The Fellowship of Reconciliation Zambia [FORZA] is a non-profit making, non-political and nongovernmental organisation. It is a national, spiritually-based movement of people who, from the basis of a belief in the power of love and truth to create justice and restore community, commit themselves to active non-violence as a way of life and as a means of transformation, personal, social, economic and political. FORZA is a group of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation [IFOR] based in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. The organisation initially incepted as the Youth Forum for Peace and Justice [YFPJ] in 1999 was forged to equip men and women with peacebuilding skills and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution in three core areas Non-violence Education and Training [NVETP], Women Peacemakers [WPP] and the Youth Empowerment and Children’s rights [YEP/CR] programmes.
Between 2000 and 2005, the organisation’s activities were concentrated in Zambia’s Copperbelt region. However, in 2006, it spread its tentacles to operate nationally both programmatically and structurally. This transformation which has also witnessed the change in the name of the organisation brought tremendous impetus to confront unprecedented challenges.
The affairs of the Fellowship of Reconciliation Zambia are overseen by the National Governing Committee [NGC] which is the principal decision making body between FORZA National Councils. Its members are responsible for translating the directions and recommendations decided upon by the National Council into a programme[s] of work for the National Secretariat. The NGC is composed of thirteen members, including the National Chairperson, Vice National Chairperson, National Secretary and Treasurer. At least one member of the National Governing Council shall be drawn from each of the nine provinces of Zambia.
The National Secretariat of FORZA is situated in Kitwe and coordinates and facilitates the national activities of the Fellowship of Reconciliation Zambia including the three core programmes of FORZA namely Women Peacemakers, Youth Empowerment and Children’s rights and Non-violence Education and Training. The current NGC National Chairperson is Mr. David Chisanga.
In its quest to accomplish the vision and mission statement, FORZA has set out among others the following objectives;
I. Educating students and young people from existing institutions of learning on peacebuilding and conflict transformation skills in order to institutionalize reconciliation, justice, non violence, and peace education.
II. Promoting and protecting the rights of both women and men by fully supporting and campaigning for upholding and respect of various human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
III. Promoting and supporting through publications, trainings and the mass media a culture of peace and nonviolence locally and nationally.
IV. Building the capacity of grassroots and local women’s groups through training in order to increase their self esteem and reduce their vulnerability to domestic violence.
V. Supporting young people in and out of school as they respond to the challenges of their situation. Achieving this by carrying out research into various issues affecting them, identifying the underlying causes of these and finding ways of remedying such.
VI. Training youth leaders in churches, political and community based organisations in leadership skills and how to develop their potentials towards building peaceful institutions and a just society.
VII. Training political and civil society leaders on the fundamentals of good governance non-violent conflict transformation, democracy and social justice in order to entrench a culture of reconciliation and co-existence among all political stakeholders.
VIII. Promoting and advocating for peace, justice and development through lobbying and educational campaigns with special emphasis on the participation of women in all developmental initiatives.
IX. Promoting through lobbying, consultations and publications inter-political party dialogue, consultations and joint reflection among stakeholders in the governance system on the need for reconciliation.
X. Organizing trainings for women in active non-violence and conflict transformation and creating a forum to build awareness on their rights and encourage them to participate in social activities.
NEWS & REPORTS
IFOR YOUTH OPPORTUNITIIES
Submissions from the Youth Empowerment and Children’s Rights Programme of FOR-Zambia. This is a summary of what you will find contained within this report: Nonviolence Handbook, Introduction to Poverty Reduction Strategy Processes, Nonviolence Sensitisation and Awareness Project, International Youth Gathering.
Fellowship of Reconciliation Zambia
WHAT WE DO
The Nonviolence Education and Training Programme [NVETP] was launched in 1999, immediately following the inception of the organisation. It was established to train and educate students’ leaders and young people in peacebuilding, non -violence and Leadership skills in order to develop their potentials towards building peaceful educational institutions.
1. Peacebuilding skills training for teachers,
In addition to the above activities, other achievements under the PEP to date, which deserves particular highlighting include the initiation of about 11 Peace and Justice Clubs in each of the ten districts of the Copperbelt, training of youth church leaders in peacebuilding and conflict transformation skills as part of FORZA’s outreach component and the establishing of reliable contacts (networks) in the ten districts of the region.
Currently, the programme is working on the ‘Active Non-violence Project’ whose Key activities will include Active Non-violence Trainings for students and members of the peace and justice clubs to enable them acquire skills of handling conflictual situations non-violently and Consultation meetings with teachers to get input on the production of a student’s Non-violence resource/ training handbook to serve as reference material for the clubs in their subsequent activities within their respective institutions. The project funds permitting will commence in June 2007.
Conceived in the year 2000 and kicked off its first activity in 2002, the Women Peacemakers Programme of the Fellowship of Reconciliation Zambia It focuses on organising trainings for [young] women in active non-violence and conflict resolution and transformation. Furthermore, provide a forum to build awareness on their rights and issues affecting welfare thereby encouraging them to participate in social activities within the mainstream society.
The WPP operates in close collaboration and under the framework of the FORZA as a legally registered organisation in Zambia through the ministry of home affairs under the society’s act. To date, the YFPJ has trained close to 500 people most who have been young people but of these an encouraging 30 percent have been women [older and young adults] through the WPP activities and projects.
In 2005, the Women Peacemakers Programme [WPP] with the help of volunteers from the Fellowship of Reconciliation Zambia carried out a survey between July and August on gender based violence in three core focus areas of Kitwe District namely Kawama, Twatasha and Racecourse. The survey revealed that 65% of the respondents from the three areas did not understand that domestic violence was prevalent in their community despite a 63% record of manifestations of bodily bruises. Since the three areas have similar demographic and socio-economic conditions of the other two areas earmarked for the initiative and other compounds in the Copperbelt, the findings assumed to be microcosmic of the other districts
Against the foregoing, in 2007, the WPP launched a year long Gender and Peacebuilding Awareness Project to increase Women’s Awareness of Gender Issues, Inequalities and Violence in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. The project is expected to complement existing efforts and enhancing the capacity of young women and the traditional initiators to promote gender equity and balance. Thus, the project will bolster the search for gender awareness model that responds to the needs and realities of the contemporary Zambian context. It will cover activities such as
Gender Sensitisation Talks - aimed at both boys and girl from Copperbelt based basic and high schools will seek to increase the student’s level of awareness of gender issues and ensuring a well informed and gender literate critical mass of women.
1. Gender Based Violence Awareness Workshop - The activity will aim at introducing participants to gender issues with a bias towards gender based violence which often has its genesis in the marriage orientation.
The Programme was launched advance educational and economic knowledge among young people in order to build their capacity and promoting self-reliance. It also seeks to provide youths and children with an opportunity to understand the fundamental and academic human rights. It is seeks achieve this through leadership training, capacity building and creating awareness among Children and Youths in Education institutions. Since inception the programme has networked with other youth organisations locally and internationally. The programme has also augmented the efforts of the NVETP during the PEP when it assisted in arranging the Peace Education Quiz competitions for basic and primary schools between the year 2004 and 2005.
In 2007, the YEP/CR is seeking support to implement the ‘Education for Peace Project’ which seeks to create awareness on peace values in early childhood education. The Education for Peace Project [EFP] is premised on the principle that children are like young plants that mature and flourish when nurtured with regular loving attention. Despite parents being the natural custodians with a significant role to play in the up-brining of children, a big fraction of their children’s time is spent at school and it’s in these institutions that they are often fed with things that shape their future.
Although young people in high schools and colleges seem to have been sensitised on their various liberties and freedoms, their frequent pre-disposition for violent reactions against injustices is due to their foundation. Children are hardly ever exposed to peace values and/or peaceable lifestyles during childhood. Instead, it is appears that some children are from their early ages socialised to adopt only one response when faced with differences or conflict and that is violence. There is, therefore every need to have children receive different orientation as far as inculcating peace values is concerned. Since, success of the work for a peaceful world, either by the scholarly community or peace practitioners alike hinges to greater extent on the foundation that is laid.
The project will further walk the focus groups through a series of activities including Education for Peace Training Workshops; Peace Education Competitions such as quiz contests, singing, poetry, reading and pictorial displays/drawings by children; receiving peace resources or reference materials and participating in regular consultations and field visits. At the end of the project tenure, the implementing agency hopes to have reached out to about 90 early childhood teachers, 100 pre-primary schools and 1,500 children from ten different districts of Zambia. It is expected to commence in August 2007 and end in July of 2008.