In summer of 2018 my team and I received Davis Peace Project grant to develop a online platform for kids about Peru Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.
“The internal conflict in Peru, beginning in 1980, is an ongoing armed conflict between the government of Peru and some terrorist organizations such as the insurgent People, armed wing of the Communist Party of Peru and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. It has been estimated that nearly 70,000 people have died due to internal conflict in Peru, in violence that started in 1980, in an ongoing conflict which many say wound down by 2000.
Most of the incidents and protagonists had gone unnoticed or had been forgotten. To recover them and bring them once again to our memory, or register them for the first time, is part of the struggle for truth and reconciliation. “The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2001 after the fall of president Alberto Fujimori, to examine abuses committed during the 1980s and 1990s, when Peru was plagued by the worst political violence in the history of the republic.
02 The interviews
We worked in close contact with two organizations that contributed and worked directly with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the transitional justice process in Peru: “Advocates for Human Rights,” and the “Paz y Esperanza” (Peace and Hope) to reach a better understanding of the conflict from the point of view of external observers and NGOs.
03 The platform
During the school visits I learned that some bigger events(about 20% of all things that happened) are covered in history classes but most are not. The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report is not mentioned at all. Therefore I believe our mission was to present as much of it as possible to the kids through this project.
Regarding the technology: we've discovered that kids actively use mobile phones, but in off-line mode. Data is pretty expensive and they usually use home or public wifi to check news or play games. That made me realize that an app might not be the best mean to deliver the content to them, since it would be very data - heavy. We came across a great project called 1917Digital (https://1917resources.aseees.hcommons.org/). It was developed for 100 year anniversary of 1917 revolution in Russia. It would gather the materials about key dates in the revolution and send newsletters to subscribed readers that would tell them about the events that happened 100 years ago on that day. I believe that would be the best way to educate kids about The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in the most low-tech way.
Teachers also gave me a positive feedback, highlighting the fact that the events are represented in a very factual - nonjudgemental way, not pushing readers to take one side or the other. Just presenting the facts. I am convinced that that is the only way to approach such sensitive topic.