The Synod level LCP Youth Convention on Peace was jointly organised by CSI Youth Department and CSI-CSI SEVA from 5th to 7th May 2016, at the CSI Centre Chennai. 42 youth representing 21 dioceses from five states in South India participated in the convention. This is an initiative of the LCP South Asia Network in which CSI SEVA is a member.
The main objective of this convention was to engage youth in peace activities through equipping them with analytical and peace building tolls in relation to conflict analysis, human rights and conflict transformation. Various tools such as LCP, Actor Mapping, Relationship Mapping and Camel’s Back were employed to critically analyse the conflict situation - first through a case study and later through real life examples. Since most of the conflicts arise out of human rights violations, a session on Human Rights was also arranged on Human Rights to know the basics and also mechanisms and frame works to address Human Rights violations at the local, national and UN levels.
The Convention was inaugurated by Rev. Dr. Ratnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, CSI. Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Director, CSI SEVA welcomed the gathering and outlined the aim and objectives of the conference. Rev. Solomon Paul, Director, Synod Youth Department coordinated the programme. Bible studies were organised to relate to the main agenda of Conflict Analysis, Human Rights and Youth and Conflict Transformation. The Bible studies were facilitate by Rev. James Cecil Victor (Director, Pastoral Concerns Department, CSI), Rev. Dr. Royce Manoj Victor (Liaison Officer, CSI-EMS) and Rev. Paul Pragasam (Director, Community Service Centre, Diocese of Madras) respectively.
The facilitation tram included Mr. K. Prem Madhuker, Mr. David Prabhahar Mr, Reginold Soans Rev. Mani Paul Mr. Chacko Abraham, Ms. Jamuna Rani, Ms. Sneha Elsa, Rev. Janet Sunitha and Mr. Prince David.
An Exposure visit and Talent Night were arranged for the youth during the conference to explore Chennai and express their talents. The methodology of training sessions was also activity based and helped participants to actively engage in all the sessions, icebreaker and self introduction activities increased the team bonding and helped the participants to open up without any barrier.
The first day of the convention focused on conflict analysis. After a brief introduction on CSI SEVA and its interventions through Local Capacities for Peace Project, the participants were facilitated to analyse a case study using LCP tools, Actor Mapping and Relationship Mapping Tools. Later the participant in language groups discussed and presented real life situations.
Human Rights and Youth
Dr. T. Ravi Kumar, Human Rights Activist from Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) was the resource person for this session. Dr. Ravi Kumar using his experience in the field for over 30 years introduced the concept of Human Rights, its origin, and its current status. He also elaborated on the mechanisms, and various bodies that promote human rights locally and internationally. He emphasised on the collective approach of people to address human rights violations so that peaceful communities could co-exist.
The concepts of unpacking using LCP tool and camel’s back were then oriented to the participants, which help them to understand on the relationship between a development intervention and conflict situation and bring about Transformation. A documentary film was used to make the participants understand the tools.
The Director of Synod Youth Department introduced to the participants the proposed Jatrotsava, which is a coming together and celebration of youth. Participants of this conference would be actively involved in the Jotsotsava which will be travelling through all dioceses from Karimnagar to Kanyakumari. Later, the participants in language groups identified four important and ongoing conflict situations in their respective areas which will be studied and documented for future interventions. A core group of 4 persons were identified from each region to document the conflict case studies with active support from other members and Mentors. There was also a session on feedback from participants through a questionnaire. All the participants expressed their happiness in attended this unique convention and went back with new learnings.
The three day convention was a grand success with the help of all the trainers, mentors, resource persons and their inputs. The entire event was filled with fun, active participation and mutual learning due to the young energy which was the driving factor.