Building peace from within

2016-08-30 06:00
Professon Brian Williams, standing left, and Facdo chairperson Ricardo van Niekerk, with the group from the organisation who took part in the peace workshop at Windermere High School in Kensington. PHOTO: gary van dyk

Professon Brian Williams, standing left, and Facdo chairperson Ricardo van Niekerk, with the group from the organisation who took part in the peace workshop at Windermere High School in Kensington. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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Building peace plays a big part in maintaining safety and security in communities and the Factreton Community Development Organisation (Facdo) is part of that initiative.

On Saturday 27 August members of the organisation were part of a peace workshop to empower themselves to make a difference in their community.

The workshop was facilitated by Professor Brian Williams, who runs the Brian Williams Consultancy. He explained that for the past 40 years young people have been killed in the Kensington-Factreton area every year.

“In the past few months, a number of young people have been shot or injured,” he says.

“The government and other agencies have been unable to stop the destruction of these young lives. This is alarming and unless there is a comprehensive strategy, more lives will be lost not only to killings but also from drug and alcohol abuse.

“As part of its vision of providing support to vulnerable communities our consultancy decided to provide high level peace training to the community. This is done under the banner of the Kensington-Factreton Ratepayers and Residents Association and the convocation of the University of the Western Cape is also involved in the training project.”

He further explains that the peace training for young people and others from the area is personal development focussed and also provides strategic tools to strengthen inner peace for each participant so that they can be conceptually empowered to change their circumstances.

“The peace training provides the participants with the opportunity to understand the different aspects of peace and how peace can be built in practical easy steps.

“We start by getting participants to decide if they are interested in learning about peace and conflict transformation. Once they show a commitment then, the real learning begins.

“I believe that it is possible to start the building of a strong peace movement in the area where people will recognise that the only way that anything will change is when we take responsibility to tackle the problems we face in the community. We are our own liberators is the foundation of our learning approach.”

Chairperson of Facdo, Ricardo van Niekerk, says that this was a very exciting initiative for the organisation.

“We are serious about making our areas safe through peace processes,” he says.

“The participants were inspired and now motivated through this training to be able to contribute to our community.”

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