KENYA: Teach Children to Resolve Conflict, US Peace Body Urges

NAIROBI JANUARY 27, 2017(CISA)-Lloyd Van Bylevelt, President of Peace Education Foundation, has called for the introduction of peace and conflict education in schools across Kenya.

“Children need to learn to work cooperatively now in order to work cooperatively later as adults. When you build community in classroom and teach children how to care and use self-control, you minimize the possibilities for violence and maximize the potential for learning,” said Van Bylevelt.

He was speaking during one week training at Donum Dei Spiritual Centre in Nairobi January 26 to equip educators and pastoral ministers in the Church with skills on conflict resolution in schools, family and the community.

“It is a positive thing to belong to different communities, respect one another and coexist to prevent negative behaviour amongst them that might lead to violence in schools that include bullying and burning of school property,” he said.

Bylevelt noted that the programme had worked well in over 20, 000 schools in the USA, Canada and Latin America.

The programme defines conflict resolution in six components including: community building, understanding conflict, understanding the role of perception in conflict, the role of feelings in conflict, rules for making peace and effective communication skills. It teaches about 30 life skills that help people live better lives.

The peace body was invited by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Commission for Education and Religious Education.

More than 50 participants from Malindi, Mombasa and Isiolo dioceses took part in the training.

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