Creators of Peace (CoP) was launched in 1991 at the Initiatives of Change (IofC) Conference centre in Caux, Switzerland, by Hon. Anna Abdallah Msekwa of Tanzania, a respected politician and leader of women’s organizations.
Despite the success and transformative work of CoP worldwide, and the idea having been conceived by a Tanzanian, the initiative had been dormant in the country for many years. It was revived from 31 August to 2 September 2018, as the first Peace Circle took place at Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE). The group consisted of 17 participants aged 24 to 35, fresh university graduates and professionals. Our community, and our nation at large, is facing a lot of challenges such as domestic violence, poverty, gender imbalance, oppression or inferiority complex. As a result, these women felt a need to come together through the peace circle to address those issues with a collective intention.
Participants and facilitators with Hon. Anna Abdalla Msekwa who launched the Creators of Peace women’s initiative in 1991 in Caux, Switzerland.
On the first day, the participants were thrilled and humbled to have Hon. Anna Abdallah Msekwa as a guest. In an inspirational speech, she shared what peace meant to her and its significance in everyday life. Expressing her joy and her faith that this would mark the beginning of an active CoP Tanzania team, she stressed that “the CoP initiative is no longer for women only but for all mankind to create everlasting peace”.
“Amani ni hali ya kuwa na uhuru, utulivu na upendo kwa mtu binafsi, familia, nchi na Dunia” (Peace is a state of having freedom, calmness and love from a personal, family, national as well as worldwide level) was one of the powerful definitions that emerged from the ‘What is peace anyway’ gathering point.
Participants in a group discussion regarding circles of concerns.
Exploring their concerns, categorized into national, community and family concerns, participants had a moment to reflect on their own contribution to those and on possible solutions or positive contributions. A concern that stood out was that of environment pollution by careless disposal of garbage from citizens in the streets, which was alarming. Chezyeto pointed out how this behaviour had eventually become a menace. She took the commitment to no longer dump litter and all participants agreed.
Different members shared their stories in the safe space of the Peace Circle. ”Story sharing is healing to one’s soul”, Nancy commented. “During the story sharing one gets the honour of learning from others”, added Twilumba.
The topic of forgiveness was powerful in touching participants’ hearts and lives. Elizabeth wrote: “I have learnt that forgiveness starts with my own acceptance of wrongs done, and it should always begin with me”. A screening of the South African documentary Beyond Forgiving reinforced the power of the session, showing forgiveness as a way of living creatively in the face of irreversible harm. Participants shared the many lessons they had learnt from the way the protagonists managed to bring healing and reconciliation.
Participants lit candles on the last day of the training representing the light of peace in the world and to mark the reviving of the CoP Chapter in Tanzania.
It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness… Gloria and Dosca, the IofC Tanzania Coordinators, worked tirelessly to revive Creators of Peace Circles in the country. In this first Peace Circle, they encouraged participants to keep the candle burning and all committed to play their part.
The support of IofC Tanzania was well represented and the peace circle was humbled to have Joseph Badi, Secretary, officially close it. He thanked the two CoP facilitators from Kenya, Mediatrix and Mumbi, for travelling all the way, and awarded certificates to all participants.
Following the Peace Circle, Chezyeto shared that it changed her lifestyle to a great extent in that she has become more positive, calm, confident, forgiving, wiser and competent in judging her own thoughts before putting them into action.
Elizabeth said the Peace Circle upskilled her knowledge on forgiveness and peace and she got to understand that inner peace is related to growth, development and reaching one’s goals. She learnt that she has a personal responsibility to spread peace and help her community.
“Now that I have learnt the importance of reflections, I will examine my own thoughts and actions to see that I am not a destroyer of other people’s peace”, reported Judith.
CoP Tanzania thanks all the funders of this Peace Circle, CoP International president Amina Dikedi-Ajakiaye. and international members, all guests, participants, facilitators, logistics assistants, DUCE University and everyone else who made it possible.
To support CoP Tanzania kindly contact Gloria Masangia, National Co-ordinator on +255 712 449 477 or email@example.com