A Peace Making Story
The London Somali summit in March 2012 made the news and was followed with intense attention. Lokahi has been creating a new programme to support Somali communities using our unique LEOS methodology, and we delivered the first three in the days following the summit.
Our programme brings together Somali women, young people, community activists and others with police and local bodies to discuss current issues.
Using a story of a family, told from two different perspectives, participants can discuss sensitive topics such as the impact of policing on young Somalis, the use of khat, the risks of fundraising for organisations in Somalia which might be linked to terrorist activities, the response of local services to Somali families and intergenerational dialogue.
Supported by expert briefings, the method allows people to learn from but also challenge others.
So many families are facing the issues that Asha – the mother in the story - faced today! Lots of mothers can’t cope, lots of children are getting into trouble with drugs and parents don’t even know about it and when they find out, they go mad. Everyone was emotional today, trying to find a way out.
Some shared that they had felt disconnected, disengaged and powerless before; but the safe space and unique method allowed people to find collective solutions. They felt listened to and understood and left with new-found trust and renewed hope.
I trust people more after today: some of them I already knew, some of them I didn’t. But I know trust them more. I am happy after today because people tried to find solutions for the Somalis.
After the events, 95% of those who attended said they were planning to tell other people about what they heard or learned. All participants were satisfied (with 50% extremely satisfied) to have attended the events.
I think the event went well: we got to see what others felt as people, we got to understand their point of view, where they are coming from and it really helped us get closer because at the end of the day we all want the same things so we might as well work together to make things better. Close relationships is the best way to move forward. You can’t move forward with a stranger.