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Tuesday, 09 March 2021 10:12

Learning About Democracy

Under the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Activity, NPC organized a training programme on the Resilient Communities Through Everyday Democracy module in Vavuniya for 36 participants. The group included 31 co-existence society members and five Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members. Through the Training for Trainers that was held last year, co-facilitators were trained to handle the training for the grassroots level community platforms.

The training was conducted by two co-facilitators to enhance the participants' basic understanding of the democratic society and its values; brainstorm and recall learnings from participants' past on a value-based democratic society; and identify key issues and areas to focus their efforts on for a value-based democratic society.

Interactive tools and techniques were used based on adult learning principles to encourage a productive dialogue among participants on different thematic areas including reflection activities and games, group work, plenary discussions and brainstorming and individual reflections and follow-up agreements.

During the first session, an explanation of democracy was given through an activity of self-reflecting and presenting one’s identity through various images, keywords or paper cutting while empowering individuals to respect their uniqueness and differences. The second session provided a theoretical understanding of the concept of democracy while allowing participants to brainstorm their opinions, perceptions and reflections on their version of democracy with practical examples.

During the third session, facilitators explained the presence of multiple opinions in society. The session provided a snapshot of participants’ opinions, perceptions and reflections on democracy. It reflected on realities such as divisions in the society, how they are created and consequences of such divisions.

The fourth session was carried out based on a role play to reflect the challenges in collective decision making and action. The intention was to let participants to use their aesthetic talents while reflecting on the practical challenges they faced at the community level in collective decision making efforts. “Ensuring a cohesive relationship among the communities while creating the path to reconciliation is necessary to strengthen democracy, which should be practiced in our daily lives,” said LIRC member Veluppillai Thanapalan.