Positive peace cannot be attained without focussing on ethical principles of empathy, respect and reconciliation. This was learnt during a five-day training workshop organized by The Global Network of Religions for Children and facilitated by the Nairobi Peace Initiative, NPI-Africa held in Zanzibar.
The training workshop which brought together fifty ‘Peace Ambassadors’ from the Unguja and PembaIslands of Zanzibar was held from 23rd – 27th February. The children and youth were trained mainly on PeaceBuilding and Conflict Transformation.
GNRC Africa children and youth who attended the training workshop were also trained on how to achieve positive peace by focussing on ethical principles of empathy, respect and reconciliation.
The trainers from the Nairobi based peace resource organization, NPI-Kenya, Ag. Executive Director, Ms. Florence Mpaayei and Coordinator of Capacities for Peace, George Kut, designed and facilitated the five-day course.
Topics covered on the first day included; understanding conflicts, tools to help understand conflict, conflicts in Africa and in our Surroundings.
On the second day, the Peace Ambassadors were taught how to respond to conflicts.
The Peace Ambassadors learnt about conflict resolution, management and transformation. They also learnt about how to develop skills to improve communication, listening and assertive skill development.
The Peace Ambassadors were introduced to the concept of Global Citizenship by a guest facilitator, Fiona McGain on the third day of the training workshop. Issues around Global Citizenship tackled revolved around identity, children’s rights, sustainable development, environment and globalization.
The role of media in fuelling or resolving conflicts, and promoting peace was tackled by another guest facilitator, a veteran journalist, Ally Saleh from Zanzibar.
The workshop participants also learnt how the youth can be agents of promoting peace and resolving conflicts.
Other topics covered included various methods used to resolve conflicts and their advantages and disadvantages, such as the use of force, adjudication, arbitration, negotiation, mediation and reconciliation.
Mr. E. H. Msoma, Ag. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State, Constitution and Good Governance commended GNRC and its PeaceBuilding activities in Tanzania and Africa. He was represented at the workshop by the Registrar of the High Court in Zanzibar, Mr. Abraham Mwanpasha.
He particularly commended the idea of focusing on the young members of the society and equipping them with skills and capabilities of resolving conflicts while still at latent stages.
GNRC Africa Coordinator Dr. Mustafa Ali introduced the Arigatou Foundation, the Global Network of Religions for Children and the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children to the participants.
He stated that the training workshop was part of a process to equip children and young adults with critical skills on conflict transformation and ethics education.
In her closing remarks for the workshop, Sr. Jean Pruitt, M.M. reminded the children and the youth of their ‘debt to their community’ in upholding and promoting peace.
The GNRC Peace Ambassadors thanked the Arigatou Foundation for its continued support to develop GNRC network, and asked for more support to further develop the Peace Clubs at the grassroots.
The workshop, under the Young Peace Ambassadors Project was supported by the Canadian High Commission through the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives. Ms Mary Mgaya, the Fund Coordinator participated and officially closed the workshop after the certificates were issued to the participants