Ramon Williamson

National InterSchool Brigade Movement: Adds Human Rights Training to Their Curriculum with RAP Grant

Ramon Williamson was not pleased by his ultimatum – report for training with his school’s Interschool Brigade (NIB) or be expelled.

“I had no choice. I was forced into the NIB programme,” he says. “I was an undisciplined student with poor academic performance, and even when I hid away from the training they found me and ensured that I complied…and then I started to love NIB.”

Today, Ramon is a 23-year old high school graduate and 24/7 volunteer director of Cadet Courtesy & Official Services at NIB—the first recipient of the RAP Youth Action 2015 grant of 500 euros to implement a human rights awareness project in their community.

Recognising that 80% of NIB programme graduates join the security forces – police and army – the NIB application proposed that by training NIB cadets in human rights, NIB could positively increase the level of human rights awareness in the security forces.

With the RAP grant, NIB has trained 80 Youth Intervention Officers in human rights over 3 days. Described by Ramone as  “robust training”, the NIB training used RAP’s Guide to Rights, online training tools, panel discussions and role play for full immersion in human rights. NIB Youth Intervention Officers are now charged with training all NIB cadets, ensuring that every member of the 2000 strong organisation earns their badge in human rights.

The sustainability of NIBs human rights project is assured with inclusion of human rights in the NIB curriculum. This marks the NIB aim to move beyond their drills and discipline training, to provide more substantial personal development programmes that engage members in getting more academic subjects, so that they can be better equipped to build their lives.

NIB changed Ramon’s life. NIB is changing lives of schoolboys and girls at risk. Ramone proudly shows a text received from one of his Grade 8 cadets after training – “NIB is more than a unit it is a family that I can’t live without.” That cadet had lost his mother to cancer and his father to gun violence.

NIB is making a difference.

NIB adds to their 2015 RAP grant award, the Prime Minister’s Youth Award (2014), the US Underwood Award (2012), the Canadian High Commission Award (2011)