Kirstin Rothrock De Mello

Program coordinator, Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation

April 2008: Since Feburary 2007, I have been working with the Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation (CCMT), a local NGO that primarily works at the grassroots level, building local peacebuilding and conflict management capacity. My role at the organization is to coordinate our program with university students, the Campus Sustained Dialogue Network.

Over the past year we have helped students from three universities in Zimbabwe create dialogue groups to analyze the issues affecting them on campus, such as sexual harassment, the lack of good communication with the administration, and poor service delivery. The dialogue sessions give them a safe space to explore the dynamics of those conflicts and then decide what they can do about them. I have been doing a range of activities for the project, including facilitating trainings on understanding and analyzing conflict as well as trying to budget for the project in this hyperinflationary environment!

CCMT is also the coordinator for the Peacebuilding Network of Zimbabwe, so I have been playing a minor role in helping to shape the direction of that network.

The other exciting project I am involved with is bringing together representatives from several NGOs in different sectors—counselling/trauma healing for victims of organized violence, prisoner rehabilitation, civic education, community peace monitoring, orphaned and vulnerable children, community peacebuilding—for a series of trainings in the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). The final training is a training of trainers, and we hope that after that we can work together to facilitate contextualized AVP trainings in our respective areas of operation.