First Ever Winter School A "Dream Come True"
After months and months of discussions, planning and preparation, the first ever Winter School, a partnership between PIASS, the University of Geneva, Switzerland and the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs, Goma and Bukavu, DRC took place this past week at the PIASS campus in Huye. Around 60 people participated in the week-long event, including Bachelors, Masters and PhD students and faculty staff.
A long-held vision of PIASS’ former Vice Chancellor Benoit Girardin and current Vice Chancellor Elisée Musemakweli, the collaboration between theology departments from the three universities was truly a "dream come true" as stated by Musemakweli at the closing ceremony.
Rev. Prof. Elisee MUSEMAKWELI, PIASS Vice Chancellor Addressing the participants
Students’ and faculty presentations all focused on the theme of the event which was "Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Reconstruction."Topics included Gacaca courts in post-Genocide Rwanda, restorative justice, the role of art in reconciliation, and universities as peace building tools among many others.
In addition to the academic presentations and discussions, participants also visited the Murambi Genocide Memorial and met with representatives from the local NGO, Never Again Rwanda. The visiting students and faculty staff continued their exploration of the country by visiting Nyungwe National Forest and Kibuye on the shores of Lake Kivu. Both visiting students and PIASS students agreed that forming new friendships was a highlight of the week for them and that it was hard to say goodbye after so many important discussions and shared experiences.
The main message during the group's Friday morning devotions, participants recommended to not let this conference be the end, but instead be the beginning. The beginning of new relationships, new ideas, and new actions as each and everybody learn to become Christ's ambassadors of forgiveness and reconciliation in the world.
The Leadership of PIASS and the Faculty of Theology would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who presented, organized, moderated and participated in this wonderful event
Dean of Geneva Faculty of Theology thank the PIASS Community for a success of this winter School