Women’s International Peace Centre as a Just Future partner organized and hosted a 4-day Regional Learning and Networking Exchange for local partners from Burundi, DRC and South Sudan for 22 delegates. The Regional Exchange targeted 20 representatives 4 Burundi (Bujumbura), 7 DRC (Kinshasa, Bukavu and Goma), 5 South Sudan (Juba) CSO partners and 4 Peace Centre staff. The practical learning space provided participants with a first-hand account from similar organisations and interaction with experts on Post Conflict peace building, building strong networks, access to justice through legal clinics as well lessons on Security Sector Reform, Women Peace and Security in the Great lakes region and built relationships with civil society.
The exchange visit adopted a participatory approach where each participant was able to share their experience at a country level and how they tackled the challenges they face on Just Future programmes. The Sessions of the Regional Learning and Networking Exchange included;
- An opening session on the context for Women, Peace, and Security in the Great lake’s region. Regional actors and mechanisms such as the ICGLR Regional Training Facility, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development as well as Regional Centre for Human Security. Under this, the participants had time for open conversations to explore opportunities for deepening engagement and collaborations between regional mechanisms and networks, women’s rights organizations, and grassroots women mediators.
- Practitioners Reflective Space which included thematic panels where civil society actors such as FIDA-U, Coalition for Action on 1325, presented on progress, best practices, and lessons learnt in line with access to justice through legal clinics; localising national action plans on WPS, women in peacebuilding, civil-military relations and the role of women in security sector reform as well as building networks in a shrinking civic space.
- The wellness and Selfcare session discussed psychological wellbeing, self-care, safety and integrated security and other capacity needs determined through the meeting.
At the end of the 4 day visit, participants had exchanged with their peers in other countries around strategies on civil-military relations, building networks in shrinking civic space, the role of women in Security Sector Reform, access to justice through legal clinics and Women Peace Security in the Great lakes Region.