Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

Registration required in advance for participation:

A recent statement adopted by the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (UN-IANYD) offered three key perspectives on how to keep the contributions of youth peacebuilders on the front-burner during and after the COVID-19 crisis by calling on all actors in the international community to:

  • partner, safely and effectively, with young people during and after the COVID-19 crisis;
  • recognize the value of young people’s own actions and their potential to advance the fight against the pandemic; and prevention of violent extremism;
  • understand the specific impacts the pandemic has and will have on young people, ensuring that COVID-19 related responses uphold young people’s human rights and are inclusive of young people’s specific needs.

The overarching goal of the proposed webinar by UNESCO IICBA in collaboration with AU Y4P is to help bring to the epicentre of continental and global policy arena the remarkable roles that African youth peacebuilders are playing in the ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19. This initiative is implemented with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the APSA project, in line with the existing collaboration with the AU Y4P programme. It is hoped that the webinars can also inform the documentation of the overall impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in Africa, that proposals can be formulated on how to respond to the identified challenges, and that key outcomes can be further disseminated following the webinars.

It is premised on the understanding that whether or not the voice and agency of young African peacebuilders would remain audible and loud enough to draw attention to their contributions to the fight against COVID-19 or end up becoming muffled, maligned and completely lost in the post-pandemic era, would depend on the above listed three perspectives.

It is proposed that the moderated webinar discussions put young people at the centre so that they can freely engage between and among themselves in peer-to-peer information sharing and experiential learning. It would also afford them the opportunity to share their experiences of resilience before and since the outbreak of COVID-19, and what the outlook might be thereafter. Furthermore, the webinar would provide further opportunities for young African peacebuilders to keep abreast of recent developments in the peace and security sphere across Africa. Finally, the webinar should offer participants as well as the organisers an opportunity to document- and track- resilience measures that individuals, communities and governments are mobilising and their limitations in terms of mitigating the adverse impacts of COVID-19 or even the potential conflict fallouts.

Two webinar sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, are proposed to be held on Tuesday, 9th June and Tuesday, 16th June 2020.

Objectives of the Webinars

  • Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the emotional, mental and socio-economic well-being as well as the educational needs of youth in Africa
  • Identify how the youth and their groups/networks are coping with and responding to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic including for false news and violence messages
  • Identify and share best practices on how the youth peacebuilders can maintain resilience while they continue to exercise their agency and voice on key security and developmental priorities during and after the pandemic
  • Provide recommendations on how youth and their groups should continue to address pressing needs for peacebuilding PVE and resilience the current and future contexts

This webinar therefore, will offer young peacebuilders a more robust, practical and hands-on opportunity to engage themselves, and also to forge potentially rewarding links with the hosting institutions.

Living together in peace: a celebration of education, citizen engagement and prevention of violent extremism

International day of leaving together

Faced with the COVID 19 pandemic, our interdependence and ability to unite to solve a collective problem together has never been more apparent. Tomorrow, we commemorate the International Day of Living Together in Peace, adopted by the United Nations in 2017 to celebrate a world that ”promotes peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity” (UN Resolution 72/130). On this day, we look to West and Central Africa and highlight the work of governments and partners to sustain efforts to live together in peace through education.

In West and Central Africa, climate change, poverty, gender inequality, political instability and unemployment threaten peaceful co-existence and sustainable development. As of early 2020, 12 of 24 states in the region experience armed conflict resulting in widespread forced displacement, both within the affected countries and their neighbors. This in turn amounts to almost 2 million refugees, 7 million internally displaced persons and 1.8 million people at risk of statelessness (UNHCR Regional Office for West and Central Africa).

Of the ten worst conflict-affected countries to be a child, according to a Save the Children report, four are in West and Central Africa: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Nigeria.

In this context, violent extremism is on the rise. According to the UNODC, violent extremism “includes forms of ideologically motivated violence” which can include “distort[ion] and exploit[ation] of religious beliefs, ethnic differences and political ideologies.”

As the threat increases, violence seriously affects educational opportunities: threats to education personnel and attacks on schools deny children their right to education and put them at increased risk of abuse, violence and exploitation.

As of February 2020, before most education systems closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, 3,641 schools were closed due to violence and insecurity in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger alone, affecting nearly 700,000 children and 20,000 teachers (Education Clusters Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger). These numbers have only increased due to COVID-19 containment measures: more than 128 million children are currently out of school across the region. While at home, young people spend more time on the internet, which renders them even more susceptible to the risks of online radicalization.

How can we promote living together and prevent violent extremism?

Learning to live together entails a development and understanding of ourselves and others, which leads to interdependence and peaceful, conjoint and intelligent responses to the world’s challenges. It contributes to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.7 (all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development) and to all other SDGs.

These values are shared by the international community, including the members of La Francophonie, which adopted the Yerevan Francophone Appeal for Living Together in 2018.

As a central component of SDG target 4.7, global citizenship education integrates the principles of living together and teaches learners to respond to global and local issues through the spirit of cooperation and interdependence. Respect for diversity and different identities – of gender, religion, culture and others - as well as an ability to think critically, lead learners to respond to the challenges they face with empathy to build a sustainable world. This kind of respect and understanding is needed now more than ever as we work to respond to a global pandemic in solidarity with one another.

Global citizenship education has been central to the response to violent extremism in the region, in particular through an approach known as prevention of violent extremism through education (PVE-E). While education alone cannot prevent violent extremism, it can limit the spread of extremist ideologies, discourse and propaganda by providing individuals with the skills to challenge them.

Education has the power to teach the tenants of peace, non-violence, peaceful conflict resolution, information and online literacy and social and emotional skills. When students are educated and equipped with the skills to resist harmful ideologies, the spread of extremism becomes limited.

Learning to live together and PVE-E also promote transformation. This can mean a transformation of one’s self, community, society and even the world. Transformation occurs through action, and learners should be encouraged to take action to create change. Transformative pedagogy and participatory, student-centered approaches can be utilized in the classroom, as opposed to rote learning or memorization, to nurture active, critical and resilient citizens.

It is important to support both learners and teachers when it comes to transformative pedagogies. Teachers need support in the form of pre- and in-service training to equip themselves with new approaches and networking as they apply new tools in the classroom.

The Learning to Live Together (LTLT) task team has worked with the ministries of education in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal to promote these pedagogical shifts through adaptation to national contexts, training trainers and teachers, following up and support and involving the community, including parents and families, in these changes.

Transformational pedagogy can be applied to education at different levels and across disciplines. This is the case in Mauritania, where the education ministries and other line ministries are working with UNESCO to introduce the pedogogical approach into literacy and non-formal education programs and within subjects such as civic education, science, Islamic education, Arabic and French.

In the COVID-19 era, it is also important that existing PVE-E projects be adjusted to allow online or mobile phone programming. For example, UNHCR supports refugee teachers, students and host communities to continue distance activities on prevention and awareness-raising by organizing online training and activities, including through WhatsApp groups.

The LTLT team’s members exchange knowledge and experience among themselves and with government focal points working on PVE-E. Practitioners working on learning to live together can find critical resources in both French and English, links and a community of fellow professionals at


You can also find this article on the website of the Global Partnership for Education.

Webinar: How can education respond to learning needs during the COVID-19, including fostering resilience and children’s well-being during the pandemic?

Wébinaire 1 IICBA

Find the video of this webinar here.

This Wednesday, May 13, from 1 to 2:30 pm (UTC), the IICBA invites you to attend the first of a serie of four webinars on transformational pedagogy, peace and resilience in times of global health crisis.

Date: Wednesday, 13 May, 2020
Time: 13h00 – 14h30 TU
Duration: 90 minutes

While the education sector has responded to school closures by setting up online learning spaces and other innovative practices to support home-schooling, half of all students of the world are currently out of the classroom without access to a computer, and more than 40% of children have no internet access at home.  Many children are being left behind with increasing disparities in access to education and learning, compromising their safety and well-being.

Education should respond to the needs of the learners, empower children to be resilient and equip them to cope with the context around them and positively respond to the challenges they face.

The pandemic can present opportunities to empower learners to meaningfully address some of the issues at hand. In fact, while COVID 19 has put pressure on the education and has left millions out of school, the pandemic has also shown our interconnectedness and the power of human solidarity.  Educators can build on this as a learning opportunity and support learners to strengthen their sense of belonging to a larger community and encourage active engagement for community transformation and for reaching out to the most vulnerable.

However, whereas the world rallies to meet the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, extremist groups including those from West Africa have continued to carry out large-scale attacks and conduct cross-border activities. There is a risk the current situation might undermine gains on peacebuilding and prevention of violent extremism including those made by the education sector.

How can the education sector and teachers as first-line responders support learners to cope with these challenges arising during and after the pandemic and the effects on their socio-emotional, mental and spiritual well-being?

This webinar will reflect on how educators can empower and transform learners responding to the emerging ethical demands in the era of COVID-19. This webinar is part of a learning module that UNESCO IICBA is offering for educators to support learners during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the webinar are to:

  • Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the educational needs of children and youth in Africa ;
  • Identify how the education sector and teachers as first-line responders can support learners to cope with and positively respond to the ethical challenges arising during and after the pandemic and its effects on children’s socio-emotional, mental and spiritual well-being ;
  • Provide recommendations for educators to continue addressing the needs for peace and resilience building and prevention of violent extremism in the current context.

When the schools re-open, it will be critical to provide dialogue opportunities for learners to share how they feel, their experiences, and reflect on what happened and on the ethical challenges their communities and the world are facing. It is equally important for schools to offer spaces for learners to imagine alternatives to contribute to transform their communities.

Agenda and speakers:

Welcome Remarks and Introduction of Theme - 5minutes

Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki
Director, UNESCO Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa

Key Note Speech – 10 minutes

Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta
Director  UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa

Panel Discussion - 20minutes

Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe
Director Arigatou International Geneva

Mr. Peter Tabichi (TBC)
Teacher,  Keriko Secondary School, Kenya
Winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize

Questions/Answers and Discussion - 40 minutes

Webinars: How transformative pedagogy and fostering ethical reflections can support teachers during Covid-19 for resilience and prevention of violent extremism

IICBA Webinars

The UNESCO International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA) invites you in a series of four webinars, every Wednesday in May, on how transformational pedagogy and promotion of ethical reflection can help teachers during Covid-19 for resilience and prevention of violent extremism through education.

As close to 90% of the world’s schoolchildren are not attending school at present. While partial or total confinement is the norm in many countries, the risk of violence at home is increased by several factors, such as higher levels of stress, school and business closures, loss of income and economic vulnerability, family confinement, isolation and loss of access to support systems.

Teachers are now called, more than ever, to reinvent how learning takes place and ensure that it reaches children in inclusive, meaningful and quality ways, addressing not only the curricular areas but also the emotional and mental stress and uncertainty that children struggle with these days and that influence how learning occurs.

How can teachers be prepared to respond to the challenges of child protection and to empower children for a changing world?

How can teachers help re-invent learning and use online tools to engage children in meaningful educational activities?

And how can teachers support parents to engage and learn with their children while at home?

Transformative Pedagogy can support teachers to conduct child-centred learning that helps empowering children to reflect critically about their reality, become aware of their individual and collective responsibilities, empathize with others, and are equipped to positively respond locally in a global context.

Transformative pedagogy provides support to reflect on the contextual issues that children are facing and helps building safe learning environments for dialogue and sharing around those issues.

Based on the Transformative Pedagogy approach to Peace, Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism, educators will be introduced to how fostering ethical reflections and using transformative pedagogy and can help protect, support and empower learners during these challenging times.

Fostering ethical reflections during the COVID-19 pandemic becomes essential to reflect on the ethical responsibilities and implications for children and youth in the global pandemic. During these times, it is fundamental to reflect on the implications of the global pandemic on the education systems and focus on fostering ethical reflections in young people about their responsibilities as global citizens and in their relations with one another so as to prevent violence.

Join the online meetings on Wednesdays 13, 20, 27 May, and 3 June 2020, from 13:00 to 14:30 GMT.

Wednesday, May 13th
How Can Education respond to learning needs during the COVID-19, including fostering resilience and children’s well-being during the pandemic

Find the video of this webinar here.

Wednesday, May 20th
The role of teachers during COVID-19 and how transformational pedagogy can support learning needs during and after the pandemic.

Wednesday, May 27th
How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic

Wednesday, June 3rd
Ethical Implications for education systems and impact on children and youth during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

These four webinars aim to :

  • Identify ways to create safe, positive and empowering alternative learning environments and platforms during school closure using Transformative Pedagogy
  • Strengthen children's ability to respond to the worlds’ ethical demands during COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Explore ways educators can support and influence children’s well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the closure of schools so as to foster resilience

For more information: IICBA website

Response to the COVID-19 outbreak: Call for action on teachers

Response to the COVID-19 outbreak Call for action on teachers

The International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 calls on all governments, education providers and funders – public and private – to recognise the critical roles that teachers play in the COVID-19 response and recovery.

Call to action by the International Task Force on Teachers

As of 25 March, 165 countries have closed all their schools because of the COVID-19 virus, affecting nearly 1.5 billion students and 63 million primary and secondary school teachers. This number is predicted to rise. The closures pose unprecedented challenges for education systems throughout the world. This global health crisis threatens to significantly slow progress towards many of the global goals, in particular, the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”). It is also likely to exacerbate the global learning crisis and global education inequalities as the impacts will fall disproportionately on the poorest.

Teachers are the backbone of education systems and the key to reaching learning goals, regardless of context and situation. Within the COVID-19 crisis, they are on the front line in ensuring that learning continues. Around the world, teachers and school leaders have been rapidly mobilising and innovating to facilitate quality distance learning for students in confinement, with or without the use of digital technologies. They have also been participating in and delivering other forms of education. In addition, teachers are essential for communicating measures that prevent the spread of the virus, ensuring that children are safe and supported... Learn more

Source:  Global Partnership for Education

New Zealand Seeks Global Support for Tougher Measures on Online Violence

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand will attempt this week to use the terrorist attack that killed 51 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch mosques in March to demand that the biggest internet platforms do more to stamp out violent and extremist content. Learn more ...

Africa: sources and resources for a culture of peace

Title: Africa: sources and resources for a culture of peace

Description: The UNESCO action in favor of a culture of peace in Africa is placed in the context of the implementation of the “Iintersectoral and Interdisciplinary Program of Action for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence”1 as well as in the Mid-Term Strategy (2014 -2021) of UNESCO, which has identified "building peace by building inclusive, peaceful and resilient societies" as one of two main areas of action for Africa.

Issue date: 2013

Author: UNESCO





Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Programming in Fragile Environments

Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Programming in Fragile Environments

This course presents an overview of essential principles in design, monitoring, and evaluation practice that enables peacebuilding professionals to successfully apply new skills to implement more effective projects that produce measurable results. Learn more....


Mandera County’s action plan against extremism bearing fruit

Mandera County has, for the past several years, been known for terror incidents that have led to many deaths and injuries. These attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists started in 2011 with 2014 marking the climax when, within ten days, 64 people were killed by the. The non-Somali population has been mostly the target of the extremists who for long have crossed into Mandera at will, caused mayhem and returned to the war-torn Somalia unhindered. The local community has also suffered the consequences of the presence of terror cells by being killed in suspicious and unexplained circumstances and also due to economic sanctions that have left them helpless. Learn more.....

Source: Nation Kenya


Subscribe to RSS - Democracy