From 4 to 8 September 2023, ACCORD in partnership with Bekezela Community Foundation (BCF), under the auspices of the Mpungose Traditional Authority, convened a Community Engagement and Dialogue Training for youth in Eshowe, South Africa.
ACCORD and BCF have been hosting a series of dialogues on social cohesion for youth representatives from Eshowe. The dialogues focused on the role of the youth in contributing to social cohesion, fostering peaceful co-existence and mitigating conflict. Following the last dialogue hosted on 6 – 7 June 2023, the participants developed a strategy to help build social cohesion and prevent conflict in their communities. They also elected representatives to oversee their social cohesion activities. The youth identified facilitation and dialogue skills as being necessary to implement their strategies, and requested training to build this capacity within their community. The training therefore helped build the skills of these youth thereby promoting their active role in shaping and convening community engagements and dialogues as part of building social cohesion and preventing conflict.
The training included an accredited Community Engagement Facilitator Course with Institute of Social Engagement Facilitators in South Africa. The training introduced the art and essence of community development, built facilitator skills, unpacked the role of communication in social engagements, and provided an introduction to conflict management, including how dialogue can be used a tool to prevent and mitigate conflict. During a reflective session following the training, the youth shared on their confidence to start implementing social cohesion strategies within the community. They also committed to meet and engage on planning a way forward as a collective.
The training aligned with ACCORD’s strategy and efforts to enhance the role of youth to prevent, mitigate and resolve complex conflicts.