Regional youth in peace building drive

SECONDARY SCHOOL students from Burundi, Uganda and DR Congo will, early next month, meet in Huye district to debate on ways of addressing conflicts which have ravaged the Great Lakes region over the years.
A student participant in the prelimanaries of the national debate at the weekend. The New Times/ Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.
A student participant in the prelimanaries of the national debate at the weekend. The New Times/ Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.

SECONDARY SCHOOL students from Burundi, Uganda and DR Congo will, early next month, meet in Huye district to debate on ways of addressing conflicts which have ravaged the Great Lakes region over the years.

The public speaking competition, organised by Never Again Rwanda (NAR), a youth-based human rights and peace-building organisation, will draw eight speakers from each of the four participating countries.

The search for local representatives started on Sunday with students from eight Huye-based secondary schools taking part in the preliminaries.

Anita Umutoniwase from ENDP Karubanda, and Patrick Sebahizi, from Lycée de Rusatira, emerged the winners in the English category, while Sylvia Fundi Masangu, from Ecole Autonome de Butare, and Redempta Isimbi, from ENDP Karubanda, will compete in French.

Competition format

Four others are set to be selected next weekend in a speaking competition to be held in Rubavu district, Western Province.

The best eight students from Rwanda, will then compete with others from the region in the grand finale scheduled for March 9.

Speakers in both English and French languages compete individually before a panel of judges who will evaluate their performance.

Eric Mahoro, the NAR programme director, told The New Times that the competition aims at creating a platform for regional youth to exchange ideas about peace building.

“By expressing their ideas, the youth contribute to building peace in the region,” Mahoro said. “Youth have a big role to play in peace building. As it is evident that they have been—and continue to be—part of conflicts, they can as well play a critical role in ending them.”

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