Forty eight delegates from eight districts were shown how to use tools to address conflict in their communities under NPC’s project, Religions to Reconcile.
The project is implemented by NPC in partnership with Generations for Peace (GFP), an international peace-building organization based in Amman, Jordan and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The goal is to strengthen community networks mentored by religious leaders and engage them in building consensus for Transitional Justice and a pluralistic identity.
The programme was held in all three languages. In addition to theoretical sessions on peace building and conflict analysis, theory of change, beneficiary community and key stakeholders’ inputs, and risks and assumptions, the delegates also held sports activities and art sessions.
Alena J. Tansey, Deputy Director, Office of Governance and Vulnerable Populations, USAID /Sri Lanka and the Maldives told the delegates that by engaging in dialogue with their communities and learning important peace making skills, they had shown their commitment to longstanding peace in Sri Lanka.
“People-to-people reconciliation programs are important to building lasting peace. By bringing together individuals or groups of different ethnic, religious, or political backgrounds, these programmes provide opportunities to address issues, reconcile differences, promote greater understanding and mutual trust, and work on common goals,” she said.
She added that USAID recognised the steps taken by NPC to engage the public on these efforts, as lasting peace requires the support of grassroots communities to succeed.