Burundi: Students learn that even wars have limits
21-05-2004 News Release 04/66
“It is very important to raise awareness of humanitarian issues among young people, who need to understand that civilians must be protected in times of conflict.
I only wish this programme had come before.” This is a teacher’s view of the Exploring Humanitarian Law programme, which the ICRC began developing in 1999. Designed for young people worldwide, the programme can be easily included in existing school curricula. Its objective is to introduce teenagers to the basic rules of international humanitarian law and to help them to embrace the principles of humanity in their daily lives.
In Burundi, the ICRC has supported the Ministry of Education in its efforts to implement the programme since the end of 2001. Following two pilot projects in various schools across the country in 2002 and 2003, more than 300 teachers (one per secondary school) were trained at the end of 2003 and they have been using the programme in their civic education courses since classes resumed this year.
In anticipation of the programme’s official introduction nationwide in the 2004-05 academic year, it was evaluated by Ministry of Education officials and ICRC representatives in some 15 schools all over the country in April and May.
The ICRC will continue to support the Ministry of Education’s implementation of this programme, which will contribute in Burundi as in the rest of the world to awareness among young people that even wars have limits.
For further information, please contact:
Elisabeth Knecht or Andrea Pontiroli, ICRC Bujumbura,
tel. ++257 21 28 65 / ++257 21 29 08 / ++257 944 380