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Transformative Pedagogy for Peace and Resilience Building in the Sahel Region

Arigatou International Geneva facilitated a five-day training of trainers’ workshop in Dakar, Senegal for Higher Education on Peace and Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism for Francophone Africa. This is the second of a series of three workshops that make up the “Peace and Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism in Africa through Teacher Development” project, led by the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), and supported by the Government of Japan.

The one-year project aims to instill peace, build resilience and prevent violent extremism through education with an emphasis on teacher development. It builds upon lessons learned from the “Teacher Training and Development for Peace Building’’ projects implemented in the Horn of Africa in 2017 and the Sahel region in 2018.

The training workshop in Dakar, which has held from 10 to 14 February 2020, gathered 43 ministry representatives and university lecturers and representatives from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad, as well as participants from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and UNESCO Offices in Bamako, Dakar, Mali and Yaounde.

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As universities play an important role in influencing the political and socio-economic context and can support the prevention of extremism, this training was designed to reach those who are studying to become teachers, as well as faculty of education and peace institutes.

During the workshop, participants discussed their understandings of violent extremism in the context of the Sahel region, having the opportunity to address the need for peace and resilience and the ways to achieve this. One participant reflected on their experience and the prevention tools that can be brought to universities to counter violent extremism, noting “This workshop is important because it allowed us to explore how we can prevent violent extremism using transformative pedagogy and ethics and how we can adapt some of the strategies and resources to work in Universities.”

Participants reflected on the importance of Transformative Pedagogy and Ethics Education in the prevention of violent extremism. They explored key prevention tools and possible solutions to end violent extremism in the Sahel region. “This workshop allows us to work together as Sahel countries to find strategies to prevent violent extremism through education, we are contextualizing the resources to our context and we are finding trans-border solutions to an issue that is affecting all our countries,” said one of the participants.

Arigatou International would like to thank UNESCO-IICBA for inviting us to carry out his workshop and trusting the efficiency of our educational approach, as well as the Government of Japan for making this project possible. We also thank all the representatives, university lecturers, and students, for their commitment and enthusiasm.

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*Pictures by UNESCO-IICBA