“Amahoro” is the Kirundi word for peace. After forty years of genocide and civil war during which a large percentage of its educated citizens were targeted, exiled or killed, impoverished Burundi is now ripe to model a transformative development approach while nurturing a new generation of leaders in health, agriculture, business, law, computer science, and communication. Founded in 1999 with a commitment to peace and reconciliation, its University of Ngozi (UNG) is uniquely situated to be a laboratory and demonstration site for peace-building and sustainable development.
As a major research university, Colorado State University (CSU) has historical strengths across the disciplines with emerging capabilities in teaching about diversity, cross cultural communication, sustainability, peace building, and reconciliation. As a land grant university, CSU has a successful track record in extending expertise to the field through Extension and overseas through public/private/NGO partnerships.
The Amahoro Project invites various potential partners—the Fulbright program, the Peace Corps, USAID, the U.S. Department of Defense, interested foundations, other universities in the U.S. and internationally—to join with them and leaders in Burundi to build a truly collaborative, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural model for sustainable peace and development.
They are seeking funding to support their initiatives. Read more below.
- Build new curricula that emphasizes appropriate technology and participatory case- and project-based learning, which link communities with innovations that address basic needs of local communities.
- Infuse UNG’s existing undergraduate disciplines—health, agriculture, communications, law, business, computer sciences—with new curricula that emphasizes content mastery and peace-building, i.e., the civic skills of effective intercultural and cross-cultural communication, consensus-building, negotiation, cooperation, conflict mitigation, critical and creative thinking.
- With some sports equipment we could build on what we know about cooperative learning to create multi-tribal teams and showcase the benefits of friendly competition for unlearning hatred and prejudice.
- With the involvement of the military in the U.S. and Burundi we could explore ways of utilizing security forces (active duty and demobilized personnel) to lead toward reconciliation.
- With the involvement of Rotary International and their commitment to Peace and Conflict Resolution, the business community can be engaged as well.
- Promoting community health through innovative education and social work.
- Supporting sustainable construction projects.’
- When possible, utilize Fulbright Senior Specialist awards to support this project.
- Continue to urge the U.S. Peace Corps to re-establish a program in Burundi.
In all of these endeavors, we propose to use locally generated and regionally applicable case- and project-based learning to transform surface or memorized learning.
Liberatory education is needed to aid the shift toward long-term stability and prosperity. What proves viable in Burundi, East Africa and the developing world could also have benefits for communities in the industrialized world that struggle with conflict, violence, polarization, and the costs of security.
Over the course of this project, UNG will be established as a viable on-going site and dissemination center for research and development in sustainable peace and development. Leaders from around the world—in higher education, NGOs, government, business—with content expertise and peace and reconciliation experience would be invited to partner with UNG.
We believe that this project is timely. The signing of the CSU-UNG IMOU is an important new platform for international work on sustainable peace and development. In addition, the Ministry of Higher Education in Burundi endorses this collaboration.
Please consider supporting the Amahoro Project. In the U.S., contact Dr. Timpson if you have ideas. If you can donate funds, your contributions will be tax-deductible. Whatever the level of your support, together we can help build sustainable peace and development.
Village Earth Global Affiliate since 2013
Contact Amahoro Project at:
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80521