the search of historical memory and truth. “It was something we did without knowing it, the lyrics, the processes, became the opportunity to express what we felt,” he explains.

(click here for the article in Spanish.).)

Question related to this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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The border area and the Catatumbo are those spaces of resistance, where their cultural processes allow children and adolescents to compose the history that is hidden in each of its 11 municipalities.

“Young people have found the possibility of amplifying the voice, that their voice not only represents themselves, but a whole group, a community, and that through these spaces they allow to transform relationships, and thus have a better coexistence” says Botello.

Currently, the foundation is carrying out the ‘Crafts for peace, memory and truth’ project in the departments of Arauca, Santander, Norte de Santander, Bolívar and César. According to Laura Rangel, a member of the team, this initiative is developed with the purpose of training 510 youth in the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition.

“We reflect around the truth. We find incredible, heartbreaking, hopeful, resilient stories that are very motivating for our work in the territory and today we are closing this project and opening the door for our next stop: the art of truth,” Botello indicates.

This work will be present in Norte de Santander for a year, where it will work for the legacy of the Truth Commission and the fundamental role of youth in the non-continuity of the armed conflict with children and young people.

For Darwin Delgado, one of the young people who participates in these foundation processes, it is necessary to continue keeping history alive in these territories marked by violence in Colombia.

“It is better that the trumpets sound and we do not have the rifles, it is better that the paint is spilled and not the blood of the Colombians; that is the value of art for our region, it allows us to visualize ourselves and represent ourselves under a different perspective before society,” he affirms with a tone of hope.

‘Ahiman’ points out that it is the new generations who must make use of the lyrics, beats, dances and colored lines to rebuild the social fabric that has been fractured by decades.

“For every violent act there are many more rhymes, more murals, more colors, many more break dance steps, art became what holds the new generations to say that there is an opportunity to have a better country,” he says. .

Today they are a medium that runs from art, a path to coexistence and the promotion of a culture of peace in Catatumbo and all of North Santander, with each expression highlighting its message of peace in different languages.

Mexico: Initiative to create the Law of Culture of Peace for the state of Zacatecas presented in the Legislature


Un artículo de La Jornada Zacatecas (translation by CPNN)

Deputies from the parliamentary fractions of Morena, the Encuentro Solidario Party (PES), the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), the New Alliance Party and the Labor Party (PT) have presented an initiative to create a Culture of Peace Law before the 64th Legislature of the state of Zacatecas. This needed to address the causes of violence and to guarantee human rights in a transversal and sectoral manner.

Photo from a previous CPNN article on culture of peace in Zacatecas

In their explanatory statement, they indicated that “The State assumes the commitment to guarantee and respect all human rights, and, above all, the right to a dignified life, free from violence, based on solidarity, tolerance and respect.” For this reason, they pointed out, work must be done to ensure the safety of citizens, as well as to promote peace and harmony and to strengthen a responsible social fabric. This can lead to changes that address the social, cultural, economic and political.
causes of violence.

There are various factors that directly affect the manifestation of violence within these areas, the initiative assured, such as lack of education, poverty, gender inequality, lack of decent job opportunities, social inequalities and unattended antisocial behaviors, which have as a consequence family violence, gender violence, child sexual abuse, organized crime, armed movements and the constant violation of human rights both by individuals and by authorities.

In Zacatecas, it was pointed out, despite the prevention actions, violence continues to grow exponentially, therefore, they considered, a normative body must be legislated and created that permanently articulates public policies as a means of solution to the problem posed. Therefore, the deputies point out, the objective of proposing an initiative by which a Law of Culture of Peace is issued for the state of Zacatecas, in order to regulate actions that promote, develop and implement multisectoral and inter-institutional public policies that generate conditions for the full enjoyment of the human right to peace and the promotion of a positive peace in our entity.

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(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

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The legislative proposal is aimed at the creation of a State Program that foresees the necessary actions to achieve the implementation of the culture of peace, detecting, attending to and eradicating any manifestation of violence; as well as it seeks to generate the conditions for a full enjoyment of the human right to peace.

The proposed law aims to promote a policy of peace and non-violence through the establishment of a Municipal Council for the Culture of Peace or in the existing dependencies in the municipalities with their respective adjustments, seeking to restore the fabric social and fostering communities of peace. This Council and / or agency would actively participate in the elaboration of the State Program, contributing their opinions and suggestions, proposals and demands on the culture of peace.

“All actions within the law are aimed at complying with what is established in international conventions and treaties, as well as being coordinated with international organizations for the prevention of violence of all its types and a correct implementation of the culture of peace, achieving implement positive peace throughout the state ”, they specified.

For this reason, the need for it to work in a transversal and multisectoral manner, and to seek to address the causes of violence and inequalities, and to guarantee human rights in its actions. Likewise, they concluded, its importance lies in the fact that it makes it possible to understand conflict and peace situations, creating the opportune areas of action so that the new generations, through education, are guided by respect for human rights, dignity, and on all that practice the culture of peace in their day to day, creating new forms of coexistence based on respect, tolerance and solidarity.

The initiative was signed by Armando Delgadillo Ruvalcaba, Priscila Benítez Sánchez, Sergio Ortega Rodríguez, Susana Andrea Barragán Espinosa, Víctor Humberto de la Torre Delgado, Violeta Cerrillo Ortiz, Imelda Mauricio Esparza, Anali Infante Morales, Ernesto González Romo, Maribel Galván Jiménez, members from the National Regeneration Movement Parliamentary Group, Zulema Yunuen Santacruz Márquez and Roxana from the Muñoz González Refuge, from the PES, Georgia Fernanda Miranda Herrera from the Green Ecologist Party, Soralla Bañuelos de la Torre, from Nueva Alianza, José Xerardo Ramírez Muñoz, Ana Luisa Del Muro García and José Luis Figueroa Rangel, from the PT Parliamentary Group.

(Editor’s note: In related developments, Soralla Bañuelos, mentioned above among those proposing the initiative, has also made a plea for a program to exchange war toys for educational toys, arguing that “If we want a healthier childhood, that develops better, we have to work even on the type of toys that are given to them.” Also, the national organization, Comnapaz Mexico, has installed a chapter in Zacatecas, which will support the legislation for a culture of peace, saying that “education is the vaccine that the country requires at this time.”)

The programs of Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum to reduce violence in Mexico City


An article from Infobae

The Head of Government of Mexico City Claudia Sheinbaum, through her Twitter account, has emphasized the social programs that she has implemented during her mandate to improve security conditions.

(Photo: Twitter / @ ClaudiaShain)

The president explained that “security is also the result of social justice, that is why we address the causes of violence with programs that allow access to education, culture and sports.”

She also emphasized the projects that have been the foundations of her government in the capital of the country: the Points of Innovation, Freedom, Art, Education and Knowledge (Pillars), Yes to disarmament, yes to peace, Inside the Neighborhood and Wellbeing for Girls and Boys, My Scholarship to Get Started.

What are social programs to reduce violence?

Barrio Adentro (Inside the Neighborhood)

The program aims to help girls, boys and adolescents in the Historic Center. It consists of going house to house in the neighborhoods where a high number of criminal acts and violence are concentrated.

The Head of Government mentioned that “it is very important to know about this comprehensive intervention that we are going to carry out in the city center. Obviously it will take all health measures. It addresses the difficult situation that many children and adolescents experience in the particular area where the ‘Barrio Adentro’ program is being carried out.”

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(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

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The four fundamental axes of this project are: incorporating minors into social programs and government support, the second is training and education, cultural, recreational and sports activities and the fourth point is prevention actions and monitoring of needs that are seen in each of the properties.

The Pillars

The Points of Innovation, Freedom, Art, Education, and Knowledge are intended for the Mexico City Government to develop a better society that implements freedom for young people. The program is present in the 16 municipalities.

The fundamental axis of this program is to give young people access to their rights. The project helps people who did not have access to education including those who were involved in criminal practices and did not have opportunities to return to school. Classes of different knowledge are given such as theater, dance, cooking, computing, biology, astronomy, music, robotics, electricity, painting, photography, plumbing, writing, and business entrepreneurship , among others.

Wellbeing for Girls and Boys. My Scholarship to Get Started

The scholarship program for basic education helps to eliminate some of the conditions that generate inequality in educational services. In this way the government contributes to guaranteeing equal opportunities, the right to education, as well as the eradication of social discrimination due to socioeconomic problems.

Yes to disarmament, yes to peace

The eradication of weapons is the main driver of this government project. It highlights the strategy against violence by preventing accidents and loss of life.

In different parts of the city there are modules so that people who possess weapons can exchange them for cash.

The Ministries of Government and Citizen Security of Mexico City and National Defense are in charge of destroying the weapons that are delivered in each module.

Burkina Faso: Great nights of the communities of Dédougou: Young people sensitized on the culture of peace


An article by Lawali Dembele in Le Faso (translation by CPNN)

A reflection, communication and experience-sharing activity, the national community forum was held this Saturday, September 26, 2021 on the second day of the Great Nights of the Dédougou communities, initiated by the association ImpactAdo. The theme of the GNC, “Promotion of peace and social cohesion, what contributions of youth”, was dissected and debated by the facilitators for an afternoon.

Séverine Sawadogo, Adama Démé, two students and Dieudonné Zagré and Aminata Boly, two other students each talked about living together and social cohesion. Very applied and without complexes, the young speakers presented their communication to the ovations of the participants.

Introduing the speeches, the promoter of the Great nights of communities, Ibrahim Donyéré, set the scene by explaining the strategy adopted by the association Impact Ado with the involvement of young people/ “These young people will share their experiences. Through this choice, we want the message of the search for peace, social cohesion and living together to be carried by young people and adolescents themselves.”

Two young boys and two young girls, it is the young team which, during two hours, took stock of the situation of the lack of peace and social cohesion in Burkina Faso, while proposing solutions and behaviors for young people for the consolidation of a peaceful climate in Burkina Faso and particularly in the Boucle du Mouhoun region.

For Séverine Sawadogo, an economics student at Norbert Zongo University and first facilitator, several actions should be taken in the search for peace. Addressing the central theme of the Great nights of communities, she insisted: “To ensure the well-being of the community, we must demonstrate patriotism and civility by organizing forums for meeting and sharing of experiences like the GNC. ”

To better understand the difficulties experienced by young people and especially how to resolve them, she quoted the emblematic figure of the Burkinabé revolution, Thomas Sankara: “We must not leave a monopoly of thought, imagination and creativity to our enemies yesterday and today.”
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(Click here for the original French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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A student in the first D class, Dieudonné Zagré, in turn, gave a presentation on the benefits of personal development in a context where the search for peace remains an equation to be solved.

According to the student Zagré, the term “personal development” is self-improvement, personal work that consists of surpassing oneself. “I would like to see a renewed youth of Burkina Faso. Let’s ignore our differences, let’s accept each other, let’s come together for the development of our homeland, Burkina Faso, ”said Dieudonné Zagré.

The use of social networks at the heart of discussions

A Sstudent in the Faculty of Life and Earth Sciences, Adama Démé from Norbert Zongo University in Koudougou shared the experience of young people on the use of social networks.

“The misuse of social networks by young people is a real problem. We see cases of recurring disinformation on social networks, the sharing of fake news with consequences including cybercrime. ”

These facts constitute evils according to the student. He then called for awareness among young people so that the fight against the trans-generational transmission of this misuse of social networks can be stopped. Otherwise, the culture of peace and social cohesion will be undermined.

For the last facilitator, Aminata Boly, a final year D student at the Saint Gabriel private college in Dédougou, the promotion of culture, customs and traditions is an explorable solution to safeguard peace in Burkina Faso: “I think that knowledge of customary and traditional values ​​is important for the culture of peace and social cohesion. ”

Starting from the African proverb which affirms that “a country without culture is like a tree without fruit”, the student called on the Burkinabè youth and especially that of Dédougou to promote cultural and traditional values ​​for a better Burkina.

Present as guest of honor, the mayor of Barani, Hamidou Sidibé welcomed the holding of the national community forum.

“We are very happy with what we have seen. This youth is conscious and engaged. Conscious of his society and committed to the positive transformation of society. We are reassured that the next generation is assured, ”said Mr. Sidibé.

Before concluding, he did not fail to quote Professor Joseph Ki-Zerbo: “We do not just develop, we develop ourselves. ”

For Aminata Diallo, secretary general of the Impact Ado association and moderator of the forum, this activity aims to bring about change so that young people are more engaged, more united. “We hold that the education is the foundation for lasting peace. Also, it was recommended more equity, equality and justice in society in order to cultivate a peace and social cohesion that is sustainable.

The forum concluded with a guided visit to the village and communities.

Dalaba, Guinea: launch of the APAC Project of Didhèrè Foulah in Kaala


An article from Guinée Matin

The Association for the promotion of local initiatives “APIL” launched last Saturday, September 25, 2021, the APAC Project of Didhèrè Foulah in Kolia, in the sub-prefecture of Kaala (a locality located 20 km from the urban commune of Dalaba). The ceremony took place in the presence of the new prefect, Colonel Mohamed Bangoura, as well as prefectural, sub-prefectural and municipal officials, according to Guineematin through one of its correspondents in the Mamou region.

The APAC project of Didhèrè Foulah aims to protect a site at the confluence of several rivers and at the intersection of plains and highlands to enable it to maintain a viable ecosystem in the Dalaba area. Its overall objective is above all to support local initiatives for resilience in the face of COVID-19 by the communities of the APAC and to contribute to the conservation and maintenance of the ecosystem of Didhèrè Foulah.

“Our activities aim to build the capacities of environmental stakeholders, sensitize communities on the importance of ICCA, provide communities with materials and equipment for monitoring ICCA, train them in ” setting up a nursery, supply them with seeds and materials for agriculture, promote ecotourism by building a mausoleum and a shelter for tourists anf initiate other development activities of our localities so that the populations are independent and eradicate poverty,” explained Mrs. Mariama Diouldé Diallo, president of APIL.

At the launching ceremony of this project in Hérico district, Dr Hassimiou Bah, the secretary general of APIL, briefly reviewed the history of Didhèrè Foulah, once considered a place of demons.

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(Click here for the original article in French)

Question for this article:

What is the relation between the environment and peace

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Didhèrè Foulah, a veritable protected area of ​​historical heritage, is closely integrated into the lifestyles, land management strategies and identities of the local community, in the sense that all inhabitants pay sustained attention to the conservation of the site.

In the past, this site was considered the place of the demons and spirits of the Tènè river. There was a forest there which was so thick that the sun’s rays hardly ever reached it. This is where the Djallonkés came to worship the spirits. In this place an event so unexpected happened that the place was baptized Didhèrè Foulah. The pagans seized Abdoulaye Foulah and decided to immolate him in honor of the spirits of the site. They wanted to cut his throat, but the knife couldn’t hurt him. God saved Foulah. Because his boubou, which was too long, caused his head to emerge from the water and he lived there for a while (for 3 months or 12 days, according to legend). While Foulah was alive, the fish gnawed on his right little toe. Thus, until today, his descendants are born without a nail on this little toe. It was a woman from the NDanyebhé family who saved him from the waters and he survived and resumed his struggle to establish Islam, ”explained Dr Hassimiou Bah.

On behalf of the local populations, the mayor of the rural town of Kaala, Mamadou Saliou Barry, welcomed the initiative of APIL and pledged to support the implementation of the APAC project for the benefit of the local populations.

“The event that brings us together here is the launch of the APAC project which should contribute to the conservation and maintenance of the ecosystem of Didhèrè Foulah. Our population warmly welcomes the presence of this project in our rural community. We will fight to make this project a reality for the benefit of our citizens and future generations, ”said Mamadou Saliou Barry.

Present at this ceremony, Colonel Mohamed Bangoura, new prefect of Dalaba, welcomed this project and invited the populations to the culture of peace.

“I am very happy, a few days after my appointment as Prefect, to launch a major project linked to resilience to COVID-19, with many actions in view, including: the preservation of the biodiversity in the protected site, poultry farming, beekeeping, the creation of nurseries, market gardening, ecotourism… I congratulate the initiators of this project and the international cooperation for its funding. Brave people of Kaala, I ask you to take advantage of this project by making your contribution and to do everything to make it sustainable. This is why I urge you to join forces and your initiatives to make this project a success in your locality. Development must be our ambition. To succeed, we must create a climate of peace, unity and social cohesion between the various development actors, ”said Mohamed Bangoura.

It should be noted that the association for the promotion of local initiatives is an apolitical non-profit association, born from the desire of a group of people concerned with making their contribution in the process of combating poverty, especially in rural areas. .

France: The best mayor in the world is in Montpellier, it is Philippe Rio, mayor of Grigny


An article and video by Le Mouvement

This Wednesday, October 13, in the council chamber of the Town Hall of Montpellier, the first national forum of the AFCDRP (Association of Mayors for Peace, France) took place, in the presence of its President Philippe Rio.

[VIDEO] Philippe Rio, Mayor of Grigny, Vice-President of the Greater Paris Sud agglomeration and President of AFCDRP-Mayors for Peace France

Working in a factory at age 16, before getting an education at Sciences Po, Philippe Rio became mayor of Grigny in the first round in 2014, as again in 2020. Last September, he was chosen as best mayor in the world by the London association “ City Mayors Foundation ”to reward his management of the Covid crisis, and his fight against poverty in his city. His mantra is the same as that of Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.” But he adds an important clarification:” education for a culture of peace. ”

AFCDRP? The AFCDRP-Maires pour la Paix France is the French Association of Municipalities, Departments and Regions for Peace. It represents the French branch of the international network “Mayors for Peace,” including: Mayors for Peace. A movement founded by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1991, the organization was registered as an NGO with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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Question to Philippe Rio: How can cities weave a true culture of peace? You were elected best mayor in the world thanks to your management of the Covid crisis, and your fight against poverty.

Philippe Rio: The “Mayors for Peace” aim to contribute to the establishment of world peace, by arousing the interest of the citizens of the world for the total abolition of nuclear weapons, through close solidarity between its member cities. And also: by aiming to solve vital problems, such as famine and poverty, the plight of refugees, human rights violations and environmental degradation. Worldwide, 8,047 cities are members of “Mayors for Peace. ”

“The fate of the City”

We must “look further” to organize “the fate of the City. “Joseph Mayoral, mayor of Granollers in Spain explains it thus:” we have to install a new type of governance based on proximity […] the only possible way is a dialogue with our citizens. “One of the processes for successfully disseminating the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) for safe and resilient territories: the 17 goals to be achieved by 2030 to save the world.

“A small piece of land which must try to work in its own way for the problems of the big Earth”

Montpellier is now a member of “Mayors for Peace”, the tree that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, a Ginkgo biloba was planted to symbolize this belonging. Michaël Delafosse marked the city’s attachment to “this very important network,” with “the awareness that the metropolis of Montpellier is a small piece of land which must try to work in its own way for the problems of the great Earth. We are facing the challenge of climate change, and when big cities enter into transition decisively, they can mitigate the great peril that we encounter in the 21st century. We must work collectively, so that actions go beyond words and speeches.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2021


Press release from the Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. Ms Ressa and Mr Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.

Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads. As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression. Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s own population. Ms Ressa and Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.

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Question related to this article:
Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

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Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions. In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta. Since 1995 he has been the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for a total of 24 years. Novaja Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power. The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media. Since its start-up in 1993, Novaja Gazeta has published critical articles on subjects ranging from corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud and ”troll factories” to the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia.

Novaja Gazeta’s opponents have responded with harassment, threats, violence and murder. Since the newspaper’s start, six of its journalists have been killed, including Anna Politkovskaja who wrote revealing articles on the war in Chechnya. Despite the killings and threats, editor-in-chief Muratov has refused to abandon the newspaper’s independent policy. He has consistently defended the right of journalists to write anything they want about whatever they want, as long as they comply with the professional and ethical standards of journalism.

Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda. The Norwegian Nobel Committee is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public. These rights are crucial prerequisites for democracy and protect against war and conflict. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov is intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending these fundamental rights.

Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time. This year’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize is therefore firmly anchored in the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will.