Women stand up for peace in Greater Manchester and East Lancashire
November 26, 2014 | Nick Taylor
An ambitious initiative is taking place across areas of Greater Manchester and East Lancashire that recognises the important role women can play to confront violent conflict. Women pay a high price in situations of violence, yet they also play a vital role as mothers, wives, partners, educators, counsellors and leaders and can resolve conflict.
Warrington based, Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace launched ’Women Building Peace’ in Oldham and has started a second course at the Coppice Community Centre in Nelson, Lancashire.
Women Building Peace helps women who are from other countries where they may have experienced violent conflict in their communities and in their own lives. Many of the women are seeking UK citizenship and may not have English as a first language.
The course helps them to develop skills and gain confidence to tackle conflict, take a more active part in their communities and promote peace. The programme works in partnership with community facilitators to explore the transformational role women can play in promoting peace and integration.
It provides training and support towards a qualification in conflict resolution and citizenship and promotes communication between people of different cultures working in partnership with local organisations.
An intensive programme explores violent conflict at a local, national and international level through workshops that examine the impact on women, their families and communities.
The course is delivered at local community venues and at the Peace Centre in Warrington.
Paveen Yaqub who is leading the project for the Foundation for Peace said: “The course is challenging given the language and cultural needs of the women we are working with.
“When I see these women use their voices and feel able to test out their learning, I know something great is happening. “They are unlocking their own potential and looking at personal responsibility to promoting peace and recognising the benefits of resolving conflict locally and overseas, that’s no small feat.”
The course in Nelson has recently linked with the Salvation Army to bring together women from different cultural backgrounds to discuss what peace means to them and what they feel they want to do about promoting better relationships locally Lieutenant Kay Blues, leader of the church and charity in Nelson, said: “The Salvation Army is recognised around the world for working across cultural backgrounds, so it’s great to be able to extend that to Nelson.
“Women play an important part in our church here, and they have been enthusiastic about taking part in the course and meeting women from different countries.
“The Salvation Army is delighted to be part of such an exciting initiative. It will be a great opportunity for those taking part to share ideas, get a deeper understanding of different cultures and, hopefully, make new friends.
“The women from Oldham and Nelson are also gaining a qualification in conflict resolution and some of their work will feature at Festival of Light event in Oldham that brings together diverse communities to celebrate difference.
Contact – Paveen Yaqub, Project Lead, Women Building Peace Project Tel: 01925 581231
© 2014 The Women Building Peace Project is a project of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace and is co-funded by the European Union Integration Fund. The content and comments on this page reflect the views of the authors’ only.