Jan. 27, 2011
David Mwambari, a senior instructor at Shawnee State University teaching classes in Social Sciences and International Relations, presented at two conferences out of the country, one in Windsor, United Kingdom, and one in Nairobi, Africa.
Mwambari presented, "Quest for Citizenship: the case of youth in post-conflict commonwealth societies" in Windsor at the Commonwealth Studies Conference at Cumberland Lodge in November 2010. He talked about rehabilitating young people who have come out of conflict.
"These children are faced with a stigma from their own families and from people in that village where they may have killed," Mwambari said. "The politicians use these children and when the politicians make their own settlements, they leave the young people to go to jail. How do we put them in a place where they can do positive things? They need to be looked at with special care. Make sure we rehabilitate them and let them know they too matter."
In Nairobi, he presented "Global Politics and the Teaching of African International Relations" at the Research Institute for Peace and International Affairs at the United States International University, Nairobi Campus, Africa in December 2010. Mwambari's presentation looked at recent historical events in global politics that have changed and influenced how Africa relates to the rest of the world.
Mwambari's research is in African International Relations with focus on the Role of Youth in Post Conflict Countries and Global Politics Affairs. He is working on his doctorate and holds two M.A. degrees, one in Pan African Studies and one in International Relations with a focus on Post Conflict Reconstruction Studies.
Mwambari co-founded a non-profit organization, "Sanejo: Building Tomorrow's Generation," a grassroots organization headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda, that is rebuilding African communities. Every summer, he and a team of volunteers work on rebuilding the Ntenyo Primary School in the Muhanga District near Gitarama, Rwanda.
Last year, Sanejo partnered with YGAP out of Australia, the "Y Generation Against Poverty" organization, to sponsor rebuilding the school. Nearly 600 students were in the school with only nine teachers. Young professionals and volunteers in Rwanda, East Africa, Europe, North America, Central America and Australia also worked on the project.
"We build, we train teachers and we work with the kids," Mwambari said. "We go once a year and work on the school."
Local Rwanda university students will be going to the school to train teachers throughout the year. The goal is that in five years, there will be 18 classrooms, nursery through high school.
Mwambari's grandfather, "Mzee" Rutabagisha Joseph, built the first school nearly 50 years ago and a memorial is situated at the school in his honor. Rutabagisha and his sons were killed in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that claimed more than 700,000 innocent people and displaced millions of families.
For more information on the Sanejo project, go to www.sanejo.org.