Diakonia - People change the world
Jean Moreau grew up in a society where he and the other children around him were not allowed to question anything. But today, we works to ensure that children learn critical thinking. Photo: Joakim Roos

Jean Moreau – passionate about teaching children critical thinking

Jean Moreau Tubibu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a passionate change maker who is working courageously alongside others so that people living in poverty can gain power over their own lives.

11/5/2013 Publisher: Magdalena Ackeberg

Wants to give children a better life

"We live in a region scarred by conflict. I don't want children on different sides of the border to be afraid of one another. I want them to be able to choose their leaders freely and hold them accountable, I want them to be able to walk around the beautiful fields we have here without being kidnapped or murdered, and I don't want them to get infected with HIV or use drugs. I won't rest until we have achieved all this," says Jean Moreau Tubibu, founder and coordinator of Groupe Jérémie, a human rights organization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that Diakonia works with.

Raised with a single "truth"

Jean Moreau Tubibu grew up in a community where he and the other children were not allowed to question anything. Everyone was supposed to be loyal to president and dictator Mobutu. All inhabitants were forced to become members of the only permitted political party. At school there were only books praising Mobutu.

Country marred by violence and conflict

Even after Mobutu, the political situation has been turbulent and marred by conflict. Mobutu was overthrown in 1997 in an uprising led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Despite the fact that the population was promised elections at that time, all political parties and demonstrations were prohibited. An uprising that gradually turned into a major conflict involving several countries and causing five million deaths, ultimately resulted in Kabila being murdered in 2001. His son, Joseph Kabila, was appointed president and was also re-elected at the first democratic elections in 40 years in 2006.

Children must learn critical thinking

Jean Moreau is passionate about teaching children critical thinking. Groupe Jérémie publishes course literature for school pupils about human rights and democracy. In 2003, Groupe Jérémie started a project in collaboration with school teachers in which a series of books on the themes of democracy, human rights and gender equality was published. "There were no books on these subjects in the schools. This is why our books were so immensely popular", says Moreau.

Know your rights and you will never be a slave

The books are now part of the official course literature at primary, lower-secondary and upper-secondary school level in South Kivu. "If children don't learn about their human rights, they will become the slaves of dictatorships", says Moreau.

Moreau dreams of also including pupils from neighbouring countries in the book project.