Creating Resources (Day Five)

After a powerful sharing by gender trainer Gladys Gbappy-Brima of Sierra Leone, the last day of the consultation began with a Training Market. Participants were encouraged to share and 'shop' for training resources that they needed. Blank charts labeled 'Networks', 'Strategies', 'Exercises and techniques' and 'Written materials' were placed around the large plenary hall, and groups congregated in front of each chart, based on what participants needs.

Training Networks

Every participant either belonged to or had heard of specific training networks. Some networks were organized around specific issues, such as the Association of Women in Development or for specific regions, such as the Balkan Action Network on Small Arms or CAFOB: Collectif des Associations et ONA Feminines de Burundi. Some useful peace-oriented training networks included:

  • The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP--which has a women in peacebuilding program WIPNEP), Ampomah House, 37 Dzorwulu Highway, Box CT 4434, Accra, Ghana. Web: www.wanep.org
  • The Centre de Resources pour la non-violence (CRNV), 1945, rue Mullins, bureau 160, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3K 1N9. Web: www.nonviolence.ca

There were many needs listed for written materials, especially in languages other than English. Success stories of African and Asian women activists and practical training materials on gender and nonviolence topped the list. Materials on spirituality and nonviolence, and how to integrate spirituality into our trainings, were also requested. Some training materials that were mentioned include:

  • "Women and a Culture of Peace" workshop kit and poster from the IFOR Women Peacemakers Program
  • From Violence to Wholeness (FVTW) manual from FVTW, Pace e Bene, 1420 W. Barlett Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada 89106, USA. Web: www.paceebene.org

Participants had a great wealth of experience in training strategies, including strategies for working with specific communities, such as lesbians and gays; media workers; rural communities and youth. The needs were also great: how to include men in our work was often cited, as were strategies for working with young people, with illiterate communities, and strategies for building women's leadership in movements that are currently dominated by men.

Among the needs for exercises and techniques there were specific requests for exercises showing similarities between nonviolence and feminism, and the contributions they make, exercises showing importance of considering gender in nonviolent trainings for men and women, videos or DVDs that show exercises on gender and nonviolence, and handbooks on training techniques for peace education.

The consultation ended that night with a traditional northern Thai meal. The excited conversations and high energy during the meal, and the sad goodbyes the next day, resulted in a critical last question for all the participants of Asking the Right Questions: how can we continue the sharing that was begin here?

Shelley Anderson is a WRI Women Working Group member and Program Officer for the IFOR Women Peacemakers Program.