24 Jul 2014 Strengthening Peace and Reconciliation between Communities
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The women’s rights organization SOS-FSF working in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo organized three series of training of trainers of animators and social leaders on techniques of mediation, reconciliation and peaceful resolution of conflict in the heart of local communities and established a pilot committee for mediation and conciliation. The project trained 100 people (60 women and 40 men) who transferred their knowledge to 300 local animators in the two zones of Fizi and Uvira. It resulted in the formation of 100 local committees led by each individual trained and comprising 7 people (4 women and 3 men) who act as mediators between their different communities. SOS-FSF also used local radio and television broadcasts to reinforce messages of peace and reconciliation and to promote mutual and community tolerance in the region. The project’s organizers noted that in the conflict zones, restoring and consolidating peace processes face a series of political, economic, social and cultural problems accompanied by security risks for activists who have great difficulty reaching beneficiaries and working with them over the long-term. In addition to communicating peace, such work needs to focus on rebuilding confidence (self-confidence, confidence in one’s neighbour and the community); mending broken individuals (identity, dignity, self-worth); reintegration of belligerents into the community; reconstructing social and family ties and structures; rehabilitating social institutions; and rehabilitating the environment (habitat and ways of life).