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Pacific Women Urged To Capitalise On Rare Opportunity For Pe

Press Release November 16th 2012

Pacific Women Urged To Capitalise On Rare Opportunity For Peace Studies In The US

The Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) is offering 16 Pacific women the opportunity to study peacebuilding at the same university 2011 Nobel Peace prize winner; Leymah Gbowee received her conflict transformation training and qualifications at.

The 16 women will join four other Pacific Women who began their training in May 2012 at Eastern Mennonite University’s Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Virginia, USA.

The training opportunity is offered through the Women’s Leadership in Peacebuilding (WLP) Program coordinated collaboratively by PCP Fiji and CJP and supported by Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst Church Development Service (EED)

Priscilla Singh is one of the four Pacific Women that have been undertaking peacebuilding studies on a scholarship at the CJP since May.

“We have not yet had the opportunity to meet with Gbowee herself but as part of our program, we will visit her home country, Liberia in early 2013. If we do get to meet her, it would be an absolute honour,” Singh said.

“She’s a symbol for women peace builders around the world and she signifies the possibilities that women present when leading peacebuilding processes.”

“There are women in cohort 1 from Liberia, Somalia as well as the Solomon Islands. The women from Liberia on our program have worked directly with her,” she said.

Singh who has had decades of experience in women’s development work particularly in local government politics and the union movement, says the program has helped her to make contact and develop networks with people from all over the world with similar backgrounds.

“I’ve established networks in the African region, made new contacts for the Pacific region and gotten to know people in the Americas as well,” she said.

“The program has really helped me to develop a deeper level of understanding of my context, to truly understand different perspectives, to understand what’s being said and why, and the actions that follow.”

“I’ve learnt about various peacebuilding tools and methodologies which will and has helped me to interact more meaningfully with those I work with all over Fiji,” she said.

PCP Fiji director, Koila Costello-Olson says to study at the world’s leading peacebuilding learning facility is a rare opportunity for Pacific women.

“So we continue to strongly encourage women from the region to vie for this lifetime opportunity and send us their applications before the end of November 2012,” Costello-Olson said.

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