GNRC Africa facilitates Peace workshop in the East Africa Cup 2009

The East Africa Cup –2009

The promotion of peace is essential if our world is to prosper. This is true for all children, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, culture, geographic location, or age.

Since the organizers of the East Africa Cup both recognize and support these principles, they permitted participating children at their event to meet with facilitator from the GNRC Africa during the 3-days of the tournament. These meetings lasted for 2-hours each and promoted issues relating to peace, conflict resolution and Ethics Education.

Participating youth eagerly engaged in discussions over a wide variety of subjects including:

• How to live and work together
• Learning to be empathetic (understanding and respecting others regardless of differences)
• Human dignity and responsibility
• Developing a positive attitude when facing challenges
• Non-violent confrontation and conflict resolution methods

While facilitators directed the course of discussions by outlining the major points of each topic, participants were given ample time to express their views and to ask questions. Follow-up questions were encouraged. Contradictions in positions were explored and the use of personal examples and experiences encouraged during the individual presentation of ideas and positions. This give-and-take resulted in lively and informative debate and fostered the goals of the workshop

The participants were enthusiastic and excited: at the end of each session the discussions carried on beyond the allotted times. All participants, including the supervisors and facilitators, were happy with the workshops and how it addressed, in various ways, the daily challenges that confront all of us and hinder progress toward achieving peace and conflict resolution through Ethics Education. The discussions aided participants in developing skills in addressing personal problems and applying a variety of skills and options when facing difficult situations or decisions.

A variety of points were advocated by participants, including:

• Promoting peace through religion
• The use of diversity as a strength and unifying factor
• Developing new skills and methods for influencing policy makers
• Additional education and energization of the public in these methods
• Capitalization on the large number of participants in forums like the Africa Cup 2009 and addressing additional subjects at these opportunities
• The use of surveys and questionnaires to allow participants of share their positive and negative comments on the usefulness of the program
• Follow-up contact with participants to encourage implementation of the lessons and to involve them in future events

It should be noted that there were more than 1000 participating children in the East Africa Cup 2009. Unfortunately, there were only two facilitator available (more were originally scheduled, however, they backed out at the last minute due to personal reasons). Each facilitator conducted groups with 50 or fewer participants. This resulted in making it impossible to accommodate all of the large number of children who wanted to attend these sessions. Therefore, we are actively seeking volunteers to work as facilitator and aides at future events. If you are interested in participating, please contact us. We can certainly use your help.

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