From 6 to 10 may of 2019, a team from the Ebenezer University of Minembwe (UEMI) carried out a survey on the topic: the youth peacemakers. The survey was conducted through the interaction with 120 the youth from two localities of Minembwe: kiziba and ilundu.
The Eben-ezer University of Minembwe (UEMI) is based in kiziba, a town in the center of Minembwe. UEMI's mission is to improve the education system in rural areas and the search for peace in the highlands of Minembwe.
This five-day survey revealed the youth potential capacities mentioned in this report.
For more than two decades South Kivu in general, Minembwe plateaus region in particular, has been a viable ground for the various cycles of conflict in which the region has experienced the consequences and impact. Consequences include lost and / or amorphous human lives, internally displaced persons, destroyed property, difficult access to education and the demoralization of the youth, some of whom have unconsciously joined the groups as mature actors or child soldiers.
Given the large number of the youth, their involvement in recurring conflicts as key players and victims at the same time while their role in these conflicts has proved dynamic;
Considering the strength of the youth and the role that they play in the conflicts in Minembwe;
UEMI is convinced of the youth's activity in these conflicts and wants to turn this negative perception into a positive force in the search and the success of a lasting peace in the region.
Consequently, UEMI initiated a youth and peace consolidation program in Minembwe region through "youth clubs" involving schools and other institutions interested in peace consolidation.
A survey conducted to assess potential youth capacities in peace consolidation, future actors in the rural area of Minembwe, as well as the consolidation of youth peacemakers clubs existing in the region.
The survey involved 120 youths and 6 adult leaders in charge of guiding these youths in their pursuit of peace.
Identification of participants
The survey was conducted on 120 youths from two different schools and localities, from two primary and secondary levels. Two schools participated: Eben-ezer primary and secondary school (codap) in kiziba and ilundu primary and secondary school in ilundu.
In each locality or school were selected 60 girls and boys from different ethnic groups to ensure inclusiveness and hope for a more sustainable and consistent action.
These the youth will be selected on the basis of these three criteria age, sex and ethnicity. At the end of the survey a youth leadership for peace clubs in all localities was established, one boy and one girl per club. In addition to this youth leadership; two adults per club have been appointed to support, mentor, lead and guide these youths in their respective clubs.
Here is how the hierarchy of the club is built:
- Eric Hakizuwaremye: supervisor of all associations;
- Felix Ndosimana: adult supervisor of codap peacemakers clubs;
- Prosper Sematungo: adult supervisor of ilundu peacemakers' club;
- Denise Namunezero: girl - student leader of the ilundu primary club;
- Toma Ndamiye: boy - student leader of the ilundu primary club;
- Francine Ndorimana: girl - student leader of the ilundu secondary club;
- Happiness Ngirawonsanga: boy - student leader of the ilundu secondary club;
- Aline Nabaruta: girl - student leader of the primary codap club;
- Welcome Ndayishimiye: boy - student leader of the primary codap club;
- Sandrine Mwamikazi: girl - student leader of the codap secondary club;
- Karosi Nzabinesha: boy - student leader of the codap secondary club;
Before the survey began, adult participants and mentors were briefed on the long-term goal of the survey, the impact of clubs and potentially the peaceful future through these youth / clubs in Minembwe region. Apart from the survey instructions, the monitoring team conducted discussions of a nature to motivate the youth and their supervisors. Questions about the youth's knowledge of peace consolidation, the building blocks of which are respect for human rights and their environment.
The survey was the answer to questions laid out on a form by the youth. The discussive approach initiated by the surveyors allowed the youth to feel at ease and complete the survey form without distress. The survey focused on four areas: attitude, skills, behavior, and recommendations, all aimed at assessing the capacity of Minembwe youth on peace consolidation and their views in the form of recommendations.
Before the survey began, adult participants and mentors were briefed on the long-term goal of the survey, the impact of clubs and potentially the peaceful future through these youth / clubs in Minembwe region. Apart from the instructions of the survey, the monitoring team conducted discussions of a nature to motivate the youth and their supervisors. Questions about the youth's knowledge of peace consolidation, the building blocks of which are respect for human rights and their environment. The survey itself was the answer to questions on a form by the youth. The discussive approach initiated by the surveyors allowed the youth to feel at ease and complete the survey form without distress. The survey focused on four areas: attitude, skills, behavior, and recommendations, all aimed at assessing the capacity of Minembwe youth on peace consolidation and their views in the form of recommendations.
Here is the result of the survey in summary:
Chart 1 : The age range of respondents
As shown in chart 1, the age goes from less than 10years to 40 years old. 58.4% are children aged 10-15, 36% are 15-20 years old and 3.2% are under 10 years old. This shows that the people surveyed are younger.
Chart 1 : Sex
Males are 54,4% and females are 46,6%.
The number of people surveyed at each school
The surveyed people are divided according to the schools as follows: 26.4% are from codap / primary, 24% are from codap / high school, 24% are from Ilundu primary and 24.8% are from Ilundu high school.
Peace club existence’s length of time
Chart 4: most peace clubs have an experience of less than 2 months, they are still young. Hence, the UEMI and the authorities of the region must make a lot of effort to ensure the entrenchment of these clubs.
The youth we met, participants and non-participants expressed interest in participating in peace consolidation and conflict resolution activities in the region. The discussion with the local population in general and the local authorities of the region on the survey’s topic, Peace consolidation , has revealed a keen interest in the search for peace and the peaceful resolution of the conflicts which prevail in the region for more than ten years. Schools and even the youth in general expressed their interest and asked for participation in future youth and peace activities and integration into peace clubs. In short, the youth and adults in the region, contrary to external perception, are noticeably interested in the search for peace and requires intervention.
Chart 5: more than 50% are aware of the needs of their community for peace, and over 70% are willing to share peace consolidation activities or pro social activities with others on a scale of 0 to 5, such as shown in chart 6.
Chart 6: as a result, we found that the youth do not know much about the contribution of the environment to peace consolidation, as shown in chart 7 and chart 8.
Chart 8 to view the results of the entire survey, recommendation and more, Click this link.
At the end of our work, after finding out the general need for peace, after witnessing the violent and armed conflicts; we would like to suggest the organizations based in the area in general and UEMI in particular should:
- Multiply the actions of the youth in the search for peace;
- Think about strengthening the capacities of the youth in the region and regularly monitor their activities on peace consolidation;
- Inculcate the notion of the environment into club activities, the environment in the rural area can be a source of conflict.
- Involve adults more in the action of research, resolution of conflicts;
- Ask the authorities and donors to support the action undertaken by UEMI to ensure the sustainability of the youth program for the consolidation of "youth peace makers club".
In conclusion, the successful survey made it possible to perceive the interest of the population in general and the youth in particular in the search for peace and the resolution of conflicts in Minembwe area and the surroundings. This short report of the survey aims to inspire the UEMI's peace consolidation efforts in the region as well as other actors interested in peace of the area.
Done at Minembwe on May 13, 2019.
Claudel R. Nkunda