Promotion of the Culture of Peace: Salimane Karimou Launches the Project “Youth for Peace in Northern Benin”


An article from Matin Libre (translation by CPNN)

The Minister of Preschool and Primary Education, Salimane Karimou, presided, this Thursday, April 27, 2023 at the Golden Tulip in Cotonou, over the official launch of the project “Youth for Peace in Northern Benin”. Funded by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF Benin in collaboration with the government, this project aims to promote a culture of peace and strengthen the resilience of adolescents and young people in northern Benin by education and vocational training.

During the ceremony that served as a springboard for the official launch of this project, several speeches were made. In the presence of all the parties concerned, the Representative of UNICEF Benin, Djanabou Mahondé, began by thanking all the structures that made possible this tripartite partnership in favor of children, adolescents and young people in the North.

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Question for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

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She mentioned that”The project, which will be implemented until June 2024 for a value of approximately 2.5 million US dollars, or 1.5 billion CFA francs, places particular emphasis on children out of school, children in Koranic schools, but also girls, and young people looking for alternative education or training, who all find themselves in situations of vulnerability that expose them to risks, but also deprive them of their fundamental rights. Indeed, the launch of this project responds to an important need to work with and for young people, in order to make them agents of positive change and ambassadors of peace, while Benin, like other coastal countries of the sub-region, has been facing the consequences of the Sahel crisis in the northern border areas for several months.”

Following her, Sylvia Hartlief, Ambassador of the European Union in Benin praised the government and particularly the Minister Salimane Karimou for the efforts made in consolidating education in the border departments. “The objective is to provide Beninese children and adolescents with solid educational achievements and essential skills to better integrate into a constantly changing socio-economic environment, and to promote the role of children and young people in the safeguarding peace and social cohesion in the country. An objective of which we all measure the importance and the urgency, when we know that nearly two million children are out of school in Benin, more than half of them in the 4 departments of the North (Alibori, Atacora, Borgou and Donga). The European Union is proud to support you, to accompany you, in partnership with Unicef, whose legitimacy and quality of support in the service of education no longer need to be demonstrated.”

Speaking of this project, the Minister, Leader of the Ministers of Education informs that it will take place in the department of Atacora in Cobly, Kerou, Materi, Natitingou; in the department of Alibori in Banikoara, in Karimama and in the department of Donga in Ouaké. This program, he said, responds perfectly to the ambition of the government to ensure continuous improvement of access to basic social services and social protection. “Peace education aims to combat a culture of war by promoting a culture of peace. It calls into question the principle according to which violence is innate in humans and aims to put students at the center, able to resolve conflicts without violence, “he said, while reassuring himself that this program will enable impacted children, adolescents and young people to become responsible, peace-loving citizens. He finally proceeded to the official installation of the committee to lead this project.