IICBA Organizes a Training of Trainers Workshop in Mauritania on Peacebuilding and Prevention of Violent Extremism

From 25 to 29 November 2019, IICBA organized, in cooperation with the Ministry of Secondary Education and Vocational and Technical Training of Mauritania, with financial support from UNESCO Headquarters, a training of trainers workshop on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent extremism through education in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The workshop, a part of the “Peace and Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism in Sahel and Surrounding Countries through Teacher Development” project, supported by the Government of Japan, trained 40 secondary school teachers from schools in areas of high crime. Each trainee is expected to train 20 other colleagues, with the goal of reaching 800 teachers in total throughout the country. Mr. Saliou Sall, IICBA Senior Programme Coordinator and Mr. José Edmond Meku Fotso, IICBA Desk in the UNESCO Dakar Office, attended the workshop on behalf of IICBA.

The workshop was opened by Ms M’aiziza Kerbally, Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Training of Mauritania. She expressed her heartfelt thanks of the Mauritanian Government to IICBA for choosing Mauritania to host such an important workshop on peacebuilding and prevention of violent extremism. She insisted that the workshop is very timely as many schools in the country are experiencing daily acts of violence. She also expressed her department's readiness to work closely with IICBA to implement the recommendations of the workshop. Mr. Sall thanked the Mauritanian Education authorities, especially Mr. Mohamed Danabja, General Inspector of Secondary Education, for their real involvement in the successful organization of the workshop and wished participants fruitful deliberations. Mr. Fabio Manno, Chief of the Education division of UNICEF Mauritania, also addressed participants and expressed UNICEF’s good will to work in partnership with IICBA in various fields, including prevention of violent extremism and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Later in the first day, Mr. Sall made a short presentation on IICBA and its mission and facilitated a session on understanding violent extremism. Throughout the week participants were trained on and provided with an Arabic copy of IICBA’s Youth Empowerment for Peace and Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism in Sahel and Surrounding Countries: A Guide for Teachers. They were trained on all sections and a variety of engaging activities found in the guide. Mr. Sall co-facilitated a session on transformative pedagogy, while Mr. Fotso facilitated a session on the use of an online platform for peace and resilience building and prevention of violent extremism that is being developed as part of the project. On the final day, certificates co-signed by Mr. Danabja, and Mr. Sall were given to all trainees for their successful participation.

The project aims to instill peace, build resilience and prevent violent extremism through education with an emphasis on teacher development. It builds upon lessons learned from the “Teacher Training and Development for Peace Building’’ project implemented by IICBA in the Horn of Africa in 2017, also with the support of the Government of Japan. More than 6,500 teacher educators and teachers have been trained on transformative pedagogy for peacebuilding thus far.