Monday 20 February 2023, we received a delegation of 9 students and 2 professors from School of Human Welfare Studies, Kwansei Gakwin University (KGU) in Japan. Their visit was in accordance with the MoU signed on 17 October 2022 between the Faculty of Development Studies of Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) and the School of Human Welfare Studies of KGU.
In the morning, this delegation which also came to learn from Rwandan history, had a presentation on the process of healing and reconciliation in post genocide Rwanda. Prof Kazuyuki Sasaki (The Head of Peace and Conflict Studies Department) facilitated sessions for the students to understand post-genocide challenges in Rwanda and develop empathy towards people who have been walking the path to healing and reconciliation. In the afternoon, they had a presentation on “Nyungwe National Park and Community Participation” facilitated by Dr. Umuziranenge Gloriose (The Director of Quality Assurance in PIASS).
In her presentation, Dr. Gloriose focused on how this park is being managed by emphasizing on the local community participation mainly their role, benefits, opportunities as well as challenges the surrounding community is having. She highlighted that after the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has started to involve community in the conservation and management of Nyungwe National Park, the tourism industry is at more than 80% nature based and the four national parks make the key axes of the Rwanda Tourism Destination Management Areas. She pointed out that by applying the policy of tourism revenue sharing, life of people who are living nearby this park has improved through cooperative promotion, infrastructure development, employment as well as financial support.
Dr. UMUZIRANENGE Gloriose presenting about Management of Nyungwe National Park
On the following day, they visited Umucyo Nyanza a group of women working together for reconciliation and development. This group, has been supported by PIASS through the Center for Research and Action towards Sustainable Peace and Development (CRASPD) since 2015. Their discussions mainly focussed on women’s journey towards healing and reconciliation, as well as how they have managed to restore their relationship. After the discussions, women taught these visitors how to make book covers as one of their income generation activities. They also discussed on how these Japanese students can support women’s initiative by promoting and marketing Umucyo Nyanza products in Japan. On the last day of their stay, this delegation gad an excursion where they visited Nyungwe National Park before going back to Japan.
After learning how to make book covers from Umucyo Nyanza
The agreement between the Faculty of Development Studies of PIASS and the School of Human Welfare Studies of KGU shall remain in effect for a period of 3 years, and it may be renewed with approval of both parties.
Editor: Serge MUVUNYI