This is a programme, based in South Africa that seeks to facilitate honest conversations between people who share a common history and want to build a joint future. It promotes nation building, healing, creates new networks of learning across traditional barriers. From this can come change and even new and practical initiatives to address social and economic problems.
How does Connecting Communities work?
It is a facilitated dialogue. A workshop for conversations, for sharing, learning and healing. There is no blueprint for this work, save the willingness to be honest in one’s motives and actions, to leave ego at the door and to be an active bridge-builder. Silence and reflection also help to mobilize the inner resources and discipline needed to speak and listen without blame or judgment.
It is a process that starts when one person, or a group, decides to meet others from a different community at the point of their deepest needs.
How long does the process last?
The workshops may be over one or two days, usually over a weekend. But this is often just the start of an ongoing dialogue and engagement. The workshop is the catalyst.
The intention is also to continually train and empower others to facilitate these dialogues so that a groundswell grows of people and communities building bridges, learning from each other and exploring new opportunities for change.
The workshop is facilitated by people trained in the skills of both promoting dialogue and listening.
How do I get a Connecting Communities process going?
First, see a need for healing divisions and decide you want to get involved.
Then, speak to others in your network and ask them if they would like to make a difference and build bridges.
Then contact Initiatives of Change to discuss how to start the process.
If you want to discuss the Connecting Communities programme and find out how to be part of this movement, contact one of the following: