Democratic Republic of Congo: Students of Mpiko High School train in active nonviolence



As part of its campaign on active nonviolence, Pax Christi International, in partnership with the Centre d’information et d’animation missionnaire, CIAM, continues its journey with its training series. From Tuesday the 18th to Friday the 21st of September 2018, students from Mpiko High School in Lemba commune benefited from this training on active nonviolence. For four days, the girls of Mpiko High School, assisted by their teachers, were called to awareness, educated for change and improvement of life through the notion of active nonviolence.

The first day was devoted to the issue of conflict, the second to violence, the third to nonviolent communication, and finally the fourth day to active nonviolence.

In his interventions on conflict and nonviolent communication, Jean Baptiste Nsawanga explained to the young women how to prevent and manage conflict. The trainer indicated that it is not good to hide or stifle the conflict because conflict is natural, normal and neutral. We must instead capitalise the conflict and consider the result.

Speaking of nonviolent communication, the trainer called the students to a soft language in their communication because the tone used in a given context can ignite or calm the situation. You need soft language that gives a lot of consideration to your interlocutor.

Trainer Manuella Kidiamboko told the young women that violence is a consequence of a conflict which has not been well-managed. It is when one abuses force to do justice; it is a misguided aggressiveness. The trainer talked about different forms of violence, including speech, behaviour, attitude, thinking, looking, etc. She said to the participants to not use violence to respond to violence or injustice but rather to take a nonviolent attitude.

On the last point of nonviolence, the speaker explained to the girls that it is a matter of resolving the conflict without resorting to violence, but expressing oneself to give her position on such and such a thing. Nonviolence does not mean to be passive, and active nonviolence is the attitude of denouncing evil and fighting it with appropriate strategies, like peaceful marches, sit-ins, petitions, strikes, etc.

Student Makiona Pricillia of 5th Literary said the training opened her eyes to what she thought was the good of violence. "After this training, I will repair with those I have injured and I will now fight against violence," she said.

Schoolgirl Nzama Genovic of the 6th Literary said she had followed with interest this training on conflict and nonviolence "because between girls, in our classrooms, there are conflicts. And sometimes we are not able to solve them ... With this training, we acquired the knowledge and techniques to manage and resolve conflicts so as not to fall on violence that could lead to punishment or exclusion from school."

Sister Générose, Prefect of Mpiko High School, thanked the initiators of the formation of Pax Christi International and CIAM as well as the trainers for choosing the school she runs. "It's very beneficial for girls. We will work with them on what they have learned during the training so that they in turn can train the younger ones. This allows them to become aware and empower them. The training will allow them to work to improve not only themselves but also to improve the society ... We are in a process to revisit our rules of order. This training falls well because we will involve students in its development."

Launched on 28 July 2018, this series of training sessions on active nonviolence by Pax Christi International is given in parishes, schools and universities in the capital Kinshasa.

Click here to read the entire article in French on DIA-CENCO's website.


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