Monday, October 9, 2017

Facilitation of the FIDA Creators of Peace Circle, Uganda

This is a report of the Creators of Peace Circle that was conducted for FIDA, Uganda on the 7th and 8th September, 2017. The two-day Peace Circle was the very first one to be facilitated by Creators of Peace, Uganda through its project, ‘Living Peace’, Uganda.

FIDA is an association of women lawyers operating in a number of districts in Uganda, whose main focus is to provide legal services and advice to vulnerable women and girls. The Peace Circle was conducted at the FIDA headquarters in Kampala and was attended by 12 women, mostly FIDA lawyers and staff and a few representatives of their sister organizations.

Facilitation was done by two people, namely:

1. Mediatrix Masava, Coordinator of Creators of Peace, Kenya, which facilitated the Peace Circle for Living Peace, Uganda and provided the Creators of Peace Facilitators’ Training for the same group between January and May 2017.

2. Margaret Kabanda, a member of the Living Peace Circle, Uganda and one of those trained as a facilitator of Peace Circles by Mediatrix and her colleague, Judy Mumbi of Creators of Peace, Kenya.

At the very start the facilitators’ concern was whether they would be able to fit the three-day programme in the two days allocated by FIDA. Furthermore the participants seemed somewhat sceptical about the decision to engage them, as lawyers, for a whole two days in a workshop on peace creation. These doubts, however, disappeared soon after the introductions when Mediatrix took them through an engaging exercise to identify the meaning of peace. After that there was eager anticipation and exciting exploration from one Gathering Point to another throughout the rest of the two days.

Thanks to the innovative confidence and experience of Mediatrix, all the Gathering Points were sufficiently covered in the two days. The sessions that had the most profound impact on the women were Story Telling, Inner Listening, Inner Peace and Listening to Others. The facilitators would have wanted to spend more time on storytelling, debriefing and engaging the group in more in-depth discussion of those issues that are most on their hearts and minds but time could not allow. Nevertheless, at the end of the two days the lawyers confessed that peace creation was indeed a very necessary ingredient in their personal lives and an invaluable tool in addressing the concerns of the often unhappy and vulnerable women who receive FIDA services. They were also happy that, except for one, which required more training, all the expectations they had listed at the start of the Peace Circle had been met in the two day sessions.

In the absence of the Executive Director of FIDA the workshop was closed by the Finance Manager, who also officiated at the giving of certificates to the participants. In her closing speech, the Finance Manager promised to mobilise and support some women in her locality to form a group, which Creators of Peace, Uganda would facilitate into a Peace Circle. She would inform us, she said, as soon as the group is ready.