Gilbert Mussumba is a member of the Regional Committee of the Africa Scout Region and is the Project Manager of Amahoro Amani. He is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is currently based in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi where the office of Amahoro Amani project is based.
Congratulations on winning the prestigious “Gustaf Adolf” Medalawarded by the Swedish Guide and Scout Council for your efforts in peace and reconciliation work through the Amahoro Amani project. How do you feel about being awarded this medal?
I feel very emotional, emotion of joy. I feel very gratituous towards my partners for recognizing the efforts into my favourite project Amahoro Amani.
Can you please tell us a little about the Amahoro Amani project?
It is a project, which tries to mobilize a lot of young people for bringing back peace and safeguarding sustained peace in the Great Lakes region in Africa. It is a project aimed at training young people (Scouts, Guides and other young people) for building competencies on peaceful conflict resolution. This project has been a good example of collaborative work between Scouting and Guiding because it constitutes a successful partnership in three countries where the two organizations are working together in Africa (Burundi, Rwanda and DRC).
Can you tell us more about the external support you have received for this project?
The project started in 2005 and completed its first phase until 2007 with several partner organizations (Scout, Guide and external) supporting the project. Since 2008, the Swedish Guide and Scout Council has been supporting the project’s expansion in the three countries because they strongly believe in the positive impact on the community achieved through Amahoro Amani and wish to upscale the project to reach more young people.
How many young people have been reached through the project?
The project has so far (since 2005) trained 625 young community mediators (15 to 25 years) who have further reached out to 30,000 other young people through peer education by forming peace clubs in the three countries.
Your colleague Justine Nzeyimana has also been awarded the Gustaf Adolf Medal, can you tell us a little about her role in Amahoro Amani?
Justine is the financial and administration manager for the Project; she has played an instrumental role in strengthening the capacities of the Scout and Guide Associations in Burundi, Rwanda and Eastern DRC. She has worked with them very closely in the areas of accounting, finance, reporting and governance. She has been a very strong support to me in this project and very much deserves this award as well.
What are your future plans for Amahoro Amani?
We want to expand this project to more young people in the three countries and we also want to share the method we follow in Amahoro Amani as a best practice to help expand into other countries, not only in Africa, but other Regions as well. We could work well with the new and upcoming WOSM projects under Messengers of Peace (MoP) in this effort and our Swedish partners too have found some support to start working on this initiative. I see a very bright future for Amahoro Amani to be expanded to other countries and am looking forward to the challenge.
Image: © The Swedish Guide and Scout Council / Jonas Elmqvist