Peace & Reconciliation
Goals and Objectives
- To build mutual trust and understanding and respect among the people of Burma towards National Reconciliation;
- To raise awareness to grassroots people to understand the issue of conflict management, conflict resolution, peace building, social justice, gender justice, and non-violence; and
- To have increase peace agents to educate the people of Burma
- Providing Grass-root peacebuilding follow-up training mostly to the women from Burma at the Bangladesh, Thailand, India,China and some areas inside Burma
- Holding “Training Of Trainer” (TOT) training focusing on the role of “Women As Peacebuilders” and to educate to the people (including Men and Women) in various communities along Thailand, India, China, and Bangladesh borders, as well as inside Burma on peacebuilding concept in various ways
- Holding activities on International Day of Peace for commemorating and grassroots peace education campaign focusing on this day on September 21 for petition to UN Security Council, vigils, prayers, marches, community celebration functions
- Holding Monthly Women Peace Exchange on various issues and Peace Speaking Tour for Children in the border areas
- Publishing book entitled “Overcoming the Shadow” in languages of Burmese and English that have been distributing locally and internationally, and other things for Children’s peace education booklet
- Attending International conference and make Networks in the International level
- Producing T-shirt with the message of what is the meaning of peacebuilding and distributing it locally and internationally particularly on International Day of Peace
- Documentation activities: Translating some books in English to Burmese (eg: Entitled “What is Partriarchy?” and “Feminism: Relevant Question to South Asia”)
In the first conference held in 2001, the Women’s League of Burma had prioritised, among others, to build peace and attempt to eradicate all forms of violence in Burma especially of violence against women in both public and domestic sphere. Since then, the WLB has been implementing number of programs in order to reach this prioritised decision made in its first conference and among these, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Program has been one priority.
In 2000, WLB conducted a workshop on the role of women in peacebuilding by learning experience from South Africa, in which women leaders from WLB member organizations participated. In 2001, a seminar on role women in peacebuilding and reconciliation by learning experiences from Sri Lanka, Colombia, and Northern Ireland. Resource persons included the UN Special Reporter on Violence against Women, and senior male and female leaders of ethnic and political oppositions attended this seminar.
In 2002, Women as Peacebuilders Program were initiated under the Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Program, to carry out peace education, conflict management and negotiation skills training. The Program has built up a strong team with a group of women who have been attending series of training on peace, negotiation skills, conflict management, conflict resolution, non-violence technique and gender issue.
For the first team of twenty women, the Peacebuilders Program conducted two training – beginner (2002) and intermediate level (2003) of peace building, conflict resolution and management. This team trained another thirteen women in June 2004, and then together they received another advanced training in July 2004.
The first training of the Women as Peacebuilders Program Year I: 2002, Training of Trainers (TOT) – Beginner, was held in March 2002 for five weeks. This initial training was successful in many ways: the participants left with a deep understanding of peace and a readiness to raise the challenge of building it. During the training, the following topics were covered: Community building, cooperation and trust; Communication; Cultural and ethnic diversity; Violence and non-violence; Gender and
gender-based violence; Power; Conflict analysis; Conflict resolution; Mediation, dialogue, reconciliation; Characteristics of a peacebuilder; Spirituality and peacebuilding; Planning for action; and Facilitation skills.
For many of the women, it was the first time they had ever interacted in a meaningful way with people from different ethnic groups, and Peacebuilders Team was successfully formed by the participants to further strengthen their commitment and work on peacebuilding in Burma and strategize follow-up action plan to reach out to their respective communities by organizing training and workshops.
With this plan of action after the first training, the Team members returned to the respective communities and by later of the year carried out twelve follow-up grassroots level training within their own communities in Thailand, India, Bangladesh, China, and inside Burma with more than 300 participants as direct beneficiary. These projects took place over a six-month period and attendees from the respective communities gave feedback to the Team that these trainings were quite relevant, valuable and pragmatic for individuals and groups in dealing with conflicts and building peace at personal, family and community levels.
With the goals set forth below, the Peacebuilders Team plans to implement the tasks of grassroots awareness/consciousness raising activities and actions, documentation, research, and capacity building.