(Buea-Cameroon) The Global Forum for the Defence of the Less Privileged, GFDLP, has schooled over 50 media practitioners, members of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, youths, and local leaders, in the Southwest Region on Peace Building and Conflict Transformation.
This was during a capacity building seminar at the Pan African Institute of Development for West Africa, PAID-WA.
According to the President and Chief Executive of the GFDLP, Baudouin Akoh Ngah, the initiative to impart knowledge on some key actors stems from the veritable role the concerned play in fuelling or foiling the on-going crisis rocking the two English-speaking Regions of Cameroon.
“Our objective is to promote dialogue for peacebuilding and also to see how we can transform the on-going deteriorating situation into shared benefits for the suffering masses. Perhaps, that is where the media and Civil Society Organisations, not leaving out youth groups, come in. Their daily interactions with the population opened up a window for us to communicate to a wider audience, and transform their mindsets into peacebuilders and conflict resolvers rather than promoters,” he explained.
He called on the participants to use the training as a springboard to reach out to many persons as possible. Christening them as ambassadors of peace and conflict transformation, Akoh Ngah challenged the participants to print their names in the sands of time by positively participating in giving the population renewed hopes and a course to transform their challenges to opportunities.
Participants were drilled in various aspects of conflict initiation, resolution, as well as transformation, not leaving out ways of promoting dialogue using the peace building models.
One of the Trainers, Prof. Uwem Essia said, “We trained on the inevitability of conflicts; the peacebuilding process peace journalism, the role of the media in conflict transformation; and the various tools that can be used to promote the peacebuilding process, as well as transform the mind-set of the population. The models we used have been tested and proven worthy in other conflict-prone areas. Our desire is that the participants will be able to translate what they learned into concrete actions in their communities”, he said.
The participants remarked that the training was timely and would shape their reporting and interactions with the population for good. They promised to use the training to add value to the lives of people in their communities.
Stanley Tah, a reporter with Eden Radio said, “There are a lot of things I took for granted when pitching my reports and even during panel discussion programmes. This training has helped to make me understand that such actions only fuelled the crisis. From this day onward, I would be pitching my stories on nonviolent communication methods, and promote development through conflict transformation mechanisms”.
The training was part of a project to promote the dialogue process for peacebuilding through the media and youth mobilisation across the two English-speaking Regions.