Joined Jan 14 2010
This is my 34th year working in the private, informal,development and relief sectors. Since 1975 I have worked or carried out consultanciesin 15 countries, most of them in either conflict of post conflict. The firsttime I traveled to Africa from Sri Lanka, I did neither needed visas nor didanyone check my bags. Over the years I realized that there were more and moreconflicts and different actors taking arms to either protect or defendthemselves. Analyzing the causes I found that it was marginalization,discrimination, injustices, ego, dissatisfaction, greed and lust for power thatwere the main reasons that prompted and promoted conflicts. I also analyzed and found that there were manyareas in the world where intergenerational transmission of hatred and povertythat was fuelling conflict as the young who lived in marginalization and sawtheir elders killed or in poverty either resigned to hopelessness or took uparms. As there are very few “peacemakers” in marginalized and conflict prone communities,I found that this augments rather reduces or stops conflict. I also analyzed whythere were very few persons who specialized in peacemaking who could resolvethe challenges, establish policies and procedures and educate governments thatthere were advantages of maintaining peace. I found that the reasons why therewere very few efficient peace makers or advocates for peace was because therewas no need of them in the past and therefore they never emerged. However, as Irealized that we need them now, I questioned myself as to where they were anddecided to find ways to increase them in the communities I worked in. Furtherresearch revealed that there were no talented and focused peacemakers as most ofthem had selected professions they assumed to be lucrative or marketable,rather than focus and identify and refine their talents/strengths and make themavailable to the world. Peacemaking wasalso not a profession where they could earn their living and therefore they hadignored their calling and left the peace making to religious persons.Unfortunately, most of the conflicts on earth originate due either religious ortribal origin, so I needed to look for a commonality that could bind peoplerather than separate them.
I found that the best option was sensitizing communities onthe manner they could earn sufficiently, enhance their livelihoods and livemeaningfully if THEY STOPPED ALL CONFLICTS and respected everyone’s talents andstrengths as “everyone needs everyone else to enable communities and businessesto thrive” as everyone was either an actor in a service or production valuechain or a person with leadership traits to develop civil society and otherlocal organizations.
Once I was sure of this, I started a process in conflict andpost conflict areas to sensitize communities on the advantages of stoppingconflict and maintaining peace. I coach communities to nominate trustworthypersons with leadership traits (Minute or emerging) to take the lead inestablishing Committees for Better Living (CBL) to identify analyze and seekprocesses to overcome conflict and lack of access to basic services thatprovoke conflict. Then I give them coaching to establish Value ChainAssociations (VCAs) save and provide loans to members of VCAs and nominate andelect persons who engage themselves to be transparent and govern to establishlarger organizations, register as cooperatives/associations and apply forlarger loans to develop their value chains and enhance livelihoods. My intentis to set up as many Advisory Centers for Better Living (ACBLs) as possible inareas where there is conflict in order that the world has peace eventually. Pleasesee a program at: http://www.changemakers.com/en-us/node/17595