Community Healing: A Training Manual for Zimbabwe

Since 2013, the IJR’s Justice and Reconciliation in Africa (JRA) Programme has partnered with the Peace Building Network of Zimbabwe (PBNZ), a network of 19 local nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that are involved in community peace building activities across the country, in order to develop a community healing manual that will standardise and strengthen efforts involving community healing processes in Zimbabwe. The manual, whose modules were written by Zimbabwean peace workers who are members of the PBNZ, is the outcome of three successive workshops conducted in Zimbabwe over a period of two years in which modules were drafted, presented and revised, with such workshops culminating in a training-of-trainers workshop designed to create a core group of ‘reconciliators’ from the membership of the PBNZ. The idea of a training manual emanated from the realisation that violent conflicts result in dysfunctional, wounded and divided communities that are trapped by fear, anger and all forms of social ills that create a breeding ground for fresh cycles of violence. The manual was produced to enhance the capacity of members of the PBNZ in their peacebuilding work by way of a bottom-up approach that also seeks to complement the role that will be played by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) and other local and national processes. Specifically, the manual is intended to develop the capacity of members of the PBNZ in their efforts to heal communities devastated by political violence, as well as by future instances of violent conflict, so that peace can be sustained in Zimbabwe. It is therefore a tool to be used by civil society and other development workers to assist communities to draw a line under their past experiences of political violence and rebuild relationships based on peace and development. The manual uses simplified language necessary for community work and equips the trainer with knowledge and skills, as well as with a variation of methodology, relevant for specific modules so as to save time when preparing for training sessions. At the end of each module, there is a list of references for conducting further research on the concepts discussed, when required. The manual is designed as a total package for fieldwork whose methodology promotes participatory training and facilitation that will capture the participants and keep them engaged, while at the same time leveraging their own existing knowledge to enable them to become part of the community healing process.

Date of publication: 2015
Edited by Webster Zambara