Frontline Stories

Peacebuilding can Start with Children

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“Peace is like our daily food, we need it as much as we need food to live well and in harmony with one another for a long life,” says 12-year-old Quintino.


South Sudan is composed of over 60 tribes. Due to this, a school can have students coming from more than a dozen clans. Unfortunately, due to the protracted conflict and animosity among these groups, many children were born in this environment and grow up with hatred for one another, perpetuating violence in the communities.

In order to promote peace and cohesion, World Vision, through its education project integrated peace club activities that aimed to teach children to love one another and help spread the message of understanding in their own families and communities. 2,000 pupils have been reached with peace messages on embracing diversity, the value of gender equality, on exploring who they are, having fun without hurting one another, promoting healthy relationships and peacebuilding. Quintino shares, “We try to promote awareness on peaceful coexistence in the community especially among us children. As a result of peace clubs, gradually, our behaviours have changed a lot.”

Imoya Rebecca, a primary school teacher and peace club tutor, shared that many of the children once had bad habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, getting absent from school and fighting with their parents, but these have changed due to the efforts of the peace club members in raising awareness in the community.

“I used to fight a lot with my friends both in school and at home. This has changed. Instead, I now mediate peace between children, which I intend to continue. We children can contribute a lot to peacebuilding in our communities and even the whole country,” explains Quintino. Quintino, who dreams of becoming a journalist in the future, further adds, “The club will keep on advocating for peace in this community, because if there is peace in the communities then there will be peace in the country.”

Another club member Rebecca shares, “We use poems, dramas and songs on peace as tools for advocating for peace in our campaign.She continues, “To have peace, we need to forgive those who have wronged us. That is what we teach and do as peace club members. The feeling of relief we get after forgiving indescribable.”

World Vision established peace clubs with 50 members each in four primary schools. Apart from promoting peace starting with children, the clubs also aim to help improve holistic spiritual nurture of boys and girls in South Sudan.

As Nelson Mandela said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

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