Project in Benin helping reduce violence in education receives UNESCO-Hamdan Prize

Teacher prize laureate 2022 Benin

Over 4,500 teachers have been trained, 2,500 parents have been sensitized and more than 250,000 children were reached through the programmes.

“It was clear to me that learning by dialogue and interaction would best serve fostering peace in all its forms”, said Delia Mamon, Founder and President of one of the 2022 UNESCO-Hamdan Prize on Teacher development.

The awarded project, Apprendre en paix, Enseigner sans violence (Learning in Peace, Education without Violence), is a pioneering pedagogical programme developed by Graines de Paix Foundation.

The project is based on approaches tested in Switzerland, France, and Côte d’Ivoire, but is anchored in the local context. The premise is that children learn better and achieve greater success and fulfilment when they grow up in a non-violent environment. 

Over the last 15 years, Graines de Paix has been producing innovative pedagogical programmes to respond to problems of violence, prevent radicalisation, and foster well-being, a culture of peace, security, equity, and inclusion. Teachers learn how to move on from violent punitive authoritarian postures to positive postures that empower all students

Teacher prize laureate 2022 Benin

Cultivating peace and dialogue in Benin

Delia Mamon is convinced that children learn faster and retain more when they feel in peace, valued and emotionally secure. “From the start, my goal has been to find better ways to resolve the phenomena of violence and war, via education. An education design that would integrate the development of students by reinforcing human values and self-esteem, through developing their socio-emotional skills and their reflection capacities. And especially teacher trainings for equipping teachers with experiential teaching methods that foster dialogue between students”, said Delia.

Working with national ministries, the project is changing the way teachers are taught and teach. Their core mission is teaching beyond imparting basic knowledge. In the context of a country which is exposed to conflicts, the project focus on the crucial role of teachers to ensure a stable, sustainable future.

Teacher prize laureate 2022 Benin

Reaching teachers and parents

Through the trainings, teachers are able to experience emotionally how children suffer in class and how student consideration is key for developing student excellence. They also learn how to use enriched school activities to enable their students to develop their emotional intelligence and discernment skills.

The teaching methods focus changes from passive to active to interactive student learning using participative, collaborative and collective-decision-making teaching practices.

This way, teachers are better able to identify, understand and define situations of violence and discrimination. Parents are also sensitized about the consequences of violence in education on the child’s achievement and development and encouraged to adopt alternatives to violence in their homes.

After three years of project development and implementation in the North of Benin (primary) and South (pre-primary), the programme is now being strengthened and expanded.


Awarded every two years, the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development rewards outstanding and innovative practices related to teachers so their lessons can be shared and spread. The Prize amounts to US $300,000, which is equally divided between three winners.