On March 27, the “Western Africa Peace Initiative Launching Ceremony” was held online with 132 participants from various fields from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Sweden and South Korea. Participants from international organizations, youth organizations, NGOs, and media had attended.
The launching ceremony was held by the HWPL Southern Seoul and Gyeonggi Branch, an international peace organization based in Korea. HWPL, an international peace organization headquartered in Korea, has associated with the UN DGC and the UN ECOSOC, and has been carrying out various peace activities with the aim of ceasing all wars, building a world of peace, and handing it over to future generations.
As one of those activities, at the launching ceremony, a total of 77 schools, organizations and institutions in West African countries signed a statement promising that they will achieve peace projects together through peace education, titled “Peace Educator Empowerment Training”.
Jenny La, the manager of HWPL Peace Education department of West Africa team, stated that as the purpose of the launching ceremony, “to promise in front of the local community to implement a continuous peace education project, and to keep this statement as a record so that it can become a legacy and model of peace.”
In addition, by holding this launching ceremony, she said, “By spreading the news to the West African countries through various media, we can enhance peace education projects and build public confidence for carrying out more peace educations in the local community.”
In the background of the release of this peace program statement, there are proposals for the 2021 peace initiative submitted by leaders and citizens of each field who have cooperated with HWPL so far. From December 2020, participants from around the world recognized the need for peace education in West Africa through about five continuous online meetings and established plans together. Through this, 20 organizations and institutions wishing to participate in the current peace education program, 24 MOU and MOA proposals, and 12 educational institutions promised to continue peace education after completion of the training program.
In addition, Ms. Opeyemi Marcellina Aderinto, the executive director of the African Centre for Human Advancement Social and Community Development stated, “HWPL’s peace education is an innovative education that pioneers the establishment and propagation of a culture of peace by cultivating talented individuals with the mindset of peace. We are ready to give 36 of our members to HWPL, to serve as ‘Teachers of Peace Education. And We will launch peace clubs in schools and continually hold annual peace conference every year in partnership with HWPL. We are willing to sign MOA with HWPL and also urge Nigerian government to include peace education curriculum into the education system especially from primary schools. With the name of ‘women for peace” for HWPL, we will develop it,” she added.
The peace educator empowerment training program aims to cultivate professional teachers who lead youth exposed to conflict, discrimination, poverty, and violence to become peaceful citizens. In addition, it has a purpose to provide teachers with peace textbooks reflecting each society’s educational goals and professional educational materials and systems together with educational experts from each country. The program will be operated from May to December 2021, and applicants in all fields that can provide peace education to the public can attend. Education expenses and educational materials are provided free of charge, and the progress will be carried out through ZOOM meeting.