A successful follow-up workshop was held for the PACT-Enablers of DPI's Pretoria/Johannesburg Xenophobia Project in collaboration with Caritas Internationalis, from 31st October to the 2nd November. Fifteen participants gathered at the tranquil setting of La Verna Retreat Centre on the Vaal River for a workshop facilitated by Lancelot Thomas & Sr Áine Hughes HC.
Friday, 31st October was spent evaluating where the group was since their previous workshop & examining how the present workshop could be made more valuable for the attendees. A common feeling among participants was that they found in themselves a need to learn non-violence, a journey that had already begun within themselves.
Personal stories of blockages to being workers for peace were shared on Saturday. A participant noted that since arriving in South Africa he had never shared his stories, not even with his closest friend. However, he felt confident & comfortable enough to open up with the workshop group and share his experiences. That in itself was a sacred moment of healing.
Saturday was a blessed day which led the group to realise that they do not have to be perfect to start peace groups; all that is needed is the willingness to change personal attitudes.
Sunday was spent mastering skills of non-violence & reconciliation. The participants left feeling empowered to start peace groups. They made the decision to form a support group among themselves to share their own routes to peace and to help one another with travelling these often difficult paths.