Friday, May 20, 2016

Creators of Peace Follow up visits at Shurugwi, Gweru, Zimbabwe 

On 22 March 2016, Creators of Peace facilitators from Gweru, Angie Katito and Adelaide Mhunduru visited Shurugwi for a follow-up session with the two groups trained in peace building at the end of 2015. Twenty-five women in all.

The reports were very encouraging. One creator of peace, Precious, contacted Angie and apologized for not attending –the reason being was that she had travelled 400 kilometres to be a creator of peace to her own family who was breaking up.  She reported that using the creating peace material she had learnt in the previous year, she was able to help her son and his wife reconcile.  She was just as excited about her results as the facilitators who felt that their work was not in vain. 

Precious, also reported that, due to the Peace Circle (PC), she had been reconciled with her mother. In particular she was grateful for having gone through the PC as she was able to forgive her mother who had been very abusive in her childhood.

Another lady who had attended the PC, Vongai, was so excited about what she had learnt that when her friend was getting married, she invited Adelaide to attend the bridal shower, which was attended by a large number of girls and ladies, to share on peace.  Adelaide spoke about inner peace, peace in the family, which can only come by observing the four moral standards (honesty, purity, unselfishness and love). The talk was well received and Adelaide received many invitations to continue to talk about peace creation.

Another participant, Emma, shared how she has used her training on peace to address the ladies at her church on peace in the home and emphasized to the senior ladies to welcome their daughters-in- law and also to release their sons to their wives.  She was happy to report that the ladies from her church were very eager to hear about peace creation and were keen to attend Peace Circles if they were planned for in their area.

Francesca shared how the Peace Circle training had changed the atmosphere in her community.  As secretary to the Headman, she had always monopolized the benefits meant for the community at large, but after the PC she has embraced absolute unselfishness and now deals fairly with everyone.  She has also been reconciled with her daughter-in-law.  She reported that another participant in the PC, Rudo, had always been a problem in the community when donors came to issue food handouts.  Francesca reported that there was a definite positive change in Rudo as she did not complain or fight when she was left out of these handouts.  She attributed this change to the Peace Circles. She is so excited about them that she already has another group of twenty people ready to attend the next PC.

Tsitsi reported that listening to her inner voice has changed her outlook to life.  She no longer gets upset quickly or angry but waits to hear what her inner voice says before she reacts to a situation.  This has helped her to be at peace with other people and her family.  Emma supported Tsitsi in the importance of inner listening and reported how inner listening had helped her comfort a child at her mother’s funeral when no one had realized how broken she was.

Tambudzai had always been a trouble maker in her family, but after the PC she reported that she now only responds to challenges after listening to her inner voice.

Susan reported that absolute honesty had become part of her life and healed her relationship with an aunt and in the family. She had now become a peace creator in her home.

Shupikai mentioned that she had been a peace creator at her church where there had been misunderstanding between a pastor and some of the congregation.  She had resolved the issue without any confrontations.  She said she had been approached by one of her neighbours who said that she admired her new found peace and wanted what she had.

Shamiso said she had received news that her mother, who was in another village, was very sick.  She did not have enough cash to travel to her mother and ferry her back in order to take care of her and get her treated.  During her quiet time, she listened to her inner voice and had the thought to send the little money she had to her mom, which was just enough to bring the mother over and she was able to take care of her.  She said she now appreciates her quiet time as she feels led to do things that are beneficial to her and her family.

A twenty year old, Nyengeterai had major problems with her husband but after the PC, is now a humble wife.  She can now get to plan the family finances with her husband without conflict.  She now applies all the four moral standards and is living a peaceful life.  Using these standards she helped her brother and his wife reconcile.  She had grown up with an alcoholic and abusive father and her father had cursed her.  After the PC, she was convicted to visit her father and ask him for forgiveness.  They were reconciled and her father asked for her forgiveness for cursing her. They prayed together.

The only negative aspect of the review pertained to three sisters who had been abused by their maternal grandmother.  The three said they had failed to forgive their grandmother.  Although Adelaide and Angie offered to accompany them to seek peace and reconciliation with her, they indicated that they were still very bitter and were not ready to forgive her.  No amount of persuasion from the facilitators and from the other participants could make them change their minds.  The facilitators have suggested that their mother and aunt who are part of this abuse be invited to attend the next peace circle to be held in that area.  Although these three are battling with lack of forgiveness in their family, due to the abuse from their family, they have made progress in their relationships with their neighbours since the PC.

Adelaide and Angie would like to thank and really appreciate their Swedish friends for sponsoring these current Peace Circles.  These Peace Circles are truly making an impact in our community and in the lives of people.

Report by Adelaide Mhunduru and Angie Katito