New Local Peace Advisor, New Interns
As PIASS has partly re-opened after having obtained permission from the Higher Educational Council—which checked the conditions for observing COVID-safety measures—CRASPD has resumed face-to-face meetings every two weeks and welcomed new colleagues:
Olivier Sindambiwe has started his work as a Local Peace Advisor with the support of GIZ Civil Peace Service, and he will take over from Floriane Niyungeko who will be pursuing further studies in Queensland, Australia. Olivier, who holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Rwanda, has already been an Assistant Lecturer at PIASS for some years and participated in our Speaking Peace at Work seminar on Nonviolent Communication in the professional context. We are glad to have Olivier on board and are now introducing him to the work CRASPD is engaged in, such as activities in the GIZ CPS Regional Program, the Umucyo Nyanza Women’s Association project, and ongoing research on resource management. Floriane has been so kind to agree on an extension of her contract for one more month so that the two have a smooth handover process.
We are delighted that our Peace & Conflict Studies graduate Linda Balola from the DR Congo, who is an AVP facilitator and has supported various CRASPD activities in the past, has volunteered to do a professional internship at CRASPD. She has been part of the teams that facilitate AVP workshops and NVC activities and has carried out a literature review for the regional peace actors mapping as a part of the joint project we are implementing in collaboration with the Thematic Working Group of the GIZ CPS Regional Program.
Liesse Horimbere, a Peace & Conflict Studies graduate who holds an MA from the University of Antwerp, continues to volunteer with CRASPD, is supporting diverse activities of the UNWA project and serving as an interviewer in the above mentioned regional peace actors mapping.
Two of the final-year students of the Peace & Conflict Studies BA program, Vivien and Cesar, are currently doing their academic internship of two months with CRASPD and primarily support the UNWA Project.
Nuclear Weapons Banned:
A Critical Thinking Discussion on the TPNW Entry into Force Day
On January 22, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force. To mark this great occasion and success of international peace movement, CRASPD, together with the PIASS Peace Club, organized an online critical thinking discussion about the danger of nuclear weapons, the significance of the contract and the future of atomic weapons and nuclear materials. Students, graduates and friends of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies of PIASS from Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and different countries in the region, as well as from Central America and Japan joined the event.
The discussion was facilitated by the Local Peace Advisor of PIASS, together with two graduates of the department of Peace and Conflict Studies of PIASS, one of them in South Sudan, and the other in DR Congo who had been trained in facilitating Critical Thinking Discussions in PIASS during their studies.
The participants many of whom had not known much about nuclear weapons and the dangers of the exploitation and use of nuclear materials before this event, were deeply impressed by the statement of Setsuko Thurlow. She is one of the survivors of the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima in 1945 in Japan, the country who, many years later, suffered from the nuclear disaster at the power plant of Fukushima. Her statement read: “ It is vitally important that we all understand that the nuclear age will continue for beyond the nuclear weapon age”.