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Professional Fellows Program on Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Rwanda, Uganda and the USA

For the first time the participants from Rwanda and Uganda with their USA counterparts participated in Fellows 2016 working under Smith College to conduct a trilateral exchange program on “Cross-Sectoral Development in the Fields of Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Rwanda, Uganda, and the US”.  The grant project aims to foster mutual understanding, collaboration, global networking, and leadership and professional skills development among Africans and Americans.

Two groups of Africans were selected to go to the U.S. for six-week professional fellowship programs in 2016. With Uganda and Rwanda making great strides in preserving peace in a notoriously prone to violence region of the Great lakes of Africa were given opportunity to share knowledge and experiences exchange.

Each program started with one week of orientation activities hosted by Smith College.  The week also included lectures, site visits, and cultural outings.  During weeks 2-5 African Fellows were placed with host organizations in Western Massachusetts to learn how those organizations provide conflict resolution and other peace-building services.

The project was also funded by the State Department.

“There was no other better way to complete this exciting 3 day Professional Fellows Congress than watching the fellows present their wonderful and thrilling videos filled with fun, lessons learnt from their cities of placements, places traveled to, food they ate, the music they danced.

Ambitions to achieve when they return to their home countries and friends they have made while in the United States was the main focal point. Above all, making it possible for us join the biggest network of Alumni across the globe. Thanks to the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and all the partner organizations for making this a reality.” Said. Julius Kansiime Child Protection Specialist at Africa Social Development & Health Initiatives

During the Fellowship Program the participants had a chance to interact in different activities like Jewish Ritual for Grief, Loss and Forgiveness, different cultural activities, open church services. They also visited museums of natural history.

“I do my daily work and at the same time the memories about US are so bright. It was short but meaningful period of time for me. PFP was a great opportunity to understand American best practice in my field, improve leadership abilities, and represent my country.

I had a very fruitful and enjoyable experience during my time at my work place and with my host family. I enjoyed learning about Tolerance and Conflicts Resolution, at Smith college, Northampton, MA. I returned home with a message of friendship, interests and opportunity. I would like to thank United States Department Of State, Bureau Of Educational And Cultural Affairs (ECA), American Council, PFP team, ACYPL. Especially thank you Davron, Jamie and Leslie for your care and attentiveness.

Thank you all for your energy and enthusiasm. I trust that it is just beginning of something bigger. And also it was such a pleasure to see all fellows in person in Washington. Again, thank you so much and I look forward to seeing you in future. I would like to express my gratitude to my lecturers, mentors and Staff of Mount Kenya University for making my dream come to of getting my degree” – Recounts

Diane Mushyimiyimana President and Founder RICAD RWANDA and the Author.

The Fellows also visited the Urban Youth Social Service Agnecy and they had interaction with volunteers in feeding the homeless youth, during the visit they were briefed on how the agency works on daily basis and what it does in order to improve the wellbeing of the homeless youth in general.

Marsha Kline Pruett, the Resident Faculty, School for Social Work, Smith College, her interests mainly focuses on the relationships and conflict resolution within the family as well as the Community and Organization. She reminded the Fellows that the lessons they got from Smith College should help in resolving conflicts in the region and promoting peace in general via mutual understand.

“I appreciate the efforts you have done and improving your different institutions where you are all representing here, she thanked the fellows and pledged continued support”

After the completion of the Professional Fellows Program, the participants sat in groups and prepared an Action Plans and summaries.

The Fellows of 2016 promised continued  Professional working relationship with diferent stakeholders and giving out leadership knowledge on Tolerance and Conflict resolution back to their countries and the region.

Fellows at Smith College after a school tour
Fellows at Smith College after a school tour
After reception organized by Institute for Training and Development
After reception organized by Institute for Training and Development
After class from Smith college with Marsha Kline Pruett, the Resident Faculty, School for Social work and her colleagues
After class from Smith college with Marsha Kline Pruett, the Resident Faculty, School for Social work and her colleagues
In Washington DC during the Fellows 2016 Congress
In Washington DC during the Fellows 2016 Congress
Fellows during class in Northampton, Smith College
Fellows during class in Northampton, Smith College
Fellows pay a visit at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington DC
Fellows pay a visit at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington DC

Professional Fellows Program 2016 on Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Rwanda, Uganda and the USA

For the first time the participants from Rwanda and Uganda with their USA counterparts participated in Fellows 2016 working under Smith College to conduct a trilateral exchange program on “Cross-Sectoral Development in the Fields of Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Rwanda, Uganda, and the US”.

On my own experience as one of the Fellows and participants from Rwanda and Uganda which are countries that have manage to sustain the peace and stability in a short period of time in such a volatile region of the Great lakes of Africa.

The main focus during our Professional Fellowship Program was to empower the researchers and None governmental Organizations with knowledge to promote Tolerance in conflict resolution and peace sustainability in the region as a whole.

During the fellowship weeks we had a productive time of exchanging knowledge, experience and skills with Fellows and  the host organizations both in Washington D.C, New York, M.A, Springfield, Greenfield and Northampton.

We enjoyed the trip in various cities and States where we had a good time in visiting Museum of Natural history, of Natural Science and learning about American history and other cultural activities.

We had a chance to interact in different activities like attending Jewish ritual for Grief, Loss and Forgiveness, Open church prayers and many more different cultural from around the world.

We also made very many connections from Fellows and Alumni. We were encouraged to share our thoughts, insights, experiences, impressions, photos and videos. We learnt a lot about leadership skills in regard to Tolerance and Conflict resolution.

During the Fellowship period and after some of the participants had their remarks “This program was an opportunity for me to exchange ideas, strategies, and best practices, processes and policymaking, while also improving leadership skills and developing sustainable and enduring linkages with professional counterparts.

As I was matched with a U.S. organization, I had the opportunity to increase my understanding of the U.S. legislative process while engaging in civic life through enrichment activities, such as meetings with key stakeholders, dialogues, and site visits and more themes”  Said Chokri Mansour

Founder President Association Pinna for the Development and the Promotion of Ecotourism-APDPE Ecomel-IUCN funded project coordinator

“We were impressed by Diane who continued our education on historical and current conditions in Rwanda, both through conversation and a presentation. We watched her presentation and gave her feedback as she developed plans for future development and empowerment with her community. We at Aris found working with Diane to be inspiring and to make a difference in the communities.”

Said, Michaelann Bewsee, Director of Arise, Springfield, Massachusetts. Narrated.

For Diane to have participated in the PFP will help her increase the social justice in her community and will become a model for others in the implementation of what she gained from the Fellowship Program. As alumni she also has wider networking. I salute her.

lidia naibaho Executive secretary Petrasa foundation Indonesia

Arbi Chouikh, Projects Officer from Tunisian Organization for Defense of Rights of Persons with Disabilities said; “My fellowship was in Seattle, Washington in the NGO Disability Rights Washington, and the purpose was the promotion of rights of persons with disabilities. I had informative meeting with the Organization’s staff, and I made site visits to the Voting centers and the King County Elections, I designed also a Survey related to the Web Accessibility of the Counties Election Websites for the Deaf and the Visually Impaired People”

After the six week Professional Fellowship, we came together as groups and finalized the action plans and every participant agreed to go and put into action in their home countries all they had learnt.

Am grateful to the sponsors of the Professional Fellows Program on Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Rwanda and Uganda namely, Institute for  Training and Development, Smith college, ACYPL, AC_PFP, ICFJ, LEGACYIntl, NCUSCR, Umontana, Uofokahoma, Worldchicago, Worldlearning, WSOSCAC and U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

 

During the Boston trip
During the Boston trip
In front of the library at Smith College
In front of the library at Smith College
During cultural diversity exchange at Greenfield , M.A.
During cultural diversity exchange at Greenfield , M.A.
During Museum visits in New york
During Museum visits in New york
In environmental awareness campaign Arise for Social Justice, Springfield, M.A
In environmental awareness campaign Arise for Social Justice, Springfield, M.A
From shopping with the host families, Springfield, M.A.
From shopping with the host families, Springfield, M.A.
During Professional Fellowship Program 2016 congress in Washington D.C
During Professional Fellowship Program 2016 congress in Washington D.C
At the American History Museum, Washington D.C
At the American History Museum, Washington D.C
Exchanging ideas with other Fellows during the Congress in Washington D.C
Exchanging ideas with other Fellows during the Congress in Washington D.C
At the congress in Washington D.C
At the congress in Washington D.C
A courtesy visit at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington D.C
A courtesy visit at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington D.C
With host family at Arise for Social Justice, Springfield M.A.
With host family at Arise for Social Justice, Springfield M.A.

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PEP training comes to Rwanda

Peace Education Program was officially started in Rwanda on 27th October and was concluded on 3rd November, 2015. The first pilot project started with the students of Lycee De Kigali. The Peace Education Program is conducted by the members of The Prem Rawat Foundation based in Los Angeles United States of America.

Rwanda has been the third country in Africa to conduct such a proramme and the first in East African Community from the original Ghana and South Africa. Prem Rawat Foundation appointed RICAD Rwanda a local NGO as the country host and program coordinator for the PEP. The training attracted more than 250 participants who undertook the whole program for five days.

In her welcoming Speech, the The Prem Rawat Foundation regional Facilitator Becky Resnick thanked the management of the school for having accepted the offer of being the first school in the country to host the PEP program. “Am delighted and humbled for you participants and the school management team to have honored our invitation, am looking forward to working with you even more in the future” Sha said.

The purpose of the Peace Education Program (PEP) is to help participants discover their own inner resources—innate tools for living such as inner strength, choice, and hope—and the possibility of personal peace.

One of the participants Aline Kabasinga said she was going to share the knowledge she acquired to the community back home and thanked RICAD for the PEP training.

At the closing of the training, all participants who attended the five days so them receive certificates from Prem Rawat Foundation. “Am proud of all you participants for taking your time to attend tirelessly and attentively, am looking forward for further cooperation” Said Diane Mushimiyimana the President of RICAD RWANDA the host and the facilitator NGO.

DW Akademie Senior Staff pay RICAD’s Site Visit

visit

On the 18th August, 2015 the two Senior Staff officials Julia Elvers the Sub Saharan Africa DW Academie Director and Vanesa the head of Community Development Director in Berlin Germanypaid a cortesy vist to Cyaruzinge Sector, to the village and a cooperative of 1000 hills which is sponsered by RICAD RWANDA.

The visit was part of the Fact Finding mission by the DW Academie officials as part of the standard procedure before allocating any developmental funds.

In her speech, Julia Elvers of DW Akademie thanked all the residents of Cyaruzinge Sector and members of 1000 Hills cooperative for their hard work . “I am Delighted and greatful to be here with you today, I promise I will do my best to advocate with my utmost commitment to help you achieve a sustainable development ” she said.

In her speech the president of RICAD RWANDA Ms Diana Mushimiyimana thanked the DW Akademie officials and asked them for continued cooperation in the field of community development and advocacy.

The visit ended with a charming and colourful traditional dance by the 1000 Hills cooperative cultural troupe.

 

People Help People

One of the initiatives RICAD Rwanda has taken is to help empower people to help themselves and others. In the rural communities, we empower people with basic skills on horticulture and agri-business.