The Zaka community has embraced ECLF peace building initiatives and have made strides in upholding peace. This came to light during an ECLF partners’ forum held in Masvingo from the 4th to the 7th of June. During the forum delegates took time to engage with community members who have been recipients of ECLF peace building programs and toured some of the community cohesion activities underway.
While expressing gratitude towards ECLF peace building initiatives one of the community members at Rwemhepo bridge, showed the delegation her blistered hands which she called “blisters of peace” developed while carrying rocks to help construct the bridge. Other community members gave testimonies in support of the ECLF peacebuilding initiatives highlighting how it had healed their emotional wounds, transforming their behaviors hence paving way for community development activities.
ECLF and its partners managed to tour three wards in Zaka district were communities are in the process of carrying out activities that are meant not only for community development but for fostering peaceful coexistence. The three wards which are Ward 5 Rwemhepo where the community are finalizing construction of a bridge, ward 20 Zibwowa where community members have mobilized resources and are making final works towards the completion of two classroom blocks for a secondary school and ward 21 Chiromo were they are constructing a clinic. These activities have brought communities together, working towards a shared vision despite their political, religious and ideological differences. The projects demonstrated how peace can drive development.
Since 2015, ECLF has managed to carryout Conflict Prevention Management Resolution and Transformation workshops in all the 34 wards in Zaka and have conducted capacity building workshops for Local Peace Committees (LPC) in 20 wards. These LPCs have been instrumental in sustaining peace through working with the rest of the community members to spearhead developmental projects. These developmental projects have provided an alternative for conflict management mechanisms in communities and fostered community cohesion. The community cohesion projects focus not on the profitability of the venture but on how the project has managed to bring communities to work together translating to peaceful coexistence.
ECLF continues to carry out its peacebuilding work in other districts throughout the country and envisions a peaceful, just and democratic nation which values the dignity and sanctity of human life for all people.