PYCD steps up peacebuilding training ahead of 2023 elections
By correspondent – A Chipinge-based youth empowerment lobby group, Platform for Youth and Community Development Trust, conducts peacebuilding training workshops in Manicaland where they encourage communities to refrain from s engage in political violence.
The organisation’s director, Claris Madhuku, said he wants to promote peace and tolerance between communities as the country prepares for the 2023 elections.
Madhuku said so in his statement on the International Day of Peace 2022.
Below is PYCD’s statement for the International Day of Peace 2022:
PYCD Statement on the 2022 Edition of the International Day of Peace The Platform for Youth and Community Development (PYCD) joins the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace. The theme for this year 2022, as announced by the United Nations, is “End Racism. Build Peace”. The International Day of Peace is an opportunity for the PYCD and the world to dedicate time to strengthening ideals of lasting peace, non-violence and ceasefire.This year’s celebrations come amid the Russian-Ukrainian war that has escalated into an international humanitarian crisis threatening food security, international relations and global peace.As messengers of lasting peace, PYCD celebrates this day by showcasing to the world some of our work to prove that local peacebuilding is needed more than ever if the world is to achieve development goals. and, in particular, SDG 16. SDG 16, which calls for peace, justice and strong institutions, aims to provide access to justice by building effective, accountable institutions and inclusive at all levels. Strong institutions promote the pursuit of administrative justice for vulnerable members of our society and help fight racism and discrimination and build lasting peace. We note that racism, like discrimination and violent conflict, undermines and erodes economic confidence through long-standing, endless and destructive grievances. The theme of the year confirms that peace can only strengthen long-term and sustainable social cohesion, tolerance and mutual respect within communities. This can be achieved through concerted efforts by government, business, civil society and community organizations like the PYCD. PYCD has flagship projects involving key stakeholders such as National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Resettlement Rural Community, International Youth Peace Group (IPYG) and Green Fuel Pvt Ltd, among others, to localize lasting peace within our communities. The PYCD intervened in the various land and border disputes scattered in more than 20 neighborhoods of Chipinge district. These land and border disputes have escalated into uncontrollable violence that has left homes burned, families divided, divorces on the rise and livelihood opportunities on the decline. Thanks to the involvement of the NPRC and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, the conflict is now manageable. The PYCD has since mediated in the violent dispute involving local communities in Chipinge with Green Fuel Pvt Ltd. Local farmers in Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa have been arbitrarily arrested, beaten and imprisoned without a platform for dialogue.
After six weeks of training under a project called “Revolutionaries and Revolutionaries, in Search of Dialogue”, the violence subsided. Although some of the localized community structures are still resisted by the company, these community actors have supported local peacebuilding efforts today. The PYCD has also successfully intervened to quell sexual assault and violence that was historically and culturally justified in local communities. Through one of our projects on “Providing Safe Spaces for Girls and Young Women,” PYCD’s work has offered guidance while promoting coexistence between men and women. The lot of girls and young women has been severely compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic, ravaging livelihoods, families and power relations within communities. The PYCD has noted a gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on girls and young women, which in turn has manifested in violent crime. In the current work of the PYCD, we have observed that election-related political violence is escalating and therefore calls for intervention by ensuring that responsible bodies like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission engage productively to prevent 2023 from becomes a violent election. Election-related violence has remained a major concern for Zimbabwe since 2000. PYCD calls for the responsible involvement of young people in peace at all levels to create mass awareness of the roles they can play as as citizens other than being abused by political parties as perpetrators of violence. Inserted by the PYCD News Service For more information, contact: [email protected] +263 773 010 331/+263 778 656 638