By Mizuki Uchiyama, University Volunteer, UNIC Lusaka
In its continued efforts to remind children and youth of the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust so as to help to prevent future acts of genocide, the United Nations Information Centre Lusaka conducted an educational outreach activity at St. Mary’s Secondary School in
Livingstone district on 28 January 2020. More than 100 pupils from five Livingstone-based schools namely St. Marys Secondary, Dambwa Private Secondary, Busongo Private, Hillcrest Technical Secondary and Livingstone Secondary participated in the event which was held under the 2020 global theme “75 years after Auschwitz – Holocaust Education and Remembrance for Global Justice” to honour the lives of the six million Jews and other groups who were killed by the Nazi regime between 1941 and 1945.
Livingstone District Commissioner Ms Harriet Kawina, who was guest of honour cautioned participants about the danger of indifference.
“We need to reflect on what this history means for our times. The obvious conclusion is that after 2,000 years of various forms of antisemitism, we know that antisemitism is not an eradicable disease. Nor is hate, nor indifference. Knowing this, we must ask whether we can tackle the problem of indifference, or whether it is ineradicable. We are all susceptible to indifference,” Ms Kawina said.
Speaking at the same even, Mr Aiden Kambunga, who is the Livingstone District Education Board Secretary said that in order for peace and security to prevail, youth must be actively involved in finding solutions to building peace.
“They must be given a say in peace and security so as properly address the causes of conflict. It is therefore important that we guard against evil ideologies in order to prevent such crimes from reoccurring. All manifestations of religious intolerance, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief must be rejected,” Mr Kambunga said.
The event included an exhibition titled “Butterfly Project” which tells of children’s experiences
during the Holocaust as well as a historical video narrating events and decisions that forever changed the world. After watching the video, students expressed their views on the Holocaust and raised many questions such as why the Holocaust happened and what made such large-scale killings of people possible. As a Representative from Council for Zambia Jewry, Mr Shalomi Abutbul, answered the young learners’ questions, they deepened their understanding of the dangers of hatred and racism.