The Civil Service for Peace (SCP) in the DRC has existed at EED level since 2004/2005 when the first professionals arrived, since the end of 2005 a core multicultural accompaniment has been set up with a local coordination based in Kinshasa . In 2006, the first networking workshop between partner and professional organizations took place. To date SCP / EED is the only program in the SCP framework that brings together partners in eastern and western DRC (North and South Kivu, Maniema, Katanga, Bas Congo, Kinshasa). AGEH and Eirene work mainly in the east of the country in the two Kivu provinces.
We therefore used the occasion of this fourth meeting of the network to take stock of the usefulness and necessity of this initiative which has become an action. Congolese and sub-regional contexts continue to pose enormous challenges for peace actors: the security of populations is far from being guaranteed in a number of provinces, state services are not yet functioning in a tangible way, infrastructures do not yet allow an easy connection between the different parts of the country, the economic situation of the populations has not significantly improved since 2005, while Congolese soils and subsoils are rich and finally the fragmentation between the different regions and communities of the country remains great.
In view of all these challenges, the SCP / EED Network is pleased to have been able to carry out four rich meetings of exchanges and lessons in different parts of the country, to have established bilateral and multilateral links between the members of the network, opened the network by inviting partners and professionals from AGEH and Eirene to the meetings. On the basis of a vision of peace elaborated together, the SCP partners have seized and created multiple opportunities to know each other better and to reinforce each other better. The recognition that peace work is a long-term effort and can be done in multiple ways and constitutes a true mosaic has given hope and energy to both.
The work of accompanying the network in the DRC but also the networks in other countries is recognized as useful and essential by the first concerned in the field but also by the donors and other partners.
Our series of brochures « Building Peace » and our website www.peaceworkafrica.org make it possible to capitalize on the advances and make them accessible to other actors. The fact that we have received a number of applications from civil society actors is a clear sign of the usefulness of our work.
At the inter-African level, the first steps are for an exchange between SCP actors from different regions (Sierra Leone, Liberia, DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Cameroon). We regularly strive to deepen together the concept of peace and the impact on daily work.
The fourth meeting has also highlighted three essential elements:
The first point was worked by zone of intervention and crossing the glances. It has always enabled us to broaden the framework of reflection of each other and to gain a little more assurance and mastery over what surrounds us.
The second point was worked on by the participants on the basis of their experiences and inputs from the facilitators. As a practical application, Mr Daniel Braun, who was accompanied by the Development Officer at the German Embassy in Kinshasa, Mrs Elke Stumpf, visited the regional head of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ). present their work and their major concerns.
The third item was put on the agenda following a request from the Congolese organizations linked to the churches and was prepared together in the network and an open day of reflection with guests (church leaders, national deputies from the churches, etc.) was facilitated by members of the CEFORMAD network, RIO and the CCEF.
The presence of our colleagues at EED’s headquarters, Clara Fernandez-Ortiz and Oliver Maertin, encouraged the members of the network and clarified a number of points in the co-operation experience. We learned a lot and as always appreciated to meet us together to strengthen each other. Thank you all, courage in the work and to meet us soon!
Flaubert Djateng Christiane Kayser Marie José Mavinga August 2009
1. Objectives of the workshop
The Bukavu workshop was divided into two parts, the first part with all the members of the network and whose objectives were: Take stock of the SCP / EED process in the DRC and welcome new members Share advocacy experiences Promote networking Define next steps A second part with guests representing the structures of the churches in the DRC with the theme « The role of the churches in the construction of peace «
2. Our SCP Process
From Kinshasa in March 2006 to June 2009 in Bukavu via Goma in 2007 and 2008, the SCP process went through several phases, ups and downs, numerous production moments and many achievements. A retrospective look has made it possible to become aware of the journey so far realized. At the analytical level, we have a concept of the SCP built with the participation of all members of the network. A strategic paper for the DRC in the framework of the Great Lakes validated by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) has made it possible to have a common basis for all the efforts of the German SCP operators (AGEH, EIRENE, EED). A vision of the SCP in the DRC exists, it serves as guidance for the strategic support of the members of the network, the monitoring of activities and the capitalization of achievements. (For these documents reproduced in the SCP brochures see www.peaceworkafrica.org)
At the practical level, the conceptual documents produced serve as benchmarks for daily work. The analysis of the context, the work for greater impact, intercultural collaboration, teambuilding, security issues, the definition of peace in each context and the value of our contribution to peace have been tackled concretely by and for all members of the network. The analysis of the type of contract between the partners involved in the SCP process was an opportunity for host organizations and professionals to clarify the different roles, the role of the professional, the roles of the host organizations and propose a role for the head of the host organization, for the staff and for the core group.
At the level of capitalization, instruments such as the website, the reports of our meetings and the 3 brochures (Demystifying the Impact, Intercultural Cooperation, Our Contribution to Peace) facilitated communication not only between us but also with workers peace out of the network. They have valued our work with our African international partners (EED, BMZ) (SCP actors in Sierra Leone and Liberia, actors of civil societies in Cameroon, Senegal, etc.) and Congolese. These traces of our reflections and activities serve us as a memory but have also attracted the attention of other actors on our work.
This process, through its networking, has produced solidarity at times of the members in difficult times (earthquakes in Bukavu, troop movements towards Goma, Bundu Dia Kongo Rebellion, etc.) and gives space for collaboration with other operators (AGEH, EIRENE). With these achievements, it has been easy for the network to establish a link with the Mano River Region (concretization of South-South cooperation) and to support the launch of the SCP program in Cameroon. The latter case promises to be a unique preventive experience in the SCP network.