To Debate or Not to Debate

July 18, 2013

The following blog was written and submitted by members of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Leadership Club

On the 19th of June 2013, the members of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Leadership Club were very pleased to receive an invitation from Cornerstone Leadership Academy, Rwanda to participate in their Parliament Debate.  As far as the debate was concerned, every single participant in the debating room was extremely attentive as well as inquisitive. All who attended were there to learn more about the motion on the table, which was, “poor development of Africa is a result of its leaders.” 

The Cornerstone Leadership students were happy to receive the students from Agahozo-Shalom, and we were all very happy to have the opportunity to visit the Cornerstone Leadership Academy. In the first few minutes, participants greeted each other and then the presentations began with the opposition.  After a day full of heated debate and argument, the ASYV students gained distinctive skills including: public speaking, rules of debate and the importance of refereed debate. This experience forced us to think about how we can find tangible solutions with the information we have. The topic, “poor development of Africa,” is one of the most difficult issues facing the African continent and one that our generation is going to have to address.

The day came to its conclusion with the final resolution being that all African leaders and African citizens must take responsibility for developing Africa. We agreed that the culture of impunity must be abolished and that it is necessary to increase accountability and empowerment throughout our continent. 

The Agahozo-Shalom team suggested that the culture of debate should continue to be encouraged strongly at ASYV, as it cultivates a strong learning community and encourages students to learn more and think critically about topics that are new to them.  

Note to our readers: every Wednesday, a Village-wide debate is held in each family home at the ASYV.  The topic is chosen by the members of the Leadership Club.