Critical Thinking for P.E.A.C.E.

A Peacemaking Project by Julia L. and Bahare S.

What is the injustice we are solving?

The 1994 Rwandan Genocide has left this East African country with a lot of damage to repair; this includes the division between Hutu and Tutsi tribes that was enforced at the time. Twenty-three years later, the nation’s teens are facing the consequences of growing up in the generation after, and due to, a Genocide based on hate and the marginalization of human beings. Hate speech and corrupt ideologies perpetrated by the highest ranks of government triggered the 100 days of brutal slaughter known as the Rwandan Genocide. Today, the nation’s youth face genocide ideology which is extremely dangerous if not processed using critical thinking skills. If the remaining tension and conflict in this country is not addressed, it will contribute to further divisiveness and hopelessness, which are the very seeds of violence and conflict. Therefore, Critical Thinking for P.E.A.C.E. (CTP) brings these young people, of the generation after the genocide, together for a week-long intensive to learn in depth the history of Rwanda with a special focus on the 1994 genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi. These workshops are taught by experienced teachers of Rwandan history and peace-building in Rwanda and internationally. CTP addresses the transgenerational fight against false genocide ideologies with critical thinking and conflict management skills, which are core tools for the Rwandan youth of today. These peace education workshops empower students to identify tensions and problems among their peers and in their community, take action to resolve them, and build their skills of empathy, critical thinking, and personal moral responsibility for their actions, thus unifying them through their cultivation of these skills.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of Corrupt genocide ideology
we will address the fact that with 60.4% of the population born during or after the genocide, Rwanda has a new generation with with little to no first hand exposure to the many underlying causes of an era that claimed many valuable lives.
by implementing a program that focuses on peace education and sustainability, in post-genocide Rwanda. CTP’s aim is to empower an engaged and creative generation of young people.

Our Project Plan:


  • Educate Rwandan youth about the history of the genocide.
  • Strengthen critical thinking skills
  • Teach compassion and empathy for others
  • Address the trans-generational fight against false genocide ideology
  • Teach conflict-management skills
  • Empower students to find solutions to problems in their community
  • Encourage students to engage with their community in a positive way
  • Provide skills for the students to create their own initiatives

We will increase my / our compassion by...

recruiting students from all across Rwanda, making sure we reach even the outskirts of the country because everyone's story and experience is valid and everyone deserves a platform on which to share their thoughts and struggles.

How will you show courage?

We will show courage by not backing down from the tough conversations. This topic is extremely sensitive in Rwanda, as it would be anywhere else, and we are committed to working through the tension and unease in order to work towards peace, understanding, compassion, and collaboration.

How will you collaborate with others?

We will collaborate with others by soliciting advice from experienced peace-builders in Rwanda. We will never assume we know everything there is to know about this injustice or peace-building in general. Reaching out to those who have dedicated their life to this same cause is crucial.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

We will measure our impact by asking our students to complete surveys about their experience in the Youth Peace Camp. With these surveys, we will be able to track the students' growth throughout the program as well as their insight into how to improve the camp. We also keep track of all projects that our alumni have undertaken as a result of our Youth Peace Camp. We consider it to be a massive success if our students take what they have learned back to their home communities to share with their peers. We reach out for updates on, and to support, projects created and led by our program alumni.

Key Steps

  • Recruiting students from even more sectors of Rwanda
  • Reach out to peace-building experts for input and curriculum
  • Inspire our students to create their own initiatives in their communities by working with them one-on-one to develop their ideas
  • Follow-up with ALL program alumni to inquire about the work they have done since graduating our program
  • Empower and ask our alumni to come speak to our next group of students about their own initiatives
  • Encourage students to step up to face the difficult conversations by showing compassion


Bahare S.
8 June 2018 9:36

Hi, Julia
How is it going with you project? Have you taken some videos of your activities for this event?. I think it would be great to post some videos, questions or invite your friends to this project.  

Bahare S.
21 May 2018 10:29

If you do not find the plan section, this is its' link:  

Bahare S.
21 May 2018 10:23

Hi Julia, Unfortunately, I see your response after 3 days. According to Adrian's message, you should fill the plan section. If you have any question about filling this form, let me know.  

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
21 May 2018 9:56

Hi Julia! Adrian here--I'm the Program Manager of Community Engagement here at Peace First. We emailed you when you submitted your mini-grant application a while ago. Your Plan section was incomplete, which is why we haven't been able to process your application. If you go to your dashboard and fill out each question in the Plan section, the application will be complete and then we'll be quite happy to process it. :) Please let me know if you have any questions! Adrian

P.S. So glad you and Bahare are connecting--I think this will be a great mentor relationship!  

Julia L.
17 May 2018 12:56

Hi Bahare, we are thrilled that you are our new mentor. We are currently in an intense planning stage for our third annual youth camp which will take place during the second week of August. We have not heard back about our application for one of the Peace First mini grants. Have the winners been selected? Thanks!  

Bahare S.
17 May 2018 10:39

Hi Julia
This is Bahare, your new mentor, I reviewed your project and your plans and one thing that I can say that your idea is fantastic and I would like to hear more about your activities.  

Bahare S.
10 May 2018 12:35

Hi Julia
Thank you for sharing your project and your commitments and activities for making peace. I am really excited about this special workshop which teaches peacebuilding and peace issues because I believe that these kinds of activities make a network of people who care for peace.  

RaulPF C. Peace First Staff
6 March 2018 12:16

Hi Julia,
I wanted to let you know that I have been assigned as your mentor. I am really looking forward to supporting you and your project. Is there any particular area where you would like me to start providing you with some insights or support?
I look forward to hearing from you!

RaulPF C. Peace First Staff
16 February 2018 9:18

Good morning, Julia!
As part of the process when you join the Peace First Challenge, we offer formal feedback at different stages. I wanted to provide you with some feedback today related to your compassionate insight. First of all, I wanted to congratulate you for putting so much thought into a very complex issue and for exploring ways to approach this issue with a peacemaking lens. I wanted to ask some questions to help us better understand the solution you are proposing:
- How are you connected to the community you are trying to support?
- What process did you follow to come up with the idea that you have as a potential solution?
- How have you involved the young people you are supporting in the process?
- Could you elaborate on what you mean by "Corrupt genocide ideology"
I look forward to hearing more about your idea!
Have a great rest of the week!

Amani A. Peace First Staff
12 January 2018 15:38

You are most welcome, Julia! Please let us know how can we help and keep us posted with updates about your project :)  

Julia L.
12 January 2018 10:47

This resource is amazing, thank you so much!! I will definitely start exploring the options. I really appreciate the help.  

Amani A. Peace First Staff
12 January 2018 10:16

Thank you, Fish! Welcome to Peace First Community, Julia! I look forward to reading more updates on your projects and learning about the peace education techniques and how the sustainability part will play role in creating a powerful impact. For your questions about fundraising; I think this could be a good resource: My advice is to explore each resource and approach as many as you can at the same time, making sure that you are using language that matches the requirements of the applications or the resources. Please let us know how can we help!  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
12 January 2018 9:29

Hi Julia, I'm going to reach out to my colleague Amani, our Program Manager for International Partnerships, who may have some ideas. I imagine that your Davis Projects for Peace Grant (and presumably any data you've collected!) gives you a solid foundation on which to apply for grants. You could also use a Peace First grant as "matching funds" to encourage small donations from folks in your community. How much do you need to raise?  

Julia L.
11 January 2018 8:18

Thank you so much for the positive feedback! We intend to repeat the camp this summer 2018. However, we have not raised enough funds in order to make this possible. If you have any fundraising ideas or know of any grants related to our mission, that would be extremely helpful. Thank you again!  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
10 January 2018 16:45

Julia -- thanks for sharing this project! It's an incredible idea -- post-conflict work is difficult, but important, and making sure students know about the roots of the past conflict is so critical to preventing future violence.

I love the core values and skills I see you teaching in your video. What are your plans for this spring? How can we help?  

Andrea C. Peace First Staff
31 January 2019 15:56

Hi Julia,

How are you? Just one more step to get a mini-grant for up to $250! You are so close to implement your project and address the injustices in your community! :)

I noticed you hadn’t made any updates lately and I wonder if you have any question on how to fill out the mini-grant application. I am here to help you! I am hoping to hear from you soon so I can process your mini-grant and send the check your way.


Julia L.
31 January 2019 16:25

Hi Andrea! Thank you so much for your comment on our project. I am so excited to apply for a mini-grant! I was waiting to apply as I was told that the funds must be used within three months of receipt. Our 2019 program does not begin until July, so I was going to apply end of March/early April. Does this seem appropriate? Thank you again!  

Andrea C. Peace First Staff
31 January 2019 16:29

Hi Julia,

Thank you for letting me know :) Great! The dates you are planning to apply for the mini-grant are perfect (March or Early April). If you have questions during the following months, please let me know. It will be a pleasure to help you :)