After completing their Masters in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa, CACOPA’s Executive members wish was to settle in their mothers’ land because their expertise was needed in the DRC than in South Africa. It is in this context that they started the transmission of their expertise in March as Lecturers at Institut Facultaire Maria Malkia and carried on with trainings in the field of conflict management.
Furthering their wish in expanding structures of conflict resolution activities and other aspects related to it namely, the implementation of a Ministry of Peace in the DRC, the Executive and the Programme Directors travelled to Kinshasa where useful contacts with political and different Non Governmental Organizations leaders were made. Together with the National Secretary, Tabitha Nzolu based in Kinshasa, a number of authorities were met to explain the project that CACOPA intends to put in place as to contribute in alleviating issues of violence within the Congolese society through educating the grassroots on the basis of conflict management.
An adequate supporting tool of the Ministry and Department of Peace that will help in ensuring the presence of peace workers on the field is the implementation of Peace Committees whose the main task will be to work in collaboration with existing judiciary structures. The main idea in this regard is to encourage the populous to use Peace Committees as helping structures in resolving conflicts that arise in their social environment. Thus issues that would have been taken to the police or the court could be promptly dealt with within existing structures implemented for this cause. One of the advantages of these structures is that they help in avoiding less acute conflicts to reach higher instances that have lot of cases to handle.
Regarding contacts, let us mention that on the government side; the wish to meet the top leaders of the country was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, scores of repetitive unofficial meetings took place with one of the provincial president of the ruling party whose commitment to the project is very promising.
On the Non Governmental Organization side; things worked better than expected as most of the authorities met expressed a desired parternership in the work to be done on the field. More importantly; CACOPA being a new baby born in a huge environment where other prominent NGOs have been working for quite long in the domain of their expertise, a parternership in this regard is more appreciated as to join hands together for the DRC to become a peaceful place to live.
The Executive and the Programme Director were also invited by the Electoral Institute of South Africa (EISA) that works in Promoting Credible Elections and Democratic Governance in Africa to attend the opening ceremony of the launch of Social Mediators in the DRC. The event took place in the premises of the Grand Hotel of Kinshasa. Two days later, CACOPA Executive members were asked to attend to a two day seminar organized by the same institution that consisted in the level mediators level upgrading. It is worth mentioning that both CACOPA’s Executive members attended the seminar as Observers.