240 Heritage clubs in debate: Cultural diversity Vs Unity

Debates on the theme “cultural diversity or unity, what makes us stronger” are being conducted in over 240 schools in Uganda and Kenya.

Introduction

Young people from 140 cultural heritage clubs in Uganda and 100 Peace clubs in Kenya are being guided to discuss and document their perspectives and mechanisms that foster social cohesion in their respective communities through debates on the relevance and promotion of cultural diversity and social cohesion

“Cultural diversity or unity, what makes us stronger” Heritage clubs in debate

During the debates, young people discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in a multi-cultural society on one hand, and living in a mono-cultural society on the other. In some cases, the school context is being used as an example since some schools are multi-cultural while others are mainly mono-cultural.

In most cases, at the end of the debates, young people share lessons and reflections from the discussion and the moderators (mainly CCFU team) wrap up the discussions stressing the need for co-existence despite our differences in terms of cultures. The moderators also stress that, in culturally diverse societies like Uganda and Kenya, it is important to respect other people’s cultures/identity which eventually promotes unity in diversity and that is what makes us stronger. Two best speakers (from each club) are recognised with certificates and few scholastic materials. The schools also receive certificates of recognition for hosting the debates.

In most schools, administrators are quick to appreciate the ‘debate’ innovation in heritage clubs as it increases young people’s confidence in public speaking, a show of various talents of students and key in forging unity among students.

Anticipated outcome

It is anticipated that the youth participating in this project will be able to utilize the knowledge and skills acquired to enhance their role in inter-cultural dialogue and promotion of social cohesion and peaceful coexistence. The publicity materials produced will be used to continue engaging youth within and outside the participating clubs even after the end of the project.

About the 'Young Ugandans and Kenyans demonstrate the value of social cohesion, December 2018 – May 2020' project

This project is implemented (with the financial support from Culture at Work Africa) by the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda, which is a registered, not-for-profit NGO dedicated to promoting the recognition of culture as vital for human development that responds to Uganda’s national identity and diversity, in partnership with the Community Peace Museums and Cultural Heritage Foundation (Kenya). Check out how young people are involved in the debates in Kenya.

The project specifically aims at: (i) promoting Cultural Heritage and Peace clubs as spaces for learning, inter-cultural dialogue and exchange of knowledge to foster coexistence and social cohesion among young people (ii) empowering the youth to recognise their role and use their creativity to contribute to peaceful coexistence (iii) developing communication outputs designed by the youth to reach out to other youth across the region with messages of peace and social cohesion, and (iv) capitalising on experiences of the youth in Uganda and Kenya in appreciating cultural diversity, and identify ways in which their efforts can be sustained in their respective communities.

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