The Ecumenical Church Leaders Forum (ECLF) together with its partners who make up the Program Steering committee (PSC), last week visited Mudzi and Mutoko Districts in Mashonaland East province for an excursion of some of the community projects that have bloomed from ECLF’s Conflict Prevention Management Resolution and Transformation (CPMRT) trainings.
The two- day excursion saw the PSC visiting five projects in the two districts, the Mukota C clinic under construction in Nyahondoro ward 9, a classroom block for Nyazvihunda secondary school also in Mudzi district. Community members have been surviving under harsh conditions as they have been travelling more than 15km to access health facilities while school children have also been subjected to travelling long distances and some opted to stay home as there were no secondary schools nearby.
In Mutoko district the local peace commitees there were running a Pundutso poultry project, Peace groundnut project and have constructed a clinic which is now already at roof level. They expressed the same sentiments of having to have unreachable health facilities prompting them to construct a clinic.
All these projects were spearheaded by Local Peace Committees (LPC) that were formed after going through the CPMRT trainings conducted by ECLF. Before the intervention by ECLF the communities had been failing to work together towards any developmental initiatives within their communities. The LPC’s have become community peace educators teaching and preaching the gospel of peace in their respective communities and encouraging people to set aside their political or religious differences and work together through community cohesion projects that will allow for community development.
What was fundamental for the PSC members was how the peace building initiatives being implemented in Mudzi and Mutoko district have not only shown that the communities have embraced the ECLF’s peace building program but that as communities they have gone further to do developmental work and livelihood programs that have seen them being able to sustain their families.
The ECLF is a forum of like-minded Christian leaders, both clergy and lay, who saw the need to meaningfully contribute towards conflict management and resolution. These leaders were drawn from across denominations and mother bodies, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference and the Union of the Development of Apostolic Church in Zimbabwe and Africa. ECLF has over the years emerged and focused on a peace building programme duped ‘Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation(CPMRT) which is being implemented throughout the country.
Peace begins with me, Peace begins with you, Peace begins with us. Church and community working together!