Youths from across the Great Lakes Region are meeting in Kigali for an annual regional conference on promoting the culture of peace and Christian values in schools run by the Anglican Church.
Themed ‘peace education and protestant values in schools’, the four-day conference brought together at least 90 participants, mainly youth representatives and heads of students from protestant-run schools around the Great Lakes Region comprising Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo.
The Anglican Church operates over 1,400 schools of which 270 are secondary schools, 570 primary schools and seven universities and 323 nursery schools.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Bishop Samuel Kayinamura, the chairperson of Rwanda Protestant Council, said they want to see peace take root among the young generation for a better future of the region.
“It is our [religious organisations] responsibility to complement government policies towards promotion of peace like we do in education and other areas. Peace building is, therefore, among the core values of our Church and we are pleased that we can help in successfully championing peace in the region,” he said.
The conference seeks to educate the youths on how best they can serve as peacemakers.
Christian Mudahigwa Salomon, 18, a Congolese participant and a students’ representative from Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu Province, says the deliberations will go a long way in contributing towards sustainable peace in the region.
“I believe this meeting is inspiring in terms of promoting collaboration and cohesion among the youth across the region and I think such discussions can lead to peace and love.”
The conference will also discuss Protestants’ values, human rights, unity and reconciliation and relationship between regional communities as a way to boost trade between the regional countries in order to strengthen peace building strategies in the region.