Spain: More than 140 people participate in the first Congress ‘Aragon, culture of peace’


An article in El Periodico de Aragon (translation by CPNN)

More than 140 people are participating in the first Congress ‘Aragon, culture of peace’ to address the phenomenon of migration. The event, which began this Wednesday, is scheduled by the General Directorate for Development Cooperation and Immigration, in the Department of Citizenship and Social Rights of the Government of Aragon.

This initiative takes place on the occasion of the International Day of Migrants, which is commemorated on December 18. During two days, this Wednesday and Thursday, numerous experts will reflect on the phenomenon of migration and its enriching value for society.

In total, 144 people have enrolled from very different fields of knowledge, from nurses to social workers, doctoral students, civil servants and Administration personnel, and 85.7 percent have requested the issuance of an assistance diploma .

At the same time, this Congress will serve as a prelude to the Plenary of the Immigration Forum, a body that brings together the different actors working on immigration in Aragon, which meets again – the last time was in June – to update its work.

In 2019, there were 75,012 men and 73,212 women of foreign origin in Aragon. The Minister of Citizenship and Social Rights, María Victoria Broto, in charge of opening the congress, has pointed out that “Aragon is a host country, it is a territory of solidarity and it is necessary to address, at this time and in the current circumstances, what is the situation in the world, what needs are there and how they can be addressed from the point of view of the Administrations, institutions and entities “.

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

Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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“We are very happy to host this Congress in which we will listen to voices that will analyze the reality of migration also from the point of view of those who arrive and need to be understood and helped. After what they have experienced this year in which the covid has paralyzed everything, it is mandatory to stop and think and not forget that the needs are still out there and that, far from disappearing, they have increased, “he said.

For her part, the Director General for Development Cooperation and Immigration, Natalia Salvo, highlighted that, through this Congress, the intention is to continue with the commitment to research “as a source of rigor and seriousness” in order to implement public policies on migration.

“We have created a space for dialogue about migration, the management of cultural diversity and other phenomena such as international protection, all of this framed on an especially important date for us, the International Day of Migrants.”

The first presentation of the day this Thursday, which begins at 10:00 am, is led by Alberto Sabio, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Zaragoza and will address ‘Ideas about peace in contemporary times: a reflection from History’ .

Afterwards, there will be the presentation ‘Democracy and polarization: on how democratic systems can promote the culture of understanding and stop polarization’, by Luis Miller, the sociologist and head scientist of the Institute of Policies and Public Goods of the CSIC. At 12.30 pm, after the break, the president of the Spanish Association for Peace Research (AIPAZ), Ana Barreiro, takes up again with ‘Informative and discursive approach to migration’.


In the afternoon, it will be the turn for the presentation ‘Educating for social justice: social representations and construction of shared responsibilities’, by the coordinator of the research area of ​​the UNESCO Chair in Education for Social Justice, Liliana Jacott. Afterwards, the political scientist and member of ECODES, Cristina Monge, will speak about ‘Globalization and eco-social challenges for development and peace’.

On Thursday 17, the executive director of UNRWA Spain, Raquel Martí, will start with ‘A peaceful solution for Palestine’, which will be followed by the director of Migration Policies and Diversity in Instrategies and associate researcher at GRITIM-UPF, Gemma Pinyol-Jiménez , with ‘Migration, coexistence and culture of peace’.

The last presentation will be given by Carmen Magallón, the director of the Peace Research Seminary Foundation (SIP) and Honorary President of WILPF Spain, who will address the topic ‘Women, peace and security. 20th Anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, a milestone that defends the incorporation of women in peace processes’.

Youth at the Luanda Biennale – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace


Excerpts from the Action Programme 2021-2023 : Young People Committed to the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence

As described previously in CPNN, the 2021 Biennale of Luanda was organized in a new and unique format with an Intergenerational Dialogue by which youth from Africa and the Diaspora debate with Ministers of Youth and Culture on the importance of cultural and heritage diversity of Africa and its Diasporas to promote the culture of peace in the continent. 

We now have a more detailed description of how that was accomplished and its potential for the future of the culture of peace in Africa.

The preparations were initiated with the creation, on 7 June 2021, of an ad hoc Youth Committee.

The said committee had the mission to contribute, in general, to the preparations of the second edition of the Luanda Biennial, and in particular, by participating in the organisation of the Intergenerational Dialogue and precisely (i) by having organised and implemented the selection of the 118 young people and their online participation not only in the Dialogue, but also to the different thematic and good practice forums on the agenda of the Biennial, to the partnership sessions and (ii) by contributing, with the support of their respective organisations and networks in their countries, to the mobilisation and online participation of other young people as well.

The ad hoc youth committee was composed of 14 young people from 12 African countries and was supported by another 04 young people who, based on their proven experience and membership of well-established youth organisations and networks, have contributed and are contributing to the mobilisation and engagement of their peers before, during and after the second edition of the Biennale.

The 118 young people who were selected are nationals of 49 African countries and 14 countries of the Diaspora. Of these selected young people, 10 have been selected to participate in the Biennale’s activities in person and, as such, to be the spokespersons for all the others. . . .

The work of the young people, following the Intergenerational Dialogue, the Thematic Forums and the partnership sessions, led to the adoption of positioning statements that will provide the framework for designing, implementing and contributing to joint projects. . . .

1. We commit to support and encourage the promotion and preservation of African arts and cultural heritage in participating countries, through the use of social media and all other possible avenues.

2. Inspired by the legacy of Kofi Annan that “Without progress there is no peace and without peace there is no progress”, we commit to using education and youth empowerment as vehicles to promote a culture of peace and non-violence and to ensure the sustainable development of Africa in order to build a bridge in conflict prevention through transformative socio-economic practices.

3. We commit to advocate, in our countries, for the inclusion of vulnerable young people living with disabilities and marginalized, the harmonization of the lifestyle of new generations with the principles of endogenous values of living together, the promotion and vulgarization of all relevant international normative instruments relating to women’s rights.

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(Click here for a 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?

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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4. We commit to contribute to the strengthening of governance, protection and sustainable management of the oceans in developing and underdeveloped countries, as well as in small islands, in order to ensure an equitable distribution and sharing of ocean resources, based on popular awareness and education programmes, state-of-the-art scientific research policies. . . .

. . . To contribute to the overall objective of the Luanda Biennale to strengthen the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence . . .

I. (We) commit and call on youth-led and youth-focused organisations, networks and initiatives to work together to:

– Form youth-led, multi-level pan-African movements for a culture of peace, from the local to the international level, by encouraging networking, complementary and joint collaboration and knowledge sharing between organisations.

– Promote the creation and expansion of existing environments and spaces where Pan-African youth can live and embrace their diverse cultural heritages, thereby contributing to building and strengthening a transformative Pan-African outlook.

– Facilitate and enhance knowledge sharing, interaction and cooperation between institutions (especially universities/higher education institutions), governments and youth-led organisations based in Africa and elsewhere towards the realisation of regional and global agendas for peace, non-violence and sustainability in the 6 regions of Africa.

II. Engage potential partners and stakeholders to work together to

– Advocate for the accountability, continued commitment and involvement of civil society, governments and the private sector in maintaining and supporting good practice in the 5 main regions of the continent and its diaspora.

– Establish a permanent youth platform that strengthens intercultural and inter-religious dialogue between young people from the six African regions and contributes to the entrenchment of peaceful co-existence and common citizenship.

– Strengthen the capacity of Pan-African youth to promote the culture of peace, identify and support youth initiatives and best practices that work towards the sustainable implementation, individually and collectively, of the concepts of the culture of peace, raise awareness on the importance of promoting a culture of peace and mutual respect in the six African regions.

2) Continue to develop concrete projects and initiatives at local, national and international level to implement the 2021-2023 roadmap.

As part of their contribution to the Roadmap 2021-2023, young people also commit themselves to implementing, through concrete projects and activities, the “African Youth Pledge for the Culture of Peace”, adopted at the end of the Youth Forum, organised at the 1st edition of the Luanda Biennale (2019), under the general theme “Youth and Culture of Peace”.

This commitment, which lists twelve (12) commitments whose implementation (in the short, medium and long term) has been placed under the coordination of the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCOP), with the support of UNESCO and the AU.

In addition, the youth would like the following projects to be included in the Roadmap

1) The holding of an “International Conference on the role of youth in culture, as a lever for living together and a factor of economic empowerment of young people”;

2) the creation of a “Pan-African Platform for Intergenerational and Interfaith Cultural Dialogue for the Mutual Knowledge of Peoples and Cultures”.

Tunisia: Inter-Religious Conference in Tunis On International Day for Tolerance


An article from All Africa

 The celebration of the International Day for Tolerance aims at enshrining the principles of peaceful coexistence between citizens of the same country, regardless of their cults and beliefs, said participants in the inter-religious conference held Tuesday (November 16) in Tunis at the initiative of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The participants also stressed the role of culture and education in consolidating the values of tolerance and openness, saying that Tunisia is a platform for peace.

Minister of Religious Affairs Brahim Chaïbi said that the conference aims to bring children of the same country closer together and to overcome the barriers of religion.

He called on the men of faith representing the three great monotheistic religions to unite in the service of peace, humanity and the homeland, “spared until now by interfaith conflicts and discord”, warning against any attempt to stir up tensions using the sacred as a pretext for fomenting crises that run counter to the values of tolerance and peace advocated by the religions.

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(Click here for a French version of this article.)

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

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Minister of Cultural Affairs Hayet Ktat Guarmazi stressed that the celebration of the International Day for Tolerance reflects the deep conviction that peace, peaceful coexistence and respect for religious diversity are indispensable and essential to enable the world to combat all forms of fanaticism that lead to hatred and violence.

She recalled that inter-religious dialogue imposes tolerance as a social, political and economic requirement, adding that her department works, in collaboration with other ministries, to establish the values of culture, art, beauty, positivity and building bridges, as vectors of tolerance and peace in society.

The Mufti of the Republic Othmane Battikh explained that tolerance implies an ease in contact and relations with others, far from any rancour, rejection and hatred. He recalled that Tunisia has always been a land of tolerance, even before the arrival of Islam, and that these values have been anchored in Tunisians throughout the ages and are perfectly consistent with the founding principles of international laws and charters.

Father Jawad Alamat, representative of the Catholic Church of Tunis, said that the Church works to spread the culture of peace through an open discourse that welcomes Muslims to all festivals and religious ceremonies, in addition to opening its library to Tunisian researchers and thinkers and encouraging, through the Catholic school of Tunis and in collaboration with civil society, the building of a tolerant and supportive society.

Moshe Wazan, Deputy Chief Rabbi of Tunisia, stressed the importance of such conferences which bring together representatives of various religions, adding that faith remains a private matter and that religious diversity in Tunisia is not an obstacle to peaceful coexistence among Tunisians.

Leila Ben Sassi, Director of the National Observatory of Education, stressed, in her speech on behalf of the Minister of Education, the essential role of schools in developing a sense of citizenship and raising awareness of tolerance and openness to all religions and civilisations.

Olive Trees and the movement for justice in Palestine


An article by CPNN

This is the season for the olive harvest in the Middle East. According to Al Jazeera, “About 80,000 to 100,000 Palestinian families rely on the olive harvest, which takes place every year between October and November, for their income – including more than 15 percent of working women.”

CPNN has received, read and appreciated the video below in which the olive trees and olive harvest are seen as a symbol for the movement for justice in Palestine.

`A scene from the video “The olive trees are growing again in Gaza.”

Unfortunately, there are forces in Israel opposed to justice in Palestine, and for them the olive tree and olive harvest is also a symbol but one that they wish to destroy.

According to the same article in Al Jazeera, “During the 2020 olive harvest season, OCHA documented  at least 26 Palestinians injured and more than 1,700 trees vandalised. As of October 4, 2021, the UN group for humanitarian affairs recorded at least 365 settler attacks against Palestinians. This week, a 10-day campaign  to aid and protect farmers was launched in areas considered to be at high risk of Israeli settler attacks.”

The 10-day campaign mentioned by Al Jazeera is managed by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. In response on October 19, the Israeli government has outlawed this organization, along with five others, claiming that that they are “terrorist.”

Human Rights Watch , in a joint statement with Amnesty International, writes the following about the Israeli decision :

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Question for this article

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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“This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement. For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. While staff members of our organizations have faced deportation and travel bans, Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations. The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.

“How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders. We are proud to work with our Palestinian partners and have been doing so for decades. They represent the best of global civil society. We stand with them in challenging this outrageous decision.”

Despite the official Israeli position, there are are Israelis who support the Palestinian olive harvest. In another website we find the following:

“There are repeated efforts to replant destroyed trees, including by Israeli activists, who earlier this year brought 200 trees to plant in Burin.

“A week later we came [back again] and a lot of the trees were uprooted — the new trees — so we replanted them,” said Rabbi Nava Heretz.

A member of the Israeli organisation Rabbis for Human Rights, the 66-year-old has for years been harvesting olives alongside Israeli and foreign volunteers. Activists have also been attacked by settlers, including an elderly rabbi whose arm was broken in 2019.

“We are going to places where there is a threat on the Palestinian farmers,” she said, standing between olive trees in the Burin area.”

The article concludes with remarks from a Palestinian:

“Going beyond economics, Mr Abu Jiyab said olives remain an important symbol across Palestine. ‘Palestinians cherish this tree,’ he said, which has grown for hundreds of years.
‘Whether we are in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the border areas or far from the border areas, we consider this tree like one of our children.’”

Some villages in France have found a second life by welcoming refugees


A compilation with translations by CPNN

A recent article in Liberation shows how some villages in France have found a second life by welcoming refugees.

The article says that these villages, that are “struck by rural exodus,” have decided to renew their local life with immigrants, and it mentions four villages: Luzy (2,000 inhabitants, Nièvre), Ferrette (800 inhabitants, Haut-Rhin), Notre-Dame-de-l’Osier (500 inhabitants, Isère) and Pessat-Villeneuve (650 inhabitants, Puy -de-Dôme).

At Pessat-Villeneuve, Mayor Gérard Dubois (right) with Hamidullah (center) – clip from video entitled Portrait de Hamidullah, réfugié afghan a Pessat-Villeneuve.

Here are excerpts from articles about these four villages.

Luzy in Nièvre

“In the heart of the Burgundy countryside, Luzy, a town of 2,000 inhabitants, has welcomed 45 asylum seekers of Guinean, Afghan, Sudanese or Iranian origin, etc. since the end of 2018.

For these men, women and children who fled persecution at home, Luzy is seen as a stopover on the roads of exile. For the moment, they are suspended from the response that the French authorities will give to their asylum requests.

For the past fifteen years, Luzy has been losing inhabitants. But, for three years now, it has gained and the village has been reborn, in particular thanks to the arrival of these new Luzicans, from all over the world.

Committed to receiving them as best as possible, the inhabitants of Luzy have mobilized to give meaning to their reception and living together, including football games, French lessons, pétanque tournaments and ball trap competitions.

Ferrette in Haut-Rhin

Since 2016, Ferrette has welcomed around 80 asylum seekers – half of whom are children – from places as far away as Afghanistan, Sudan and Armenia.

They all hope to be recognized as refugees – or at the very least, that France will grant them “subsidiary protection”, the status granted to asylum seekers who are not qualified as refugees… ..

When the mayor of Ferrette agreed to welcome migrants, he found himself facing stiff opposition, even from members of his staff… ..

But while some protested, he also saw other locals come together to help, with the emergence of a group called “Voisins du monde” which offered them French lessons, access to a game library, cooking classes and even transport to the hospital.

Samir Beldi, director of accommodation at the Mulhouse / Ferrette branch of Adoma, the housing office that houses migrants, said things had gone well.

“The volunteers managed to repair the damage after some initial trouble. There were preconceptions but we have turned the page on that,” he said.

His assistant, Martine Kaufmann, agrees. “They are not ‘poor’, they were not necessarily poor at home,” she explains. “Some of them have important qualifications. There is diversity among asylum seekers.

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(Click here for the French version.)

Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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Notre-Dame-de-l’Osier in Isère

Located in Notre-Dame-de-l’Osier and belonging to the Emmaüs-France network and the Cocagne network, the Tero Loko association was created a little over 3 years ago. It offers an integration project for refugees and inhabitants of the territory. The objective is twofold, to facilitate the integration of people in precarious situations and to participate in the dynamism of this rural town of 700 inhabitants. Their slogan, “Cultivate welcome” is a reflection of this desire.

In this access to employment project, Tero Loko offers integration contracts (CDDI) in market gardening and bread production, two essential productions in everyday food, as well as marketing for the sale of their products …

Tero Loko thus supports refugees on access to employment and also works with them on access to sustainable housing or learning French.

This project can provide answers to a need for integration in rural areas. It offeris a complete project to refugees in search of stability and participates in the revitalization of rural communities. The joy of being together is evident in these markets because the exchange is reciprocal. The refugees are helped in their integration and the inhabitants find a lively village life thanks to this weekly market and various activities (such as pottery workshops, cooking, honey harvesting or even creative workshops of all kinds).

Pessat-Villeneuve en Puy-de-Dôme

In Pessat-Villeneuve (63), a village of 670 inhabitants in the Puy de Dôme, a solidarity initiative was born during the first confinement. As the masks are missing throughout the territory, Hamidullah, a refugee from the Pessat-Villeneuve temporary accommodation center, has decided to produce them. Other refugees have joined in his efforts to help with the distribution. Thanks to them, all the inhabitants were able to benefit from this essential protection. Gérard Dubois, the mayor of the village, and Isabelle Harry, deputy mayor who participated in the distribution of the masks, tell us about this adventure………

What is the origin of this reception policy?

Gérard Dubois :  In 2015, the photo of little Aylan was the trigger for my commitment. I told myself that something had to be done. At that time, we had just bought a vacation center which belonged to Air France and which was unoccupied during the winter period. It seemed logical to me to offer it to the State to accommodate families. At the end of October 2015, the prefectures could not find any center to welcome migrants from Calais, they remembered me. It all happened very quickly. We took in 48 migrants initially. They landed in our beautiful region. Our small village had 550 inhabitants at the time. Then, making the center sustainable was a real desire both personally and on the part of the municipal team…….

How did this mask creation initiative come about? Did the idea come from your side or from the center?

Gérard Dubois :  It was complicated because we were living in this confinement during the elections….. about the masks. No one had any. I tried to get some for the center through the Association of Mayors of France. We were able to do bulk orders nationwide to redistribute them, but we didn’t get exactly what we wanted. Then, one day, the director of the Cecler center calls me and tells me that a young refugee, Hamidullah, is able to sew and that he intends to make masks. I immediately accepted……His idea was really to offer them to the population, it all started with him. Our participation in the action was easy compared to his work. We provided him with the equipment: sewing machine, elastic, suitable fabric, plastic pouches for hygiene during distribution. We also created a communication to add in the masks to explain the origin of this mask and its history…….

Is it by sharing moments that we can get to know each other better?

Isabelle Harry:  It’s true that it’s not always easy to do this. They were very motivated by the idea of creating the masks and then distributing them. This gave them the opportunity to go against the inhabitants and get in touch with them. It is true that when the center was set up, there were a lot of reluctant residents. It should not be denied. They were scared and it was not easy. I was the first to ask myself questions. For a small village like ours, that’s normal. Gradually people were reassured and now the refugees are integrated. This initiative was one more step. The majority of the inhabitants were very happy and found it great to give the refugees a chance.

(Thank you to Kiki Adams, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

United Kingdom : Little Amal: Coventry welcomes giant refugee puppet to city


An article from BBC News at (reprinted by permission)

Coventry has welcomed a giant puppet of a child to the city as it nears the end of a 5,000-mile walk from Syria to “rewrite the narrative about refugees”.

Crowds of people greeted the 3.5m (11.5ft) puppet, named Little Amal, in the city centre on Wednesday afternoon.

The crowds grew larger as Little Amal made her way towards the centre of Coventry

Little Amal represents a nine-year-old girl on a journey, in a project called The Walk.

The puppet, whose name means “hope” in Arabic, started its 8,000km journey in Gaziantep, Turkey on 27 July and has travelled across Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France.

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Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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Organisers said the aim had been to shine a light on the stories of the millions of displaced refugee children she represents.

Coventry, the current City of Culture, which is known as a city of peace and reconciliation, is thought to be home to about 1,500 people seeking refuge.

Julia, who arrived in Coventry from Kenya, said: “Amal is symbolic to a lot of us.

“I don’t think people understand survival until they are put in a situation. You think ‘why are you running? Why can’t you go to the police?’

“Sometimes it’s not a choice you have when you are just a common person.”

After Coventry, Little Amal will visit Birmingham, Sheffield and Barnsley before the 14-week travelling street theatre ends in Manchester on 3 November.

Little Amal’s story began in Good Chance Theatre‘s award-winning play, The Jungle. The critically-acclaimed production was based on the stories Good Chance’s founders Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson encountered when they created their first Theatre of Hope in the 2015 Calais refugee camp. Little Amal appeared as a character in The Jungle who represented the hundreds of unaccompanied minors in the Calais camp who were separated from their families. Following the success of The Jungle, which contributed to a global conversation about refugees and shared humanity, Good Chance felt Little Amal’s story still had so much more to say.

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.”

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?

Can a culture of peace be achieved in Africa through local indigenous training and participation?

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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.

Successful start of the Latin American March for Nonviolence, Multiethnic and Pluricultural


An article from Pressenza

The Latin American March for Nonviolence, Multiethnic and Pluricultural, began on 15 September 2021 with a successful start and a profusion of activities.

facebook video

Activists from a multitude of Latin American countries have done their bit to bring about the inauguration of the Latin American March for Nonviolence. It symbolically combines the virtual, using pre-recorded videos, and the direct connection to different parts of Latin America and even to Madrid.

The central inauguration event took place at the UNED in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, organised by the UNED and World Without Wars and Without Violence.

First, the exhibition of photographs of the Marches for Peace and Nonviolence in Latin America was inaugurated.

The opening ceremony of the March consisted of the viewing of videos from various parts of Latin America, the commemoration of the Bicentenary of Central America and the launching of a Call for Peace and Nonviolence in the Region.

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Click here for this article in French or click here for the article in Spanish).

Question related to this article:
How effective are mass protest marches?

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The video of the zoom broadcast of the Inauguration of the Latin American March can be seen on facebook video.

This was the official start with a symbolic act of the virtual and physical March that will travel through Latin America until the 2nd of October.

Throughout the same day, different activities took place in other Latin American countries as a starting point of the Latin American March for Nonviolence.

Some of the activities we took as an example were:

The Forum “Culture of Peace, Road to Reconciliation” which took place in Lima, Peru, at the Colegio María de la Providencia-Breña at 6:30 p.m. Lima time. You can access the video of the forum on facebook here: Foro “Cultura de Paz, Camino hacia la reconciliación”.

The opening ceremony and launch of the March and the unveiling of the sculpture Flor de Paz at the Universidad Distrital de Bogotá Francisco José de Caldas at 10:30 a.m. Bogotá time.

In Bogota, stencil painting has also been carried out in different places to encourage participation.
And, in the Teusaquillo district of Bogotá, the inauguration of the Latin American March was visualised as a group projection of the inauguration of the Latin American March.
From the Book Fair at the ORIGAMI exhibition stand in La Paz, Bolivia, they showed their support for the Latin American March.

In Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, as a greeting to the beginning of the Latin American March, they made a mural about the Latin American March.

We thank the marchers, promoters and supporters for the attention and effort they put into their work and we wish them days of great joy in the meaningful encounters with those who have already awakened and will continue to awaken to this warm spirit of Nonviolence that runs through Latin America.

(Editor’s note: We have not found a summary of the activities of the march as of its conclusion on October 2, the International Day of Nonviolence. However, the website of the march provides brief articles from Argentina, Colombia, Brasil, Surinam, Costa Rica, México, Ecuador, and Chile.)