After a good night’s rest the Delegates returned to the lecture hall ready and eager to engage with the content of Sochi Camp 2014, Day Two. The core content addressed revolved around Conflict, Peace and Peace Building.
During her sessions, Pioneer Facilitator Safiya Ibn Garba stressed the importance of understanding the distinction between violence and conflict: while violence is a dangerous response to conflict, conflict is natural, unavoidable and necessary. She went on to discuss conflict transformation (the approach adopted by GFP), in which violent and/or dangerous responses to conflict are transformed into healthy and supportive expressions of conflict. John Paul Lederach (2003) categorises these expressions of conflict within the following dimensions: personal, relational, structural, and/or cultural.
Safiya concluded her session by explaining that, only after recognising the root of the conflict (the epicentre) and the various forces that can affect a conflict, can an individual or group identify who, and what to target during their interventions. After a morning focused on conflict, and relevant concepts, the Delegates participated in a Sport For Peace session where they were asked to apply all they had learnt. Not to mention, it was a great opportunity for the Delegates to get outside, exercise and develop their team building skills.
Take away points:
Your responsibility as a Generations For Peace Delegate, and as a peace practitioner engaging in conflict transformation, is to identify the epicentre of your conflict, decide which dimensions are relevant to the conflict in your community (which dimensions you wish to target), and to familiarise yourself with the forces at play in your community (so you know who your target group/the people you want to work with should be). You can then use this knowledge to inform practical, custom-made tools to transform conflict in your communities, as was demonstrated in today’s Sport For Peace session.