Bujumbura by Bus – A Long Walk To Peace!

The Great Lakes region has been the scene of recurring wars. It is important to show this long path towards peace through the film “A Long Walk to Peace” thanks to the remarkable work of child reporters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Taking advantage of the Hope Forum, the child reporters of the DRC showed, not only the problems experienced by children in the region, but also suggested solutions such as: support and care for all children in general and refugee children in particular because in war times, none of the rights of the child are promoted; strengthening laws against non-respect of the rights of the child,…

It was thus important to make a film about the Hope Forum, because this had an objective of bringing together young people from the Great Lakes region and showing them that we can, together, achieve the consolidation of peace; and also, so that children can be united and properly prepare the future of the region, according to an African proverb: “if you do not know where you are going, look at where you came from”. In the film, we invite everyone to understand where we came from so that together we can build a Great Lakes region worthy of children.

This film shows the highlights of the Hope Forum. During three days, children of different countries gathered in a single forum, presented dances which explain different cultural values, and, together, we danced. Our unity as children is a precursor for the unity in the Great Lakes region. I am confident that the film “A Long Walk To Peace” will win a prize at the My Hero film festival in Los Angeles. It shows several images from a province in the DRC (North Kivu) to the regional level (Bujumbura). It shows children’s exchanges on the consequences of war (malnutrition, children’s enrolment in armed groups, lack of schooling,…) but also suggestions to restore peace and trust. We learnt that through dialogue, we children can be good leaders for this region which is so dear to us.

I was very happy to participate in the Hope Forum and to be involved in this film. I made the acquaintance of my fellow countrymen from other provinces and of children from different countries in the region and it was a real pleasure. I learnt a lot about others and I also shared my contribution for the restoration of peace in the region. We were united in asking the leaders of our respective countries to invest themselves in consolidating peace in the Great Lakes region. I know that we will get there by appreciating unity within diversity.

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Laetitia a 14 ans et elle est enfant reporter de la ville de Goma ainsi que présidente de la commission Education Jeux Culture et Loisirs du Parlement d'enfants. Défendre les droits de ses semblables est l'une de ses plus grandes passions. Plus tard, Laetitia aimerait devenir une grande journaliste sans s'écarter du domaine de la défense des droits des enfants pour changer le monde. Son credo: « L'enfance congolaise est une arme de construction massive »

Laetitia is 14 and a young reporter from Goma, as well as Chair of the Committee for Education, Games, Culture and Entertainment in the Children's Parliament. Defending the rights of her peers is one of her greatest passions. When she is older, Laetitia would like to become a great journalist, maintaining her dedication to the defense of children's rights to change the world. Her credo: "Congolese children are a weapon of mass construction."

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