Workshop on Peace Education Meets Religion
It was an exciting experience for us to fulfill our commitment to Berghof Foundation and Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Bamenda to try out methods from the Peace Education Meets Religion manual.
Beacon of Light Association -BeLA shared with some 15 women participants from different religious background on Peace Education meets Religion. The participants had the opportunity to evaluate the training manual as a tool in peace education especially within their communities
During the training, we looked at Johan Galtung's most popular definitions of violence. He uses a wide understanding of violence. To him, violence refers not only to individual and collective
actions but also to culture and systems that support and justify its use. This was demonstrated in the method Triangle of violence.
We looked at communication for conflict transformation where participants got to recognize different viewpoints within one discussion through visualization in the Conflict Modes method. They were made to understand how to direct thinking processes instead of classifying thinking or thinker.
Participants become acquainted with different possibilities of interaction in conflict situations, learned to recognize them and reflected on their personal behavior in conflict situations, both in religious and non-religious contexts. This was done using the Change Hat Method.
We also looked at people form various countries and regions and their creative approaches to deal with conflict situation in their region using peaceful means. These people provide inspiration on the multiple possibilities for action, engagement, and participation for constructive conflict transformation and the promotion of peaceful coexistence within communities and societies.
This workshop is a continuation of BeLA's effort to see and experience sustainable peace in our community. We firmly believe that peace education should strengthen the peace potential of religions while religions’ peace potential can be an excellent starting point for peace education.