Peace Works Zimbabwe

Peace Works Zimbabwe supports two peace-building initiatives in Zimbabwe:

  • Alternatives to Violence Project Zimbabwe
  • Peace Clubs in Schools

Alternatives to Violence Project Zimbabwe (AVPZ)

AVPZ is part of an international movement.  Quakers in Bulawayo were introduced to AVP (training in conflict resolution) when David Jobson, a former member of Milton Keynes Quaker Meeting, was Director of Hlekweni Training Centre in Zimbabwe.  Training came from Southern Africa Friends with finance mostly coming from the Friends of Hlekweni Charity 

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Establishing a Peace Clubs Network

In 2016 a meeting with Bulawayo Peace activists resulted in a collaboration with the social responsibility arm of the Brethren in Christ Church (BiCC).  This established a network of eight primary school Peace Clubs.   These schools experienced a reduction in bullying and a more peaceful school ethos.

The network was led by Sibo Ncube.  Friends of Hlekweni provided funding to support a Peace Clubs Network, enabling AVPZ to give hands-on training in conflict resolution and to hold networking conferences.

Sibo Ncube leading the first teacher induction meeting

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Secondary School Peace Clubs

In 2018, five secondary schools introduced Peace Clubs.   Their success resulted in (Quaker) Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) funding the induction of twenty more secondary schools in one particular district.  Now schools in other districts are wanting to access training.

Mr Mpofu, District Schools Inspector, Matobo district:-

“I have been monitoring school children’s positive behaviour in the pilot schools compared to those that have not been inducted, there is a huge difference.  There is need to induct more schools so as to inculcate positive peace and friendship value to our future generations.”

Mr Mpofu, Schools Inspector, at an induction day

Dorothy Moyo of AVPZ:-

“We have met with the Deputy Provincial Director of Education from Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Mr T Sibanda, and the DSI responsible for Guidance and Counselling at provincial level, Mrs L Moyo.  Both are committed to assist us and champion the cause of peace clubs.  They are supportive of the idea of introducing peace clubs in more schools in Bulawayo if possible.” 

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Timeliness of the Work

  • Teachers are very keen to access conflict resolution training
  • The work supports the shift away from corporal-punishment led discipline
  • The new constitution makes corporal punishment illegal so new approaches to discipline are desperately needed

Some feedback from the teacher induction day in 2021:-

“Wow, what an eye-opening workshop, wish I did this a long time ago.  It would have transformed thousands of lives”

“This was very enlightening and I saw the need to introduce that in our school”

“I am now ready to equip the learners from my school on how to resolve conflicts in a non-violence manner”

Teachers being introduced to APV training

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A Peace Manual for Zimbabwe

So far, an American text has been used.  This is unsustainable; texts need local contexts that speak directly to readers.

  • A locally adapted peace curriculum will be more effective and more readily accepted and used
  • The manual is written by Dorothy Moyo and Mandlenkosi Moyo in Zimbabwe and Don Rowe from Milton Keynes Quaker Meeting
  • A trial edition of the secondary schools’ manual is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Education; approval will accredit its use nationwide
  • The manual will be trialled for a year and revised before formal publication

Dorothy Moyo and Mandlenkosi Moyo at work on the manual

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Continuing Support

  • From January 2022, funding from Friends of Hlekweni will taper off
  • A Peace Works Zimbabwe (PWZ) Committee has been set up to continue to fund-raise for these projects
  • The Committee is clerked by Don Rowe; for more information contact him at  peaceworkszim@gmail.com
  • Funds are held on behalf of the PWZ committee by Milton Keynes Meeting, under the auspices of Luton and Leighton Area Meeting, before being forward to Alternatives to Violence Project, Zimbabwe
  • The PWZ website www.peaceworkszimbabwe.net is currently under construction
  • An article by Don Rowe about continuing to support these projects was published in The Friend on 2 December 2021  All of a peace. Friends article 021221

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