ISOOKO was created with the conviction that we build peace through dialogue. We’ll be building ISOOKO the same way- by discussing the experiences, needs, and ideas of peacebuilders, students, teachers, youth, and community advocates. We build effective peace approaches together.
In October 2018, ISOOKO facilitated several in-country workshops to explore how digital technology can support peacebuilding in schools and communities.
We started in Umubano Primary School in Kigali and Groupe Scolaire Ruragwe, a school in Rwanda’s Karongi District to learn from students and teachers about their journey towards becoming peacebuilders, and how ISOOKO might be able to help.
Students drew their own superhero peacebuilders and realized which of their own skills might in fact be superpowers.
Sheilla Isimbi, a student at Umubano Primary School, suggested that “a peacebuilder should have a helpful heart, be polite and humble.” They then brainstormed about how they could use their technologies as tools.
Teacher reflections reinforced the devotion to peace and values education at the center of ISOOKO’s mission. “Since I started implementing peace and values education at school, my students started developing active listening, critical thinking and opening-up in classroom,” explained Stephen, a teacher from Umubano Primary School.
Finally, we met with youth peacebuilders at the Aegis Trust’s Kigali Peace School and Karongi Peace Shool, in the Western Rwanda to share their activities and the changes they’d like to see, especially considering how technology could help them reach their goals. The significance of relationships, dialogue, awareness, and creative empowerment shone through the discussions, reminding us of our mission to build peace through information-driven dialogue.
The workshops led us to relationships, to insights, and to the experience-based ideas that will guide all of ISOOKO’s developments. As our workshops revealed, technology has the potential to become both an innovative tool for devoted peacebuilders and a platform to nurture new peacebuilders.