The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched a new peacebuilding toolkit, designed to foster community relationships and help build resilience to extremism.
The toolkit, created by the Commonwealth Secretariat's Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Unit, seeks to equip individuals, organisations and governments with the tools to help groups build bonds and cross-cultural understanding across perceived ideological boundaries.
Mark Albon, Head of the Commonwealth Secretariat's CVE Unit, said:
“Respect for others across the boundaries of faith, culture, and nation, is at the heart of what makes the Commonwealth family so special. We are stronger together and working in harmony, than divided and apart.
“This toolkit will empower stakeholders to deliver workshops that build trust and collaboration, helping to forge lifelong connections that unite us.”
The Respect in the Commonwealth toolkit can be used to tackle specific issues such as polarisation, hate speech or inter-ethnic conflict, as well as educating about the importance of respect, and empowering people to join global and local conversations about what unites us, rather than what divides us.
The toolkit inspires users to deliver workshops on inter- and intra-community relationship building, and includes detailed instructions, case studies and example resources. All of the activities in the toolkit can be done in groups or individually, and it is designed to be applicable to different country scenarios.
The Respect in the Commonwealth programme is the next iteration of the Faith in the Commonwealth initiative, which is a hugely successful workshop package that has been delivered to young peacebuilders in several countries across the Commonwealth. The Respect in the Commonwealth development aims to broaden the Faith in the Commonwealth remit to focus on any individual, government, and organisation – not just youth.
Users are encouraged to access the toolkit via the Commonwealth Secretariat website and adapt it to suit their needs. For example, the whole process could be delivered through clowning, a university course, a business seminar, a theatre workshop - whatever reflects your skill set and the interests of the participants.
- Amy Coles Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat