Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Tool for Peace Ambassadors

The Action Inter-Ethnic Dialogue and Peaceful Reconciliation Project Peace Ambassadors have managed to create and use meaningful dialogue as a tool for peace building and reconciliation in Kibera. The concept is such that there is a realization that members of the society have always had a feeling that they can offer possible solutions to their problems if given a chance. In most dialogue forums that The Action has attended, the feedback has been that the society members feel relieved and pour out their fears, aspirations and needs more freely when there is a free for all dialogue platforms. The sessions are normally structured in a way that problems are highlighted, discussed and possible solutions and points of actions drawn.

Ole giving practical training to the PMC
 In the month of July, The Action team received a boost from Hand the Ball Foundation on how handball can be used as a tool to enhance dialogue in the society. In a training of trainers organised by the Danish organisation (Hand the Ball) members of the Action were introduced to a concept so unique and fun to apply. The process emphasizes on the unique strength found in the power of group play. In a society where people find it hard to create time for play, Hand the Ball introduces activities build on insights into the positive of mental and social effects of physical group activities. The residents of Kibera sometimes get themselves warped in isolation of the mind and spirit. The practice shall see them move out of such entrapments and reach out to the other for meaningful engagement and dialogue.

Furthermore, the idea of competition for everything in the Kibera society is not new. To people living and
Hand the Ball in Practice
working in Kibera, there is always a sense of competition on whatever an individual does. Schools are no longer centres of academic enlightenment but a place to score high grades and beat the other opponent in exams. Churches operate with a sense of outdoing each other than avenues for spiritual growth. There is a massive scramble for the little resources available and people are constantly scheming against one another, a fact that has seen the rise of violence and mistrust. The peace ambassadors shall adopt the concept of non competition that is employed in Hand the Ball activities to diffuse the tension arising from the extensive competition in the society.

The most important tool to learn while using Hand the Ball activities as a tool for dialogue is that communication becomes an inherent part of interacting and the main focus is cast on fun, team dynamics and collective play.  The peace ambassadors therefore shall be called to provide an avenue of constructive play and meaningful dialogue, by first offering the community members in any forum, school, churches, seminars, with a ball to show that ownership is open to every individual in the society. The said balls will be used to initiate dialogue and preferably also be used  to offer a platform for fun and play, thereby giving a chance to learn, act and have fun.

Story By:
Ramogi Osewe
PMC Member

This project is supported by The European Union

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