The 2022 UNESCO-Hamdan Prize awarded to Graines de Paix Foundation — English

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The 2022 UNESCO-Hamdan Prize awarded to Graines de Paix Foundation

The prestigious "UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development" has rewarded, for the first time, a Swiss NGO, the Graines de Paix Foundation, in this 7th edition.

This prize recognizes our "innovative approach" in the redesign of teacher training that ministries are looking for. Our pedagogy is being implemented in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire, while simultaneously being developed in Switzerland.

This is a major breakthrough for Switzerland in the field of international education.

Reinventing teacher training


The innovation brought by Graines de Paix consists in linking academic success to the prevention of violence and radicalization as well as to school and societal peace. To achieve these objectives, teachers are trained in positive pedagogies that value students and in learning methods that cultivate dialogue, participation and collaboration among students themselves. It is through these forms of interaction that students best develop their human, social-emotional and reflective skills as well as their self-confidence. In Africa, this approach is often referred to as "Education in a Culture of Peace". This term refers to a complete pedagogy and not just a lesson on peace: it transforms the educational methods not only of teachers, but also of parents.


Positioning of International Geneva in education


From the start, it was obvious that Graines de Paix was best founded in the heart of "International Geneva", due to the concentration of more than 760 NGOs. A large number of international organizations, embassies to the UN and academic institutions. Nevertheless, entities active in education reform are only a tiny part of it, and this is the first time that a Swiss NGO stands out in this field. For Delia Mamon, "this prize reveals to the world's educational actors that Switzerland is far ahead in this reform. As proof, the introduction of the new Plan d'Etudes Romand, from 2011, which integrates socio-emotional and reflective skills within the disciplines taught". Few countries have reached this point, eleven years later.


The UNESCO-Hamdan Prize was awarded to Graines de Paix on October 5, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. In the afternoon, a panel discussion with the laureates focused on ways to reinvent education, which was followed by a preview of the film "Being a Teacher". From October 5 to 7, an exhibition on the laureates was open to the public illustrating the transformations of education underway in the world, including Benin.