Rodrigue attended a conference held at Ikubunkan Global High School. He was one of three guest speakers from African countries. At the conference, Rodrigue made a presentation about peacebuilding and answered questions from Japanese students. As he wishes, we also hope that young generation can have this kind of oppotunities where they talk face to face with youth from other countries and work together as one big group for their future. Here is his report.
On October 18, 2018, I attended a conference that was organized by the students, the friends of mine at Ikubunkan Global High School. Three guests from Africa were invited in the conference, and, I was one among them. All the guests were young people who are doing different and interesting activities in their societies.
As a student of Peace and Conflict Studies in Rwanda at Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences, I was asked to talk about my experience in Rwanda. Then, I chose to talk about four lessons I learned from courses of peace and conflict studies. Moreover, I took Rwanda as a case study.
Those lessons are turning around these 4 terms: Discrimination, Violence, Courage and Social justice. They can be summarized in the following statements: (1) Discrimination creates systematically fear, hatred, broken relationships and revenge. (2) Violence harms one's whole life: physical, psychological, social, economic and spiritual life. (3) It is courageous to do something good where everyone is doing only bad things. (4) People tend to seek social justice for their favor while social justice is better when it is applied even against one's favor.
After the presentation, the students asked questions to me and my African brothers. The questions were turning around the potentials of young people in Africa, the leadership in Africa, the social life of African and other diverse topics.
As we were concluding, we agreed that we will commit ourselves in making our relationship to grow. Our wish was to be friend forever.
In sum, I got three lessons in the conference: first, there is a growing number of young people, even in high schools, who have a particular interest in Africa. Second, now the reality of Africa is being known. For instance, I liked a comment of one Japanese student who doesn't understand how Africa is regarded by many people as nothing while it is full of different good things such as natural resources, forests and welcoming people. Last, I appreciate the friendship which is being built among young people from Africa and Japan. Hopefully, new generations will cooperate at a high level than the current generation.