BY WALLACE MAWIRE HARARE
Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust (ACPD) in Zimbabwe has embarked on a unique initiative involving promotion of non-violent communication and healing as contribution to national healing efforts in Zimbabwe.
The initiative is in recognition of the violence and conflict that has characterised pre and post independent Zimbabwe.
Community publishing is an internally driven process of change,rooted in community wisdom,creativity and solidarity.It combines community based research,publishing,education and organising.The products and books are used for capacity enhancement and advocacy.
According to Kathy Bond-Stewart, Community Publishing Coordinator, ACPD is building a national community channel to promote non-violent communication and healing through which 12 provincial and 81 district facilitators have been trained from all rural districts and urban provinces.
Also 100 study circles have been set up with 1094 people.ACPD has produced more than 30 books on the generative themes of communities, including four books related to healing namely Peacebuilding in (2002),Bridging the divide (2003) And (2005),Lighting up our unfolding way in (2008) and A people”s guide to transitional justice with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF) in December 2009.All the books are used in outreach programmes.
Stewart says that lighting up our unfolding way subtitled constructive relationships,conflict transformation and peacebuilding is ACPD”s main current tool for national healing.
She says that it was produced with contributions from communities and 7 peace organisations and has been widely used by a number of church and civil society organisations.
“The book has been very popular and 20 000 copies were rapidly distributed.In January 2010, 4000 copies were reprinted but this will not meet demand,” says Stewart.
Also ACPD has conducted 3 district workshops in Mutoko,Bindura and Buhera and 143 district leaders have been trained in peace building and democracy, using Lighting up our unfolding way.
ACPD in association with Association of Rural District Councils and the Ministry of Local Government introduced ACPD publications and process to top district leaders such as District Administrators,CEOs and council chairpersons in districts in Manicaland,Mashonaland East and Central.
A national workshop with 66 war veterans was also conducted.The other ACPD publications namely A people”s guide to the agreement and A People”s guide to constitutional debate also contribute indirectly to national healing.
The multilingual publications with posters were rapidly distributed.ACPD says that in rural Zimbabwe a healing process should penetrate all structures of governance and organisation.
Book samples can be sourced by contacting the following: