Applied Conflict Transformation Course

Slowly, Slowly the Egg will walk

The renewed sense of conviction towards making this world a better place for the human race shared by most participants of the Applied Conflict Transformation remains the essence of how inspirational the course was. The global Applied Conflict Transformation Course conducted by the ACTION Support Centre brought together participants from the Middle East as well as West, Central, East and Southern Africa. These were a mix of Anglophone, Lusophone, Francophone countries and those that had experienced violent conflicts in other parts of the world such as Syria. The team that consisted mostly of women activists and a considerable number of men in the fields of development, human and people’s rights just to name a few, convened in Johannesburg, South Africa to embark on a five day (from 27th and 31st July) journey of inspirational, developmental processes of peace building and humanity consciousness.

Braving the Johannesburg cold weather, the team engaged in thought provoking seminars that interrogated the African development trajectory and peace and security approaches to conflict in and around the continent. The following days enabled participants to engage in reflections of the inner self as part of human development and personal growth. This allowed for individuals to tap into their emotions as they connected the past rich history of Africa as a cradle for humanity and the continent’s liberation struggle with the current narrative including sharing of experiences of different contexts of violent and conflict situations in different countries. Most importantly, facilitators shared tools and skills of conflict transformation that participants could apply in their various contexts.

At the end of the course everyone was satisfied that they were better equipped to apply tools of conflict transformation to champion peace building initiatives in different parts of the world, echoing sentiments such as ‘I feel like I have learnt a lot about myself and I am more open minded to learning about different cultural backgrounds which is important to the work that I do.’ And because of the site visits to historical landmarks, like Constitution Hill and Freedom Park, where memories of some of the revered heroes and heroines of the African continent are preserved, participants of the course felt they also had the ability to lead sacrificial lives of putting the next person first.