“Learning Module and Peace Journey Testing in Mekong region”

by Sotheavy, WPG Cambodia

After the consultation in the previous meeting which arises the drafting the learning process module on peace building for the Sub-Mekong young adult. The strategic team from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam had agreed to have the testing such learning process module together. This learning process was engage young adults in peace building efforts in the region and they will learn about peace through various activities such as training, exchange programs like internship, cultural activities, history writing, etc. The learning process is divided into 4 stages: 1) national process, 2) Regional training, 3) exchange program and 4) monitoring and evaluation. However, to make sure the module is reasonable and content able to apply for such learning, the testing is required.  The testing will be combined together the in house training and the peace journey (mobile classroom) and it will be covered some main parts of those actives. The training will only run for 10 days in total. The participants will be selected from not only   the strategic teams of the three countries but also potential partners from Laos and Burma. The training will take place in Cambodia and in Thailand.  In this testing or pilot step, the strategic team from Cambodia, Thailand and VN also agreed to the come up with the following expected objectives and detail activity programs:

  • To test the learning module and reflect for what work and what would not work
  • To reflect on the concepts, contents   and procedure of the learning process module on peace building.
  • To generate more ideas and concepts for the learning process for the Mekong sub-region
  • To strengthen and build up the capacity of the strategic team.

Participants were invited from the following countries and mainly those involved with peace work, example member the strategic team. There were Cambodians, Thais, Vietnamese, Burmese and Laos. The resources person was shared from 5 countries, Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Laos.

After 3 days training at Ayutthaya all participants were traveled down to Sisaket province to meet with the Governor there and stay 2 nights with the communities by shared the sad about the conflict. Thai people feel terrible with this situation cause they live in a country very peacefully for long time; and as neighbor country with Khmer people in border also no any problem with each other they do business and exchange produce in normal. They felt a bit angry of Cambodian people but not much cause they know this not from the people but from the political issue that led this two countries into conflict. And also Thai government was reimbursed at least 2,000 Bath to 20,000 Bath to the villagers for what they are losing and frightening. With this damaged was sued by the Thai government to Cambodia to pay back all destroys of the village in Thai. Before team leave the Thai victim village, there was a calling soul ceremony for Thai-Khmer reconciliation.

After visited the Thai people victim at the Thai side all participants was traveled to stayed 3 days in Cambodia visited the Khmer border people in the victim communities and stay overnight with the orphaned children some of the children parents was die during the conflict on Feb 4-6, 2011. Cambodian who used to experience in war during 70-80 decade was needed peace for their village they don’t want to see war again. They hope this conflict will be soon finished; so they can meet with their family and go back to their field for doing farm to support their life as normal. For the Khmer feeling seem they had past experience through war and conflict with hurt in the past experience, this led trauma still in person like a fire when they talk about the war and the suffering during the country fall more than last 30 years ago and keep going on till 90 decade.

During the Thai-Khmer conflict on Feb 4-6, 2011 people started concern and weary again for their life, especially the people who live along the border. They felt angry with Thai who explored this conflict that frighten their family life again. At that Thai-Khmer conflict, most of families moved to the safe areas, children lost school, lost proper food and accommodation got far away from home. Some family on the way to the safe area they were faced with robbery and lost their property. They said if Thai want war then they will struggle on this, they were not afraid to die, cause they used to had experiences a lot of conflict in Cambodia but still they assist to both government to solve this issue in a peaceful way. Cambodia comes from suffering and got a strong spirit. The Thai leaders should wake to lucidity, suspend any aggression and sit down with their Khmer brothers, as they are, to build peace and common development for their peoples.

We the people of these two countries do not have any idea. We are so innocent but unconsciously are just tools to create hatred toward each other because our governments lie and manipulate us through fake and made-up news/media.

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About mekongpeacejourney

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