By
Mary Lean
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28 October, 2013

Facilitation training in Burundi

Creators of Peace facilitation training in Burundi
Creators of Peace facilitation training in Burundi
‘It’s very moving when people tell you with tears in their eyes that Creators of Peace has changed their lives, after their country’s been at war,’ says Kate Monkhouse, Treasurer of Creators of Peace (CoP) International and member of CoP UK’s Advisory Group. She spent 12 days in September in Burundi, on the invitation of CoP International President Daphrose Ntarataze, helping to train peace circle facilitators.

After many years as a refugee in Switzerland, where she worked at the University of Geneva and won an award for her work in the community, Daphrose has recently returned to live in Burundi. Fourteen participants from different organisations and communities attended the facilitation training. All had already taken part in peace circles and ranged from students to mature professionals, including teachers, social workers and psychotherapists. 

Creators of Peace facilitation training in Burundi
Creators of Peace facilitation training in Burundi
‘They were highly motivated to build for the future of Burundi,’ says Kate. ‘The violence of the 1990s and 2000s is still very recent for people. It was incredibly moving to hear their stories. You can see the scars on the landscape  –  ruined buildings, and large scale deforestation because the rebels were thought to be hiding in the forests. You can see the tiredness in people, and the poverty is huge – but at the same time there is new life everywhere, babies being born, children going to school, women working in the fields, new shops opening, celebrations……’

A team of five women have taken responsibility for the development of Creators of Peace in Burundi, with plans to roll out a series of peace circles and follow-up activities. ‘The aim isn’t just to deliver peace circles but to support women as they work for peace in their communities,’ says Kate. After this course, Daphrose and a colleague went on to deliver the same training in Cameroon. ‘We hope that Burundi will become a resource for the region.’

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