Malawi: NICE Trust Takes Peace-Building Campaign to Nkhotakota

17 January 2020

The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust on Thursday took its peace-building sensitization training to Nkhotakota where the Trust implored residents to peacefully coexist ahead of and after the delivery of the judgment in the Presidential Elections.

Kalindekafe demonstrates how social inequality can be a source of conflict in a country. .-Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times Nkhotakota stand-up comedians dramatising conflict resolutions mechanism.-Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

Held under theme: Shifting Minds and Hearts: How can we help to build a culture of empathy, tolerance, peaceful existence in diversity, to create a world of change-makers and peace makers?, the meeting attracted participants from chiefs, civic leaders, politicians, the police and the district council.

NICE Trust national programmes manager, Gray Kalindekafe, described the training as very critical for Malawi, saying it will contribute to peaceful coexistence and social cohesion among all people of Malawi ahead of and in the aftermath of the impending judgment from the Constitutional Court.

He said as a civic education body in Malawi, they have a duty to raise awareness and contribute to processes that can build our nation looking at the political tension and violence incidences happening in recent months.

"The question that we all must ask each other is: How do we create a world where everyone is a change-maker? A world where everyone has both the will and the skill to make positive change in their own lives and the lives of others? Where everyone strives for peace - peaceful coexistence, respect for diversity and accommodate universal human rights and rule of law?" said Kalindekafe.

He disclosed that NICE, with technical and financial support from The Commonwealth, is training members of peace-building committees at district level and Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) representatives from the districts so that they are able to build capacity among their respective constituents to be able to handle conflicts arising from differences on politics and other affiliations.

NICE intends to use various innovations to contribute to the peace-building efforts for 'mindful living and personal transformation: strategies to create change and manage conflict by developing such personal practices'.

"Through this approach communities will be able to create an inner capacity to effect constructive personal change, which ripples outward to create community change and understanding. We, at NICE, reckon that peace-building is a collective responsibility and requires concerted efforts. It is against this background that we have also facilitated the presence of like-minded peace-building stakeholders during this training," narrated Kalindekafe.

The half-day meeting attracted participants from the faith community, representation from political parties, community policing forums, the Malawi Police Service, traditional leaders, and other community leaders.

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