I woke up at 7am with a tingly feeling of excitement passing through my veins. Gradually opening my eyes, I could see the rays of sun shine on my beds. I reached up tall and leapt out of bed. Today is our last day on Mount Madonna Center. We had the privilege to meet Mr. Jerome Sigamani and talked about Drivers of Peacebuilding.
In the lecture, we learnt about Gandhian concept towards conflict resolution & peace. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. According to this philosophy, conflict is omnipresent in the life of an individual living in this world. We can see and feel a conflict at various levels. In today’s society, conflicts are so apparent and prevalent. Millions of people have been killed in conflicts in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan,… and many other parts of the world. Looking back, we can see the roots of these conflicts, many of them are initiated by the so called the developed countries. The impact of conflict on any community cannot be captured by statistics alone. Many civilians, especially women and children, have to experience various trauma such as violence and deaths.
One of the most interesting activities in class was to analyze a case study about a village in Nicarague. In this exercise, at first we looked at the situation from different angles. The country in the case faced two major armed conflicts due to inequality in land holdings. It also suffered political instability. The population was divided into supporters of government and other others. Drugs and gangs had taken over streets, which increased conflicts between gangs. From top to down level, there was a lot of corruption and control by militia. Meanwhile, from bottom to up level, disunity and lack of community leadership was apparent.
As a group, we were able to come up with solutions from two approach. The first thing was to break down discrimination and disunity. This approach would result in a revolution. Clear examples could be an increase in community ownership by supporting families with small business. An a result of domino effect, this could be spread out. From top to down, we thought about a positive dictatorship. Since the country had a lot of conflicts at the same time, a benevolent dictator would help to solve violence and unify people. Still, we agreed that this would not be the most effective approach.
From this exercise, I found it important to analyze roots of any conflicts and consider different parties/ stake holders at the same time. Conflicts have led this world into lot of wars, lives, physical damage, trauma,… and many times making the generation suffer. I hope to be a part of the team that create a better world. I would love to end this final blog post with a quote from Gandhi. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.