Arigatou International Geneva was invited to a regional workshop for Peace and Global Citizenship in Refugee Hosting Areas in Nairobi, Kenya, to look at the importance of the long term educational needs of children from refugee and host communities beyond the humanitarian and basic educational needs.
The workshop, which took place from 3 to 5 December 2019, was organized by the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and brought together representatives from Ministries of Education and other stakeholders from Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.
The number of refugees in the Horn of Africa remains high with over four million refugees, the majority being children. A large number of people displaced due to conflicts and natural disasters continue to be hosted alongside local communities. Often, despite the generosity and humanity showed, resentments and tensions develop between local and refugee communities, which can lead to further conflicts.
Peace and Global Citizenship Education were highlighted during the workshop as being critical towards preventing further conflicts, allowing communities to learn to live together, and for learners to become active global citizens.
Arigatou International was invited as a partner to share about Transformative Pedagogy for Peace and Global Citizenship Education, based on its Ethics Education Framework. Arigatou International has experience working in the region, supporting teacher capacity building to respond to the needs for peace and resilience-building in communities through education.
Mr. Suchith Abeyewickreme represented Arigatou International and facilitated a two-hour sesión. Mr. Abeyewickreme shared about the importance of sensitive and context-responsive educational interventions. He underlined that such interventions should always address the relationship between refugee and host communities, and value the agency of the learners from both communities to meaningfully act together to transform their societies.
This workshop preceded the Global Refugee Forum that took place later in Geneva and helped set up a regional network on Peace and Global Citizenship Education in the region.
Arigatou International thanks the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa for this opportunity, and looks forward to continuing to contribute towards these efforts through future collaborations both at regional and country levels.