Between 15th – 17th May 2009, Lancelot Thomas (DPI South Africa Country Coordinator) and Callum Scott (DPI International Office ) facilitated a Basic-PACT Enablers’ Workshop for eighteen participants originating in South Africa, Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia. Callum and Lance were assisted by the Gauteng DPI Fieldworkers Martin Mande (Pretoria) and Tewoderos Areda (Johannesburg). The workshop took place in the beautiful and peaceful surrounds of the the Good Shepherd Retreat Centre, Hartbeespoort, just West of Pretoria.
Further diversity was represented among participants as they ranged in age from 17 to in the fifties, with women and men of Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, other Christian religions, as well as one Rastafari in attendance.
During the three days, topics such as the situation in Africa, the human person, stereotypes, the individual in peace-making, writing of one’s life story, and the development of a personal spirituality of non-violence were discussed and shared on.
Many participants were happy to have this time to reflect upon their own lives, and how the journey to living a non-violent life begins in a personal conscious decision to live as such.
In the estimation of the facilitators, this workshop was successful in that relationships built across formerly perceived boundaries were plainly visible for all to see. Moreover, commitments to begin Pan-African Conciliation Teams (PACTs) in their neighbourhoods were given by a number of participants.
DPI expresses gratitude not only to the participants but also to the teams of Good Shepherd Retreat Centre and Ha Phororo Youth Retreat Centre for their hospitality during our stay.