Professor lands Rotary funds for peace-building in Burundi

A CSU faculty member has received an infusion of funding to support his peace-building work in the war-torn East African country of Burundi.

William Timpson, a professor in the School of Education, has been working with faculty, staff and students at the University of Ngozi on curriculum and instructional changes for educating a new generation of leaders in peace-building and sustainable development. The focus of his Amahoro Project, (named after the Kirundi word for peace) has been to create a center focused on peace and reconciliation. (That university’s rector, Apollinaire Bangayimbaga, visited CSU in September 2014 on a relationship-building trip as part of an international memorandum of understanding signed in 2012 by the University of Ngozi and CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability.)TimpsonBurundi2

Rotary grant

Now the Rotary Foundation has awarded Timpson $35,000 to continue his efforts. He will use the money for a variety of initiatives, including professional development for University of Ngozi faculty, a new website and painted wall murals of local peacemakers.

Timpson, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Collins, said the grant includes $10,000 from local Rotarian clubs and an anonymous donor, $10,000 from Rotary District 5440 and $15,000 from Rotary International.

He said that although he’s taught classes at the University of Ngozi, until now he hasn’t had the resources to begin training the faculty there on incorporating peace-building themes like cooperation, teamwork, communication and negotiation into their curricula. The content on the new website will be available in English, French and Kirundi, and Timpson is hoping to host a conference at the university in early 2017 attended by teachers and university representatives from around the country.

If all goes well, Timpson said, his efforts could lead to additional Rotary grants or, ultimately, even the creation of Africa’s first Rotary Peace Center.

Currently there are six of those centers, located in North Carolina, Japan, England, Australia, Sweden and Thailand.