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Workshop on Peace and Resilience Building in Cameroon to Help Tackling Violent Extremism in Africa

A four-day capacity building workshop was carried out in Douala, Cameroon on Transformative Pedagogy to Build Peace and Resilience, and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Africa.

The workshop, held from 10 to 13 May 2022, was organized by the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa – IICBA in collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Yaoundé and Arigatou International – Geneva. This activity is part of the project “Peace and Resilience Building and the Prevention of Violent Extremism in Africa through Teacher Training” led by UNESCO IICBA and supported by the Government of Japan.

10 May 2022 Doula IICBA Workshop 18The project builds on lessons learned from previous interventions carried out in the Horn of Africa in 2017 and the Sahel region in 2018, also with the support of the Government of Japan. Since the beginning of these interventions, over 6,500 teacher trainers and teachers have been trained in transformative pedagogy, and four teaching guides have been developed.

This workshop was custom-made for French-speaking participants from Burundi, Cameron, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad. Participants included more than 40 university lecturers and representatives from UNESCO offices in the region.

The workshop sought to build capacities to instill peace, build resilience, and prevent violent extremism through education with a focus on teacher training. Specifically, the training targeted faculties of education and university peace institutes in the region. The workshop was based on the guide Youth Empowerment for Peace and Building Resilience and Preventing Violent Extremism in the Sahel and Neighboring Countries: A Guide for Teachers (2019) and its activities.

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“The aim of the workshop is to promote within the school, which is a sacred space, the understanding of all the dangers surrounding violent speech and discrimination,” said Mr. Paul Coustere, Director, UNESCO, Regional Bureau for Central Africa.

During the workshop, a group of representatives from civil society organizations and youth-led groups was invited to share their views and reflections on the topic of Education for Peace. “We also have invited a group of young people, because we are talking about violent extremism, and we know that violent extremists recruit, in general, among youngsters because they are vulnerable, they are not rich, and the temptation is very high for them to be recruited through monetary means,” stated Mr. Saliou Sall, Senior Program Coordinator, UNESCO-IICBA.

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The workshop equipped participants with the knowledge and skills to understand how issues of peace, resilience and PVE through education manifest and intersect in the region. Through the activities, they identified strategies for peace, resilience building and PVE through education in their own contexts and developed a training session plan using Arigatou International’s transformational pedagogical approach. By the end of the workshop, participants developed a localized action plan to integrate the teacher training curriculum guide into their higher education institutions.

We thank UNESCO IICBA for inviting Arigatou International – Geneva once again, as a technical partner in this project. We thank the facilitators for their dedication and shared wisdom and the participants for their commitment and enthusiasm.

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