JACKY, WOMAN MEDIATOR IN PEACE – Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Funds (WPHF)
The story of Jacky, a woman mediator in peace in Onyama
“The couple I helped was about to split up, the woman had already left for his father’s house but I went there to ask her to come back to her husband. Now they are still together and even built a house bigger than mine.”
Onyama is one of the sub-county of Gulu district where around 15 Women Mediator for Peace (WMP) were trained by GWED-G within the program Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Funds (WPHF), to bring peace in their own community and villages. Jacky is one of them.
Before Jacky and the other WMP were registered for GWED-G’ trainings, they were going through various types of conflicts in their communities which was causing problems at an interpersonal level and intra-groups level. Among the challenges were:
- People were running out abandoning their family to avoid the conflict
- Many conflicts inside houses, affecting children’s stability
- Clan conflicts, affecting stability of land ownership
- Restricted access to the care service, as health specialist are very expensive and not everyone could afford it
- Increase in gender inequalities, as women encountered difficulties to be heard and listened to, as most of the health specialists are men, causing inward-looking.
When GWED-G approached this community to enable them to participate in the training “How to mediate conflict”, each villager were asked to identify the person they want to be represented by. This is how Jacky was appointed to be a Women Mediator in Peace (WMP) representative. She’s feeling very delightful and proud of representing peace in her village.
Training & linkage
Jacky and the other 15 WMP of the sub-county Onyama were trained by GWED-G on conflict mediation strategies: How to talk to individuals who lose hope in a conflict & how to handle conflict issues, mostly between women and men. They were also taught on how to apply these strategies at different levels: interpersonal conflicts; conflicts involving two people; intra- & inter- groups conflicts; as well as intra-communities conflicts.
They were also linked to different service providers and stakeholders including government, police and legal entities, and trained on how to report to them when a conflict situation is difficult to handle by itself. Allowing them to be totally independent in their actions by knowing who to contact when needed.
Results of the training
- Police cases are reducing thanks to the WMP sensitization work
- Families stay together and build a strong future together
- Better allocation of money at home; money earned personally is more easily used to build the future together as there is less fear of conflict leading to run away
- Money is spent in an intelligent way and not only for one’s own consumption (alcohol, going out etc.)
- A better understanding of one’s rights and duties through the prompt and fair application of the legal rules by the WMP
- The level of gender inequality reduces as women started to be listened to and men adopt a more open-minded behavior without getting frustrated by women’ stubbornness
- Children are less impacted and gained in growing stability
- It built the confidence of many men into women as they understand that a WMP not only seek peace for women, but for everyone.
- Peaceful coexistence seems more affordable.
- Less gender-based violence (GBV)
Results of the linkage.
- The WMP are part of a strong network and they know that they can rely on each other
- Most of them are asking helps from others and act as a team
- The more they move around the more they are making new friends; they feel respected and treated at their right value
Challenges they are encountering
- To pay for the travel fees when they are asked by other WMP to help them in other region
- There is a lot of conflict to handle, sometime difficult to answer to all of them.
They now hope that more women will be trained in the future. To reach at least one WMP in each village and ease the work, reduce travel fees & strengthen their network.
This Success Story was written by Charlotte Ziegler, Swiss volunteer working with GWED-G for 2 years. 09.02.2022. © GWED-G.