African Nonviolence Trainers Exchange

Start date: 
26 Jul 2012 - 29 Jul 2012

War Resisters' International and Ceasefire Campaign in South Africa in collaboration with the African Women's Active Nonviolence Initiative for Social Change (AWANICh), Women Peacemaker Program of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) and the Organization for Nonviolence and Development of South Sudan (ONAD), are proposing to organise a nonviolence trainers exchange to take place between 26 – 29 of July, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Despite the achievements of nonviolent action and peacebuilders in many parts of Africa, some Africans still believe that violence ultimately needs to be combated by violence. The continent has been blighted by many forms of physical violence: the spectrum ranges from state and non-state armed groups, including some that kidnap children and train them to kill, through economically-motivated criminal violence, to domestic violence, and recently "hate crimes". For instance, even though the South African constitution was the first in the world to recognise gay and lesbian rights, there is a growing incidence of attacks on lesbians.

This project is a first step in a several-year programme to strengthen the network of nonviolent action trainers throughout the continent. The development of nonviolence training in Africa has been patchy. This project will therefore empower African partners to broaden their understanding in nonviolence and create an opportunity for interaction, learning and networking. Building a strong alliance between the WRI, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) and other partners in Africa is critical to establishing a nonviolent continent. It will involve sharing skills around nonviolent campaigning and constructing nonviolent alternatives. It will further contribute in reducing gender based violence through empowerment of both women and men with knowledge and skills in transforming gender based violence.

This project is part of a bigger project of WRI for strengthening its work in Africa, together with other international partners, such as IFOR, IANSA and possibly the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (Washington, DC). WRI is planing to hold its 2014 International Conference in South Africa, hosted by WRI's member, Ceasefire Campaign. The International Conference aims to bring up to 300 participants from all over the world, half from various parts of Africa. The theme for this conference "Challenging the Continuum of Violence: from Domestic Violence to Military Alliances”. The Training Exchange is part of this bigger process, where by bringing African trainers together we can strengthen cooperation between groups in Africa working for nonviolence social transformation.

African Nonviolence Trainers Exchange

The African Nonviolence Trainers Exchange will be a four days exchange of trainers from several African countries who have experience in nonviolence training. The four days will bring together trainers from different networks and countries to meet and share their experiences and skills, while also looking at the challenges faced when promoting nonviolence training in African countries. We will also look at the potential of forming a network of African trainers that can serve as a base point for sharing experiences, resources, and mutual assistance. The four days will be divided in such way that there is time for active participation of all participants, by using participatory methods used by the trainers themselves in their training. T


DAY 1 – 26 JULY


  • Introduction of participants
  • Agenda review
  • Brief presentations from each group present
  • Mapping of different groups/networks working on nonviolence training in Africa

Concept of nonviolence: Defining and Developing an African Perspective

  • Nonviolence as a principle and nonviolence as a technique
  • Nonviolence aspect of our faith
  • What nonviolence offers to social movements: new perspectives
  • Is there a distinctive African approach / tradition of nonviolence

Gender and active nonviolence

  • Gender disparities and impact on peacework
  • To explore the challenges of men and women working together in active nonviolence in Africa
    Nonviolence and masculinities
  • How to integrate gender issues into training for nonviolent action

DAY 2 – 27 JULY

Nonviolence as a global movement of movements

  • Mapping of current expressions of civil resistance movements
  • Role that nonviolence training has played in these movements
  • Looking at new ways of nonviolent organising by the youth – e.g. role of social media (opportunities and risks)
  • Role of accompaniment in conflict areas, the case of Nonviolent Peaceforce
  • Beyond the so-called “Arab Spring:” Lessons from recent protest movements
  • Opportunities for nonviolence within social movements in Africa

DAY 3 – 28 JULY

Actions – Campaigns – Movements

  • What we understand by actions, campaigns and movements in Africa
  • What tools/resources we use for action / campaign training
  • Experiences in training for nonviolent action
  • Presentation of Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns and model for campaign development

DAY 4 – 29 JULY

Nonviolence training networking

  • How can we better link activist in the region
  • Needs of activists and trainers to better work together
  • Explore the possibility of forming a Pan-African nonviolence network
  • Presentation of proposal of WRI/Ceasefire Campaign International Conference for 2014
  • What we need to implement the 2014 Proposal
    • Evaluation and follow up

      Practical information


      Once participants let us know the time of their arrival, we will attempt to organize some timeous transport that hopefully will be with Ceasefire Campaign members’ vehicles and at no cost to you. However, in case you are coming earlier, or are not sure of your time of arrival, the following
      information should help.

      There is also a maxi taxi at a cost of R350 per trip. No other known public transport, except for Gautrain which is a fast train from the Airport to Johannesburg and Pretoria. It runs on a timetable and includes buses from stations. Unfortunately the bus routes are not appropriate for those who have to be dropped off at Stay City Hotel. The Gautrain Fare to Park Station – near our offices/the training venue but not the Hotel - is R125. People can also be picked up from this point and dropped at the hotel. Commuters will need a gold Gautrain card (R10) to board the train or bus. Attached is a brochure with Gautrain information.

      Stay City address: 46 High Street, Berea, Johannesburg,+Berea,+Johannesburg,...

      Foreign exchange info:

      The foreign-exchange outlets of ABSA bank, American Express, Rennies and Master Currency are all in the public concourse of the International Arrivals hall. ABSA also has an outlet in the holding lounge of International Departures (not for the use of South Africans). Once in Johannesburg banks services are plentiful. See also

      SA Tourism health tips link:

      Average Weather in Johannesburg for July

      • Sunlight 9 hours a day
      • Coldest July temperature -4 °C
      • Coldest daily temperature 3 °C
      • Warmest daily temperature 20 °C
      • Warmest July temperature 24 °C
      • Morning Humidity 72%
      • Evening Humidity 31%
      • Rain in July 7 mm

      For more information contact:

Programme African Nonviolence Training Exchange .pdf74.72 KB