Let’s take a walk through the Peace Office’s history
‘The good thing about yesterday is that it can be a thousand years, or just a few seconds ago, the truth, we can never change it so we learn from it’
Yesterday the Peace Office began in the youth department of PCC.
The aim was largely to build the capacity of the PCC youth in the area of Peace building and conflict transformation.
Under the auspices of the then National Youth secretary The Rev. Mekumba Ituka Francis, German born Katherina Schilling began her work as peace builder in the PCC in 2010.
The main focus of the Peace office in the youth department was trainings on peace building and conflict transformation.
By the end of the first lap of the project (8-2013) about 100 youths participated in the whole training cycle.
It was imperative that the peace office produce materials to help foster peace work in the long run. These publications include:
Youths & Peace – A collection of poems by young Cameroonians of the PCC 2011-2012
Flyer – Information on peacebuilding and conflict transformation by Julius Nzang
Articles in CPS brochures:
Articles for Youth Splash, PCC Messenger
Development of various training aids (drawings, peace memory,…), and the preparation of training materials for use in future (Power Point / durable flipcharts for every topic)
Two workshops to produce Ogorum – Epic Saga for radio broadcast created and Directed by Julius Nzang
International Day of Peace has been celebrated since 2012 in the PCC
Networking – CPS yearly workshop since 2011, exchange with CPS partners in Cameroon throughout the year, mission 21 (e.g. Prescraft, 2014 Youth work camp)
BETWEEN YESTERDAY AND NOW
At the end of Katharina’s contract in August 2013, Julius Nzang was mandated with the responsibility of running the day to day activities of Peace Office till January 31st 2014 (6 Months).
Within this time Julius Nzang worked in close collaboration with Rev. Mekumba Francis to organize Peace events like the international day of peace, Non violence, and to write final reports to Bread for the World.
He was charged with monitoring the youth who carried out their own trainings on Peace Building and to keep together the network of young PCC peacebuilders.
In March 2014 he was called up to the communication Department and a new trend of events followed.
THE BLANK TIMES
Between March 2014 and November 2015 the Peace Office had no office but activities were still carried out.
Due to correspondences with the PCC hierarchy and Bread for the World, a new season of Julius’ radio play The Ogorum Saga was produced, Rev, Mokoko Thomas and Julius Nzang were sent to attend a 1 month training program on Peace at the Mindanao Peace Institute in Davao city Philippines.
Later in 2015 Julius Nzang took active Part in the African Youth and Governance Conference in Johannesburg South Africa
Julius Nzang together with the communication department have held the strings of peace in radio programmes and CPS articles till date.
“The bad thing about today is that it quickly turns into yesterday, for instance the breakfast you took this morning is already gone and can not be changed, at best we try to make informed decisions”
The Peace Office today is made up two men. Wolfram Metzig-Eisner and Julius Nzang
It is under the auspices of the Communication Secretary the Rev. Mokoko Mbue Thomas.
The office started to function with the arrival of Wolfram and his family in November 2015 as the new seconded peace personnel from Bread for the world through the Civil Peace Service (CPS).
When the office was finally set up and all stakeholder connections had been arranged, the first workshop took place in the Synod Office.
Now we are able to look back to numerous workshops and events. The Peace Office worked with the PCC hierarchy, the Synod Office staff, presidents and groups of CYF, CWF, CMF. Presbytery presidents, secretaries as well as teachers and school administration staff were visiting the workshops that were centered around Peace, Conflict, Communication and Nonviolence. We supported various individuals and organizations with facilitation and lectures (BAE Pillar foundation/University of Buea/ISTP,…). We hosted events for the Day of the African Child and the International Day of Peace, including a poster exhibition, displayed in the chapel of the Synod Office.
In 2016, Julius spent 5 weeks in Germany, participating a training to become a Peace and Conflict Advisor with the Academy for Conflict Transformation in Bad Honnef.
The Peace Office supported PCSS Buea in the launching of a Peaceclub after they were asked for assistance by the Discipline master of the same school. He had just participated in the workshop “Nonviolent Conflict Management in Schools”.
Due to a lack of funding, the internet shutdown in the anglophone areas of Cameroon, the ongoing strikes and ghosttowns and severe health issues, the Peace Office was not as effective as it could have been in the first months of 2017.
The Peace Office recently “relaunched” with a new concept and some fresh ideas. The PCC is now offering facilitation and support (in knowledge and conceptualization) for self-organized workshops.
Since then we have been organizing events for the Day of the African Child (2017) as well as the International day of Peace.
On top of that, we have a weekly Nonviolent Communication Workshop in the Buea Central Prison.
To reach and communicate with a broader audience, we broadcast “Eyole-The Wind of Peace”, our weekly radio program on CBS Buea (95,3), tuesdays at 6pm.