Creating a Korczak Prize in Burundi

JKB Korczak Prize in Burundi
Encouraging peace

Joël Hakazimana, a Burundian student and political refugee in Switzerland, asks our attention for the present situation in his country as he did in 1999 when he got the Janusz Korczak Prize in Children’s rights for his work on the human rights through his comic-strip “Où allons-nous – Mbega Tugenda Tuja He” (see below). He started an interesting initiative with the State University of Burundi.

Image de la guerre civileJoël say the situation has changed in Burundi. In 1999, the war divided the official army made and a rebellion. The military was Tutsi and the Rebellion was Hutu. There were a lot of massacres. It was just after the Genocide in Rwanda. Today, the Army is mixed of Hutu and Tutsi and there is still a Hutu rebellion that takes roots 30 years ago and that is responsible of the militia attacks the last April. Those acts of violence seem to come to end with the return to the long awaited negotiation process in Bujumbura, but there are still now political prisoners, the opposition parties are intimidated, everyone is armed, there is a huge poverty that increase the tensions, everyday newsletter profile a worst situation in term of human rights, civil rights, social and economic rights. Burundi is still at war, argue Joël Hakizimana who is preparing a Master of Arts in African Studies at the University of Basel. He calls on us through a project he has for Burundi that involves the Janusz Korczak community workers.

The new Janusz Korczak for Burundi (JKB) that Joël presents us the genesis through its touching personal testimony is also for him a call to sustain that hope for its country to access to peace, to democracy and to the respect due to its children, in the continuation of the Janusz Korczak opera.

We are happy to relay that call here and welcome the creation of this award which will certainly encourage the development of research on the promotion of human rights and respect for the child in Burundi.

We are surprised, however, by the conditions of admission (see below) to a small group already privileged (students of the 2nd degree of the State university).

Image de la paixIn Africa as elsewhere, the lessons of History teach us that changing attitudes of respect for life and human rights is - unfortunately - not necessarily linked to the intellectual elite or even to the development of culture or to GDP and living standards.

That is why we hope that these restrictive conditions may rapidly evolve to open this new price Korczak to young motivated Burundians already involved as volunteers or social workers in different practical help and assistance to many vulnerable children of this country.

Being able to apply for a solid training the Rights of the Child, which is more inspired by the exemplary action of Dr. Korczak was not a theorist as a great practitioner of education, should not be restricted to an elite.

IJKnews Team

Read the call by Joël Hakizimina:
"JKB Korczak Prize in Burundi, encouraging peace" [PDF 113 Ko, 3 p.]
[French] « Le prix Korczak du Burundi, un encouragement à la paix » [PDF 131 Ko, 3 p.]

See also by the same author:
A comic-strip to promote peace through Inter-ethnic dialogue: "Où allons-nous ? – Mbega Tugenda Tuja He?" (Were are we going ?), still relevant, to discover online for the first time, and (separately) its "Notice to readers" translated in English, French and Kirundi [PDF 70 Ko, 2 p.], also avalaible in PDF to be download:
- BD, bilingual in Kirundi and French [PDF 1,26 Mo, 14 p.]

More about the Korczak Prize in Burundi

Eligibilty to JKB and date line
[EN] [PDF 76 Ko, 2 p.]

JKB regulation (in French)
[FR] Réglement du JKB [PDF 148 Ko, 3 p.]

JKB international Organizer and Partners
The Swiss Korczak Association covers the travelling costs Burundi-Switzerland and deserve the Prize, The State University of Burundi seat in Bujumbura, the Institut International des Droits de l’enfant (IDE seat in Sion, Swizerland) covers the cost of the courses and the staying, due to the attention of its Director Mr Jean Zermatten, Vice Chairman of the Children's Committee at the United Nations. The Prize is supported by the Republic of Burundi, the Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Youth and Sports, UNESCO Burundi, UNICEF Burundi, The NGO CIRID (Independent Centre of Research and Initiative for the Dialogue) founded in 1996 in Geneva.


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