Personal Reflection of Mekong Peace Journey

by Grace,

It’s a grate opportunity for me to participate in this journey.  The training design gave a space to apply concept to practice in the field.  In house training, trust building and peace concept extended my knowledge and skill in the field of peace building.  The first day learning gave opportunity to build trust and search common ground among participants through deep listening.  Deep listening made me aware to learn and accept differences in order to grow and change to work for common goal.  Deep listening exercises encourage me to do attentive listening to the others with loving kindness, don’t made immediate judgment and listen with empathy.   The key learning for that day was “put my heart to the other people heart”; so I can understand and respect other people feeling and their point of view.

Moreover, it made me to think deeply and gave more attention to the reason behind.   In the second day on peace concept and conflict analysis skill, I just reflected that as a peace builder, it is important to know the source of the power and how power confront each other in order to reach structure of expectation.   Power equation gave me more thought in order to face if we are struggling under power unbalance situation. Three components of power (direction, base and magnitude) made me alert to distinguish ourselves in the conflict situation.   We have to clear on “the meaning of fighting for what”. At the same time, we have to know our directions, we need to learn and practice for skills in order to solve, prevent and manage conflict.  In the peace building process sometime we can’t see result immediately but we believe that result/benefit can obtain for our future generation.   In conflict analysis, it is important to understand context and also who are the connectors and dividers in order to make a plan for conflict resolution or conflict transform.  Reflection on strategic team exercise, we were tried to identify our commonness among five countries and then trying to develop new identity and culture.  The challenge is how we transmit this new culture to the other.  I didn’t have clear answer on that and just still processing of my thinking.

Field trip touched my heart especially when I talked with community people in both side (Thailand and Cambodia).  All people want peace even the people who were assigned for fight under the name of protection for their country.  There are so many underlying causes of conflict.  Most of the conflict involves political and economic interest of a group of people who seize the power and they want to continue to control their power.   On my personal analysis of conflict between Thailand and Cambodia is a little big complex but it was relate with historical, political and economic interest at national level.  The community people and province authority mentioned that national level will find a way to solve this conflict.  There was no space for local people to participate in that process. However, they are hoping for negotiation process between two leaders from Thailand and Cambodia.  Another observation in the field trip was people got trauma due to conflict/war. My personal point of view, that trauma is not only the civilian but also soldiers   who involve in the conflict or war.  I just see soldiers as a human being and I just thinking how people opinion of trauma healing to the soldiers who involve in the war.

I feel that, we need to do something but I am still thinking what and how?

This journey enlarged my knowledge and also gave deeper thinking in the peace building process.  I am sure that we all have to work hand in hand in order to build peace within ourselves and our society, regions, and world.


About mekongpeacejourney

We are the Mekong Working for Peace, consisting of young adult peacemakers of the Mekong Region.
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