The Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) conducted Peace and Access to Justice Trainings in Harare and Bulawayo respectively in June as a way of encouraging young people to take an active role and be ambassadors of Peace in their communities and the nation at large. This is in line with the organisation’s #iam4Peace initiative which seeks to motivate young people to play an active role in keeping peace in their communities and the nation at large despite the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe.
Youth are active citizens and protagonist of social change in conflict-affected communities and YETT through its partners working in different parts of the country continues to engage young people looking for a better world where PEACE is possible. YETT as a youth-networking organisation that is committed to the full participation of young people in sustainable development through advocacy and capacity building of youth and youth organisation in Zimbabwe, saw it as a necessity to conduct these Peace trainings. This is because Peace is everyone’s responsibility and everyone has a role to play in keeping peace from the local to the national level, including young people. Peace within a community enhances community development. The first training of this nature was first was conducted in Harare on the 28th -30th of May 2019 and was attended by over 50 young people from different parts of the country. The trained “Peace Ambassadors” came as far as Odzi, Domboshava, Mutasa, Mutoko, Bindura and Harare.
These Peace training were a three-day process which involved “Conflict Mapping” on day 1, “Access to Justice” on Day 2 and day three focused on “Online Citizen Journalism”. The organisation engaged various experts from different fields like Lawyers and renowned journalist from various newsrooms. Conflict mapping and which was conducted on Day 1 helped the Peace Ambassadors to be able to identify different types of conflicts that are found in their communities and in the country.
“For me the Conflict mapping training was of great importance as a young person because it is essential to know that each conflict has got its own history and everyone has to understand it. I was also able to identify various types of conflicts that exist in my community” noted one of the beneficiaries of these trainings Nqobile Dube from Bulawayo. The conflict situations listed by these Peace ambassadors were those where communities were experiencing or recovering from and these are the Land Reform Programme, Gukurahundi, Mutambatsvina period, tribalism, past injustices, political conflicts, vendors and city council conflicts, miners and the community conflict etc.
“For me it was important to note that National Healing is a post conflict process of dealings with the wrongs of the past and ensuring peace, unity and peaceful coexistence. As young people we also have a role to play in Healing and Reconciliation process and we have to be aware of that role,” said Melody from Young Achievers Sport Development (YASD), YETT partner organisation based in Hatcliff Harare.
“The Access to Justice Trainings were carried out to concientise young people of different types of forms of Human Rights (from the definition, characteristics of Human Rights and knowing where People’s Rights come from.) The training also involved assessing the level of knowledge on Human Rights among young people and identifying various barriers to Access to Justice. For the trainings to be a success, YETT engaged the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) for Harare and Christian Legal Society (CLS) for Bulawayo. “I enjoyed the Access to Justice Training because l now know that Rights are things we are allowed to be, to do or to have simply by being human. I am also now aware of First Generation Rights and Second Generation Rights something which l did not know before this training” noted Terry from Victory Siyanqoba Trust (VST), YETT’s partner based in Bulawayo.
Online Citizen Journalism trainings helped the beneficiaries to know the basics of story writings and different ways of storytelling. It facilitated an overall understanding of citizen journalism among young people and knowing the principles and ethical considerations when conducting citizen journalism.

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