Talk for a Change is currently collaborating with Peaceful Change Initiative (PCI) on a project aimed at improving human security and local development in Libya. We have been invited to share community cohesion and community dialogue best practice from our work in the UK.
So on a bitterly cold spring morning, I boarded a plane destined for Tripoli. Having previously worked in South Asia and South America I was completely at ease with new landscapes and cultural contexts. In fact I was looking forward to discovering Libyan culture and hospitality. I was however also aware of the fact I was in a country that had recently been in a violent conflict.
During my stay in Libya I was struck by the generosity of spirit and the willingness to engage with outsiders to assist in creating peaceful, lasting change. I delivered community cohesion and community dialogue workshops with community activists and representatives from social development organisations and also met with staff from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Local Governance. Our discussions focused on citizen rights and responsibilities and the key role that civil society will play in building cohesion locally.
I am returning in May to continue working with Peaceful Change Initiative; progressing a collaboration based on shared values and a commitment to peace building and social justice and in closing I would like to say thank you to the PCI Libya team for looking after me and making me feel both safe and welcome.