The community peace cadres are 35 people who got Conflict Transformation Trainings in 2007 and maintained bimonthly meetings/workshops to share information and experience, to learn new knowledges and skills, to enable them play role as peace facilitator/dynamisator in their communities. They are village leaders, youth leaders, government staff at sub district level, Imam Mesjid/religious leaders, and ex-combatants. Beside part of ongoing capacity building, the regular meeting of cadres also serve as early warning system, to help us know the dynamics and emerging problems in the communities we assisted and find solutions before the conflict getting worse.
After the success of the meeting last March, in May 2008 we facilitated another meeting of cadres in Kuala Pling Village, Bubon Sub District. The theme of the meeting was “We and Peace Work”. This is an important and relevant topic to be discussed, besides to increase the knowledge of the cadres, but also to help them realize their role for peace work in the communities. Many parties understand work for peace merely as to solve disputes between two parties and that it is the duty of police, government, NGOs or mediator. In the meeting we asked the participants to realize that work for peace is responsibility of everyone in a community. It is not only a formal duty, but a service or social responsibility of a community member or leader. Consequently, they are all peace workers in their communities. To accomplish the responsibility for peace, we have to build peace within ourselves before bringing peace to others.
After this basic understanding, we invited the participants to reflect some guidelines for peace workers in the communities through a game. We put the “key words of the responsibility of peace facilitator in the communities” in balloons. Each participant was asked to break a balloon and try to explain what is the meaning of the key word for him/her. Other participants also gave their comments to the explanation or give contextual application/ a concrete example. Before moved to the next key word, the facilitator of SUNSPIRIT gave stressing and summarizing the discussion.
This method encouraged active participation of all participants. The participants learned the role of the peace cadres in the communities and reflect the implications for themselves. Based on the dinamics of the meeting, we can conclude that, at least at discourse level, the cadres are able to play role as faciliator for peace in their communities.
At the end of the meeting we made an evaluation, plan the nect meeting, and said a prayer for sustainable peace in their communities and in Aceh in general. The evaluations shows that the participants are happy with the meeting because they got new insights for their role in the community. The next meeting is in July 2008. The village of Seuneubok Trap will become host for the meeting.