The vision of Children’s Peace Libraries of Rwanda is to see a positive transformation and sustainable peace promotion among the children of Rwanda. The Children’s Peace Libraries have become centers for literacy and learning, and a home to our programs teaching nonviolent conflict resolution.
Our five libraries provide much-needed educational material to students in the surrounding communities and strive to be centers of learning. We believe that feeding imagination and curiosity will lead to a greater understanding of the world that will foster compassion and empathy.
Children participate in conflict resolution and mediation trainings hosted in the libraries. Our education approach differs dramatically from education model employed in Rwandan public schools, with emphasizes memorization and repetition. We focus on affective education: developing character and leadership by linking inner values with everyday actions in interpersonal relationships.
The five libraries are located throughout Rwanda, found in:
- Kigali (Kigali Province)
- Gisenyi and Kanzenze, Rubavu District (Western Province)
- Byumba, Gicumbi District (Northern Province)
- Ruhengeri, Musanze District (Northern Province)
The largest of our Children’s Peace Libraries, the Kigali library offers access to over 2000 books for all reading levels, with an emphasis on books that contain strong messages of peace and social justice. The library has direct partnerships with several local schools and is currently utilized by over 250 students.
Francine, our librarian, provides students with English and reading comprehension assistance when they are visiting the library to maximize retention and educational gain. Screen and video equipment in the library is used for educational movies and programs to provide further English exposure.
Gisenyi and Kanzenze Libraries
In early 2012, The Children’s Peace Library extended its reach to rural areas opening two new branches in the Rubavu District of Rwanda’s Western Province. In Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu, a new library was opened which offers over 500 books in both English and French. In Kanzenze, between Muzanze and Gisenyi, there are over 1,000 books available to students from local primary schools.
Our newest library is located in Byumba (Gicumbi District), in the Northern Province of Rwanda. The Byumba Library opened its doors in February 2013, and is home to over 1000 books. The library is already being mobbed by hordes of excited children on their way home from school!