From 10th to 31st May, the executive director of SEP, Jean de Dieu Basabose had a speaking tour in Germany. The activity was organized in the framework of the friend-&-fund-raising strategy of the organization. The tour included two cities, Marburg and Berlin, and interactions with various potential partners.
Jean de Dieu attended meetings, conferences and speaking events. He also met with many organizations during the Kirchentag 2017 in Berlin (pictured left), which was an event in Germany to commemorate 100 years of Luther. He visited some organizations and explored possibilities of partnership with SEP. The trip was a worthwhile investment as it created visibility and awareness of the work of SEP as well as the challenges the organization is facing and provided good opportunities to invite potential supporters and partners to give a hand to SEP in pursuing its mission of building and sustaining positive peace through education.
As SEP is located at the interface between academics and practitioners, the trip was marked by meetings with a wide range of potential peacebuilding related University centers, NGOs, religious communities, goodwill people (such as the Rotary club) as well as developmental and political foundations.
The centre theme of the tour was SEP’s work on and lessons learned from SEP’s reconciliation work in Rwanda.
Jean de Dieu says, “After this 21 days visit in German, I reflected on events and discussions held during the trip and appreciated the special people of Germany I met in Marburg and Berlin. I keep remembering kind, welcoming, caring people who have a high sense of safeguarding the environment, people who learned a lot from their historical background and have become prepared to fight against destructive ideologies, and people who are consistent in what they do. Some of the main lessons learned through the trip include that we human beings are interconnected, regardless of our different origins, religions and economic status, whatever affects my fellow human being will – in one way or another – affect others. Indisputably, reconciliation is a global challenge. Our past shapes the way we (i) live the present and (ii) envision our future. The consequences of colonization and other historic wrongs still need to be responded to. The effective response to forced migration should include addressing its roots causes in the countries of origin.