One of the key issues addressed was the empowerment of women’s leadership. This included work in separate men’s and women’s groups.
ICON held a two day workshop on 1-2 December 2012 for young leaders from diverse organisations – the arts, the environment, management, schools, community development. 22 young leaders grappled with the issues of leadership for nonviolence. This meant both dealing with the pain and anger from our history of division and violence, and celebrating the hope, optimism and energy of young people who have already had to address major challenges. ICON had support also from WESSA, the environmental organisation, and the workshop related issues of the environment to those of nonviolence.
A major emphasis was on developing a vision of leadership that is not based on domination and fear but on hope and enjoyment of working with people. Another aspect was on overcoming the divisions that prevent that vision becoming a reality.
Delegates at the Celebrate Youth Leadership workshop
- Visiting a local nature reserve
A popular part of the workshop was a visit to Pigeon Valley, a local nature reserve, to make connections between the challenges of the environment and the challenges of working with people. It provided a way of gaining a fuller perspective for a group that takes leadership at local, national and global levels.
Participants did not want to end the workshop; there is a demand for more time on these issues. We ended with a sense of energy and connectedness. ICON’s aim is in part to build a network of young leaders who take on a major educational role in facilitating such work themselves.
This workshop was made possible through the support of Willowton Oils.
With the launch of the International Centre of Nonviolence in Australia on 15th February 2012, there will be growth in the international network of people working for nonviolence through education. The initiative is led by Dr Gambhir Watts, who is also President of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia. Ela Gandhi, of the ICON board, will attend the launch.
The students singing the national anthem, and displaying a chart on their thoughts about what they had learnt
A group of teacher trainees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal have been working with young students at Zwelinjani High School, near KwaNdengezi, outside Pinetown. Led by the ICON Director, they have assisted the school students in using peer counselling as a way of developing their resources. This work has been made possible by a kind donation from Willowton Oils.
The trainees have found some of the situations that the youngsters face very challenging. Despite that, there was an air of optimism and hope at the concluding ceremony.
We have reworked our statements:
Our vision is of a nonviolent society based on the celebration of our common humanity and of the natural environment that sustains us.
ICON works to make strategic interventions in education – development of educators and curricula, teaching and writing – that challenge structural violence, enable learning untainted by violence and advance a culture of nonviolence. It works through reflective practice and focused research to develop and disseminate its understanding, and to build networks of educators with a similar vision and commitment.
How can we be nonviolent in thinking about ourselves?
Cheerfulness and old age