By Dr Joseph Nkurunziza
Welcome to our new issue of PeaceInsight
Peace is a bigger concept than the lack of war and violence. Peace can be a combination of bodily and family peace. It can also be a combination of local and national peace. Accordingly, true peace must begin with basic human rights and also needs to surround us in the form of safety and security. Peace can also be best achieved through the right communication in order to attain mutual trust and respect for those we are communicating to.
In Rwanda the government has put in place home grown solutions like Gacaca and the ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ program to foster reconciliation and assist in the peace process by creating, encouraging and even enforcing moral and ethical standards. At Never Again Rwanda (NAR) our job as peace actors is to promote human rights, ethnic and religious tolerance and constructive relations with all Rwandan citizens.
It’s against this background that NAR choses to utilize all forms of media (including the digital space) as one of the approaches to transform stakeholders into peace ambassadors. We appreciate that media’s impact on the escalation of conflict is widely recognized, perhaps never more perniciously than the hate it fed into the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
We believe that if the media is capable of amplifying divisions, it also has the potential to play a significant role in peacebuilding.
We introduce our monthly e-newsletter that we rebranded PeaceInsight. We present it with a new look and a new feel. The purpose of this newsletter is to support and encourage each other in our pursuits to transform and promote peace. The other objective is to connect with all stakeholders including government policy makers and build confidence while facilitating and breaking diplomatic deadlocks that usually hinder the right climate that is conducive for peace.
In this December 2016- January 2017 issue we particularly focus on the ‘International Conference on Healing and Social Cohesion’ that we recently hosted in Kigali. We also focus on debunking the whole concept of ‘Societal Healing’.
In the advent of digital technology, while PeaceInsight is bound to grow with an anticipated social media presence we would like you to get involved in different ways by telling us your stories. We would be happy to publish them on our website www.neveragainrwanda .org. If you like to be added to our newsletter mailing list, please contact us here
The writer is the Country Director of Never Again Rwanda