Earlier this summer, I facilitated a training in Peace Advocacy in Oussouye, Senegal as part of our ongoing work to support the Comites de Paix (Peace Committees) and community-based radio stations in the Casamance region. As discussed in the report of my last trip, the Casamancais people have endured a civil war between rebels and the Senegalese national government for the last 25 years.
The three day training in Peace Advocacy in Oussouye took place immediately following a three day trans-border festival of youth culture, organized by World Education Casamance for 500 youth from Casamance, Guinea Bissau and Gambia. I attended this youth festival, held in Sindian, Casamance, April 28-30, as a guest of the World Ed team. The training I facilitated, Plaidoyer et la Gestion Sensible du Conflit (Conflict Sensitive Peace Advocacy), took place May 2-4 in the town of Oussouye, and was followed by a de-brief for future planning.
The festival of youth culture was a profoundly exciting, engaging and effective experience, including ample opportunity for youth to sing, dance and compete together, as well as an intense day of collective dialogue about both the aspirations and the responsibilities facing the youth of the three countries. The festival culminated in the formal delivery of a declaration on the part of the youth to their respective leaderships at all levels. Continue reading