“Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.” - Lyndon B. Johnson2
In a world where conflict and division often make headlines, we at WAA Cameroon are proud to be part of initiatives that aim to foster peace and unity. We recently conducted 2 peacebuilding training workshops in Bamenda, North West Region, and Buea, South West Region as part of the VOYCE Project.
A Gathering of Young Minds
Building on our success from last year, where we trained 100 youths, we were thrilled to welcome another set of 100 participants this year. This included individuals who had been exposed to radicalising ideologies. This diverse group of young individuals, like their predecessors, came together with a common goal - to learn, understand, and advocate for peace.
Learning the Ropes of Peacebuilding
Our training covered a wide range of topics, providing the participants with a comprehensive understanding of peacebuilding. The topics included:
Basic Peace Building concepts: An introduction to the fundamental principles and concepts of peacebuilding.
Conflict Perspectives: A deep dive into different perspectives of conflict, helping participants understand the multifaceted nature of conflicts.
Conflict Resolution Approaches and Outcomes: An exploration of various approaches to conflict resolution and their potential outcomes.
Conflict Analysis: Training on how to analyse conflicts, a crucial skill in peacebuilding.
Youth Advocacy for SDG 16+: Encouraging youth to advocate for peace, justice, and strong institutions - the goals outlined in SDG 16+.
Youth Action Plans for Advocacy: Guiding participants in creating effective action plans for peace advocacy.
The training methods we used included:
Interactive Lectures: Our trainer delivered engaging lectures on various topics, encouraging participants to ask questions and share their thoughts.
Group Discussions: Participants were divided into small groups to discuss different perspectives of conflict and potential resolution approaches.
Role-Playing: To help participants understand conflict resolution better, we conducted role-playing exercises where they could enact different scenarios.
Case Studies: We analyzed real-world conflicts and resolutions, allowing participants to apply their learning in a practical context.
Action Plan Development: Participants were guided to create their own action plans for peace advocacy, applying what they learned in the workshop.
More Than Just a Workshop
These workshops were not just about imparting knowledge; they were about inspiring change. They were designed to be inclusive, fun, and life-changing. The participants not only gained valuable knowledge but also experienced a transformation that will empower them to be advocates for peace in their communities.
The impact of these workshops extends beyond the training sessions. Equipped with new knowledge and skills, the participants are now ready to make a difference in their communities. They are our new peace ambassadors, ready to challenge radical ideologies and advocate for peace.
Through initiatives like these, we at WAA Cameroon are playing a crucial role in shaping a peaceful future. And as we look ahead, we remain committed to empowering more youths, fostering peace, and making a lasting impact.