Women attending the truma healing workhsop
In July thanks to the fundraising TCSC accomplished through GlobalGiving, Peter and Simon were able to attend the HROC International Training in Musanze, Rwanda. Here is a comment Peter made on his facebook page:
As the curtain falls on the Trauma Healing and Resiliency Course at the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) Center in Musanze, Rwanda, the are several lessons learnt and skills acquired which need to be explored further in our communities back home. One of them is the Trust Walk and the trauma healing journey, Before this we learnt more about trauma, the causes of trauma, symptoms of trauma, consequences of trauma and the trauma recovery and healing journey.
As a community we can only truly heal from trauma when we discover the abundance of goodness found in the Tree of Trust. As such let us worship in the only true religion, that of kindness and remaining steadfast in our desire to do good and perform acts of kindness always.
HROC and AVP workshops for women in sewing project in Kakuma Refugee Camp
The training had 24 women from South Sudanese, Congolese, Somalis and Burundians who carried traumatic events with them that have destroyed the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Furthermore, the current form of aid is not tailored to the needs, situation and prospects of refugees and host communities. The economic potential of the camp has not been fully utilized and the host community, which is one of the most marginalized in Kenya, feels that it has not benefited much from the presence of refugees Sometimes conflicts escalate, leading to injuries and even deaths on both sides for many refugees, lack of a steady income makes it difficult to buy firewood or charcoal to fill the gap, and so they often gather firewood themselves from the bushes around the camp. This puts them in conflict with the Turkana, who consider themselves the “owners of the soil.”
In the fulfillment and preparation of the Kalobeyei women empowerment entrepreneurship project, both Healing and Rebuilding Our Community and Alternative to Violence trainings were held at Kalobeyei Friend Church in preparation of the second phase which will focus on training on the sewing project.
Healing and Rebuilding our Communities
This basic workshop was a cornerstone in a larger program designed to build community capacity to respond to wide-spread trauma and to strengthen inter- connections and reduce isolation. They are trained to listen compassionately and accompany family members and neighbors on their journeys of healing.
This is an effort to improve relations between the groups and acknowledging that many of the refugees would likely remain in Kenya for the foreseeable future. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection to others. The solidarity of these 24 women provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest solution to traumatic experience.
“My trauma isolated me from my family and friends, with hatred of other nationality but this group has re-created a sense of belonging.”
“For seven years I have been shamed and stigmatized for being a refugee. This is the first time I am sitting with a Somali woman. I am glad we share the same pain. I am happy they have all listened to me.”
“We women have been degraded, dehumanizes and faulted in many ways. We have been victims of very many bad things, this training is restoring our humanity.”
Repeatedly in the testimony of survivors there comes a moment when a sense of connection is restored by another person’s unaffected display of another person’s story which is mirrored in the trauma of others. The survivor recognizes and reclaims a lost part of herself. At that moment, the survivor begins to rejoin the human commonality.
The overall objective of this initiative is to re-orient the refugee assistance program to contribute to improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the refugees and host communities, better prepare the host community to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities in upcoming extraction and the phase two of this project will reduce over-dependence on humanitarian aid and support the refugees to achieve durable solutions.
Trust walk exercises -- even though we didn’t have scarves for blindfolding, participants used their hands to cover. In trauma we both need help and a helper in our journey of healing.
Alternative to Violence
Many refugee people growupsurrounded byviolence,andlearn toseeviolence and abuse ofpower asnormal andeffective responses toconflict. Violence appears tobethe only viable option forresponding toconflict. Themain objective of this training with the 24 women was;
Toraiseawareness ofthepeople haveinaconflict. AVP teaches thatconflict doesnotneed to beavoided and thatitdoesnotneedtobemetwithviolence. Intheideal world, conflicts can beresolved with "win/win" solutions, onesinwhich everyone leaves withtheirneeds met.
Nonviolence isnotjust astateofmindoranattitude towards conflict. Itisa commitment toactively seektochange theforce orsituation thatdegrade andoppress people. Itis acommitment toaddress violence atits roots.
AVPteaches thatthebestwayto overcome injustice is tocome together asa refugee community andturntoeachotherasresources forchange. This grassroots approach toending injustice emphasizes thatchange ispossible if our refugee communitiescome together andthateachperson hasanimportant roletoplay inthe process. Theyrequire skills thatmust belearned andpracticed, skills thatareintimately related toeach other andthatbuild onone another.
“We are entrapped by violence. No one among us that does not share the capacity for violence, and all of us has been hurt or we have hurt others by means of violence. This training is going to help us as women in finding alternatives ways of dealing with violence.”
“As we plan to start our sewing project. I know we will have disagreement among us. Use of I message as a non violent communication will help us.”
This project promotes conflict resolution and reconciliation. With all this skills participants have develop resilience in relieving suffering, poverty and distress and building and maintaining social cohesion and trust, within and between host and refugees communities.
Report on three AVP workshops in Matungu
First Basic AVP workshop
Sponsors of the Workshop/Meeting/Training: AGLI/ GlobalGiving
Type Of The Training: Alternatives To Violence Project (AVP) basic Workshop
Place/Venue: The Church in Matungu
Matungu is in Mumias Busia road and the church in matungu is situated at the market center, The mobilize brought participants from one Church and most of them were relatives, pastors and ten out of the thirteen women were semi illiterate and some dropped out of primary school and some were husband and wife which became a challenge for them to participant fully however AVP in its methodology, it gives equal opportunity to all without stereotyping, the workshop was well conducted at least passing the knowledge to individual that were open to it.
“I have learnt to respect and care for others which for many years I have ignore that, I will try to help other in my family,”
“I can use these teachings when I preach because they have really helped me as a pastor”
“If this teaching can be taken to our community ant grassroots level, matungu will be a better place to buy a property and leave with your neighbors with fair of being attacked “
“Use of I message is very good, because it bring good communication and correct the mistake without attacking the person that has offended you.”
Evaluation and recommendation that come from the participants one was to teach in Kiswahili, involved youth in peace work, the training to come again, give out handout materials fro future reference, then invite other member of different church. The workshop was not well mobilized, and then having a big number of participant who are not active became a challenge for facilitating team. We had good and more participants in Butere whom could have been given opportunity to do AVP basic training,
NB we dint have lost of Testimonies from this workshop, most of participant just said the workshop was good and they enjoyed the meals.
Second Basic AVP Workshop
Sponsors of the Workshop/Meeting/Training: AGLI/GlobalGiving
Type Of The Training:Alternatives To Violence Project (AVP) basic Workshop
Place/Venue: Butere Sabatia at Omondi's Place
The Burete workshop was done in Sabatia at a place call omondi on your way to Butere, we started with overwhelmed 32 participants mainly youth and church representatives, very active participants who need five days in that training.
With well outlined objectives from the participants through their expectations they wanted to learn how to handle conflict, have the knowledge of peace, get skills on non violence, get platform to teach peace in their community, become youth educators of peace and understanding their role in peace building and get some setting allowance was the message that come from the t 32 participant but on day two we lost two participants and one insisted on setting allowance and maybe that was the reason to his dropping. However the remain 30 though a big class we help them through the process and here are some of the Testimonies,
“This is a very unique training where we are all given an opportunity to share our side of story through practical experiences and the training has been friendly considering some of use didn’t go to school.”
“This training was like preaching to me I am leaving this Training a better youth and I will share this message with my friends who don’t know what I have learnt”
“I used I message on my in law and it worked a miracle after a very long time of misunderstanding between me and her, and I will keep it into practice”
“We have undergone lost of HIV/AIDS training in the enter Butere Mumias and this is one of the Organization that has brought peace trainings for the first time, this opportunity is very timely”
“We have been known of our polygamy lifestyle and this Training can be of great help in our family because lost of violence come about because of lack of communication and affirmation, we never see good in others, our step mother and even our parent fail to love and educate us then we turn against each other with bring conflict.”
“I have learnt that to revise my position if its wrong and working on my anger and reacting so fast then I will be a transformed person, through this, training I am going to bring healing in my family.”
Evaluation and recommendation that come from the participants “Through our churches we need to include this basic peace knowledge to our children to enable them grow up knowing the importance of peace”. Churches also requests for more training in their local church because many are willing to be training. Having A big turnout of the participant it calls for more AVP basic training in Future. We also saw a conflict of interest among church leaders present in the training, wanting to be given opportunity to have this training done in their areas.
Advanced AVP Workshop
Sponsors of the Workshop/Meeting/Training: AGLI/GlobalGiving
Type Of The Training: Alternatives To Violence Project (AVP) Advanced Workshop
Place/Venue: Matungu friends Church
Participants: Male17 female13
The workshop was done in matungu which is in mumias that brought The Advance participants from the borders of siaya and western, mainly the participants were luhya’s Kalenjins Kikuyu and luo’s.With active youthful energetic participants and a conducive environment the workshop was well attended.
The first question two questions on why I choose my adjective name and my thoughts about my basic AVP Training and what I have used, brought new insists and empowerment shifts of the participant weakness to recognizing the importance of Affirmation and using of I massage as a tool of communication has been of great help and has touched and healed many relationships.
‘I am changed, I am not the same again because I have let it go completely, I have realize myself, and from this Advance training I am going to be a better person ’’
“I have already reconcile with my step mother who refused to allow my dad to take me to school, within few days that I have undergone this AVP training, though through the phone, I am thankful and grateful for the good work that you are doing to bring peace and changing in our community through forgiveness and realizing our dark side that has contributed to violence in our families “George.,
“I am willing to be an instrument of peace now that I have realized I can be an instrument of peace which has been ignited within me from this AVP class. We Kenyans, we label others negatively which hinder our journey to restoring the broken trust in our tribes and races because of culture, practically through the Label exercise, I have learnt that despite how we are perceived by others, still there is good in us.
“AVP has taught and help me understand the power of transformation in me. We pray God to give us strength for us to stand firm and built up our community on this knowledge that we have been imparted with. We need to reach out to the rest of our people are still willing to come, and peace will be seen in Matungu”
“Guides to transforming power was an eye opener to me”
Evaluation and recommendation that come from the participants and was to expand programme Network to reach many youth in this area to help them spread the t gospel of peace, We appreciate you for identifying to work at grassroots because violence starts here then it spreads to Big towns. Request for A training of trainers
Longtime supporter of the Chebyuk Peace Center and the Children's Christmas Celebration, Shelly from the United States, visited TCSC in July and spent three days at the peace center on Mt. Elgon.
The 24 women will learn how to sew.
HROC trust walk.
Particpant sewing women in HROC and AVP workshops.
Women with children in small group discussion.