Interview with Lucie Priscille Assongon Ela, Young Weaver of Peace
1. How did you join the “Young People, Weavers of Peace” project?
I am a teacher by training, and I joined the network of Weavers of Peace during a training and awareness raising seminar organized by a UNESCO group in our locality in November 2021.
2. How has your participation in this project benefited you and other young people in Central Africa?
Participating in the Weavers for Peace movement has been of great benefit to us. Indeed, Ambam is a crossroads city, a city of trade, sharing and cohabitation between different indigenous and foreign communities. It was therefore imperative for us, as inhabitants of a border area with a large population, to wave the banner of peace.
3. Can you explain to us how this project has helped communities live in peace in areas prone to conflict and insecurity?
We have carried out visits to schools where most young people live, and we have carried out awareness-raising activities. We have reactivated the UNESCO club in the bilingual high school of Ambam, which includes anglophones, francophones and young people from neighboring countries. We are almost certain that today, young people adhere to this ideal of peace. On the eve of February 11 (Youth Day in Cameroon), they offered a magnificent “open house” where they demonstrated their know-how. This adventure continues with the setting up of a school garden, always accompanied by the Weavers of Peace, which builds on the cult of effort, perseverance and living together.
4. In your opinion, why is it so important to involve youth in peace processes?
“Young people are the spearhead of the nation”, as we used to say. They are the most sensitive, gullible, and permeable segment of society, young people easily copy what is negative, that is why it is our responsibility to transmit to them the values of peace, social cohesion and tolerance that will remain in them.