ACCORD had the pleasure of attending the “Ubumuntu International Youth Conference” under the theme “All for Humanity” from 20th to 25th June 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda. Ubumuntu is a Kinyarwanda word meaning “Humanity”. Hosted by Aegis Trust Rwanda, the conference aimed to engage young people on issues of genocide, its effects, and post genocide reconstruction, while in the process also developing their leadership, conflict resolution, communication and life skills. Participants from 16 different countries came together to become active citizens who will stand up against adversity, speak out against conflict and act where necessary to prevent genocide.
The conference used multiple training methodologies ranging from site visits in Rwanda, experience sharing by leading scholars, survivors and perpetrators of genocide, lectures, panel discussions, and discussions by practitioners in the area of peace building, conflict prevention and resolution. On conclusion of the conference, participants left with a greater understanding of the origin of violence and how to prevent conflict; methods that can be used to rebuild a community after mass violence and genocides; short and long term effects of mass violence and the role of youth in sustaining peace and peace building. The outcome of the conference was the establishment of a youth network where young people can connect with other young people across the world, provide support to each other in practical implementation of projects, resources mobilisation and advocacy. This network also intends to equip, build capacity and give members of the network access to resources that can be used in peace building initiatives.
ACCORD was represented by Ms Stephanie de Freitas, Programme Officer – Peacebuilding Unit and Ms Sibusisiwe Nkosi, Programme Officer – Operations.