Creating unity: What the youth need to know

Rwanda has been broken before, and has been able to collect the pieces as it heals every single day. This is a time young people should be taught about unity in order to create the Rwanda that everyone will be proud of, even for generations to come.

It is for this reason that young people need to know why unity is important. Unity is the state of being united or combined into one.

According to Richard Kaweesi, the Chief Executive of Brain Teasers Rwanda, the youth need role models to look up to.

“Before we preach unity, we have to be united ourselves. Let children copy our examples as parents and teachers; this is how they can learn. First of all, explain to them why unity is important. Children need to copy good examples,” he says.

Kaweesi says that storytelling is a good method to share knowledge with the young generation. For instance, this can be through family stories, legends, fairy tales, movies, quotes, among others. This brings people together and creates a strong relationship.

He also stresses that sometimes kids need to tour in order to meet other people and accept their ways. They need to learn from other people and value them for their beliefs, ideas, and standards.

“When children travel, they widen their perception; to have hope, and extend their thinking but also view life not only in negativity but have hope to be better and also to share their lives, stories, knowledge with different kinds of people they come across.”

Martha Nassolo, a teacher at Little Bears Montessori School explains that children need to be taught to be compassionate.

If a friend is in pain, maybe he has lost a relative, they should have a heart to reach out to them. When a colleague lacks what to eat, let them share the little they have with them. Children need to think of others, they have to know that everyone else counts and matters, Nassolo says.

Kaweesi says young people should know that life has seasons; today can be bad but tomorrow will be better.

He hence believes that young people need to experience life in all aspects and learn how to react in both good and the bad times.

Important events in life have to be celebrated, this gives chance to know people in your community, and take part in community activities. Celebrations are about gathering and bringing honour to what unites us, according to Kaweesi.

Nassolo adds that students need to be taught about forgiveness, because anger and failure to forgive can create bitterness which could result into fights and other unpleasant acts, however, learning to say sorry to whoever they have wronged,  solves much and it takes away the weight of pain.

“The love for art should be taught to the young generation. It is through art that we express love, emotions and different messages. For example; it could be through drawings, music, or poetry. Understanding art is a way of supporting personal development in the context of community, space, and time,” Kaweesi states.

Casimir Manirareba, a language teacher at Lycee Notre-Dame de Citeaux, Nyarugenge says, the young generation should be taught a lot as they are still strong and have a future to shape.

Schools should encourage students to take part in drama that is about creating harmony.

He notes that there should be school clubs that are about teaching kids morals and values of unity.

These clubs can compose songs of unity, or even allow students to watch documentaries where they could learn from the actors and actresses about expressing acts of kindness, he adds.

Kaweesi adds that what the new generation needs to be taught is love, connection, care, wisdom and self-respect.

With this, Manirareba states that children should have role models that they should look up to; this will encourage them to keep pushing to see a world of togetherness.

“Living in unity means that we need to learn from history to shape the present, we should consider our past in forming our plans, for the future is at its best when we share and practice wisdom.”