Source: (-0001) Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

The training manual you have in your hands is intended to be an innovative tool for both facilitators and participants, who are interested in the re-integration process of persons affected by war violence – whether combatants or civilians, women or children. It aims at making a contribution to ‘filling the gap’ that exists in post-war societies between national-level ‘justice’ processes and community-level interpersonal and relational healing. South Africa (like many other post-war situations in Africa) has struggled to find ways to build a ‘bridge’ between the high level political solutions imposed by government structures, and the need to discover how to reconstruct new social identities and harmonies that will foster living together in peace on the ground – in community. While South Africa has gone through a Demobilisation, Demilitarisation and Reintegration (DDR) process, as well as a Truth and Reconciliation Commission exercise at a national level, it is still quite evident that there is great need for local, community-based efforts at trauma recovery, restorative justice, and the implementation of sustainable reconciliation for the decades to come. Layers of social fragmentation are very evident in the South African context – whether we are looking at issues of poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, HIV-AIDS, or serious violent crime, trauma is still too high in the civilian population and the ex-combatant community still suffers too high a percentage of these social ills. (excerpt)

Read Full Article