United Nations Association of Greater Boston
Since 2016, the Bridgeway Group has partnered with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNAGB) to enhance their Model United Nations (MUN) summer camp curriculum with negotiation skill building activities. Bridgeway Group trainers design and facilitate short lessons in negotiation and conflict management skills, that can be integrated into both the middle and high school MUN curricula. Since 2017, The Bridgeway Group has co-designed and co-led the week-long Advanced Negotiation and Chair Training with UNAGB. This advanced training brings together older students who are passionate about global issues and aspire to be in leadership roles that demand advanced communication skills. Students in both activities respond enthusiastically to the lessons, explaining that negotiation and conflict management skills have relevance to both their academic and personal lives.
The Bridgeway Group and UNAGB are also developing a broader negotiation training program that could be delivered through all curricular and extra-curricular Model UN activities in the schools in which UNAGB operates. This program would include professional development for teachers and open source online resources.
Fragile Island of Peace
Partnering with Spectrum Media, The Bridgeway Group is working to produce the documentary film, Fragile Island of Peace, about the peacebuilding process in Burundi. The Bridgeway Group’s Executive Director, Liz McClintock, has been engaged in Burundi for over 18 years, supporting the peace building process through training of Burundi’s political and military leaders, training local trainers, and developing conflict management curriculum for audiences ranging from high school students and demobilized soldiers.
The documentary will bring to life the story of a 10-year peacebuilding process in Burundi that united leaders from rebel militias and the National Army in working toward reconciliation. Through compelling interviews and anecdotes from those who experienced it firsthand, as well as scenes of ongoing activities that are part of the peacebuilding process, this film will shine a light on Burundians whose hearts and minds were changed as they worked to rebuild trust in a country that was torn apart by war. The film will show how these personal changes have played out nationally, through policy changes and innovative leadership.
Gira Ejo*: Increasing Youth Resilience and Social Cohesion
The Bridgeway Group is supporting the Burundi Leadership Training Program (BLTP) and Ikibiri Coalition in the design, development, and implementation of Gira Ejo: Increasing Youth Resilience and Social Cohesion in Burundi. Funded by USAID, Gira Ejo is a three-year program targeted at youth in 4 of Bujumbura’s urban and peri-urban communes that have suffered disproportionately from Burundi’s current political crisis. The program combines capacity building in leadership, conflict management, communication, negotiation skills, and entrepreneurship with a small grants program, in which youth acquire project development skills and immediately apply those skills to the development of revenue generating projects designed to serve the specific needs of their communities. The Gira Ejo program is designed to increase the social and economic resilience of youth through their acquisition of conflict management, leadership and sustainable project development skills. As a result, youth will be more economically independent, confident, and better positioned to renounce violence.
*Gira Ejo meaning “Have a bright tomorrow,” is a Kirundi expression drawn from a traditional greeting, usually addressed to youth.