Scouts in Africa Embrace Dialogue for Peaceful Communities
The 4th Regional Dialogue for Peace Training was held on 21-23 December 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 27 participants attended from; Kenya, Seychelles, Mauritius, Burundi, Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. There were also 4 participants from the YMCA and the Kenya Red Cross Society as well as 6 facilitators from Botswana, South Africa, Niger, Namibia, Kenya and Russia. The young people coming together to appreciate the role dialogue is playing in the progress of different societies especially in Africa got new perspectives on how to appreciate dialogue. “We are by nature social beings and only by embracing dialogue will we be able to live together in harmony like civil beings,’’ said the Jonathan Omondi, the Director for Scouting Development at World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre during the opening ceremony. He went ahead to indicate that the programme was increasingly becoming popular in Africa and many Scout organizations were embracing it and implementing its educational concept.
In his opening remarks, the Regional Director for Africa Mr. Frederic Tutu Kama-Kama encouraged the participants to gather as much information as possible and pass it along once they reached their National Scout Organizations. “We empower you to empower others. Listen carefully, ask many questions. Learn as much as you can and share the knowledge with other young people when you get back to your country,” said the Director.
The participants learnt a lot about how their dialogue skills can be used in their lives and how no matter how different they are from each other, some common ground and mutual points of interest can be found. They took a closer look at the building blocks of identity, and how we ascribe different weights to our sub-identities and backgrounds.
With regular breaks to refuel and refocus, the participants also had free time to learn about each other and discuss their viewpoints on the subject matter. This training has brought together many different people in the pursuit of a common goal–learning to facilitate a culture of peace. Dialogue is a tool to promote a culture of peace, starting with tolerance and eventually growing to respect difference and ultimately appreciate the differences between individuals.
This training has been supported by KAICIID Dialogue Centre and Messengers of Peace.