The Loreto Peace Club serves as a resource for sharing conflict resolution strategies, peacebuilding skills, and trauma healing strategies within the Loreto Schools and the local community in Rumbek.
The club consists of 24 secondary school students with an interest in peace building and conflict resolution, selected from Senior 1 through 4, across ethnic lines.
The club hopes to contribute to the reduction of violence sustained by different antagonistic groups, which permeates the local community, through the use of nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution, and by providing resources for trauma healing.
Moreover, guided by the belief that ‘peace begins with ME,’ the Loreto Peace Club also seeks to establish a harmonious environment of co-existence at the school and in the surrounding community, and to boost efforts to end the narratives of violence transferred across generations.
The club is involved in several outreach programs, primarily targeting youth and women. These programs include:
These are formed in response to a traumatic event in the local community to help participants to learn strategies for dealing with loss, grief, mourning and healing from trauma.
They comprise groups of 5-20 participants with 2-3 facilitators depending on the age and/or gender of the participants.
Participants form a circle or semicircle and are guided through a range of activities focused on trauma healing for 45-120 minutes.
These activities have been adapted from the HROC Basic Workshop1 and include discussions, trust exercises, songs, prayers, games, and breathing exercises.
Every year, Loreto Peace Club members host a Peace Day celebration targeting ~ 1,000 primary school and secondary school students, to encourage young children to become peacemakers in their social circles through sports, music and dancing.
Little Sister Weekend
Each term, Loreto Peace Club members (big sisters) host ~ 30 upper primary school girls (little sisters) on the Loreto Girls Secondary School campus for a weekend. This allows them to extend the ‘school family’ system and to mentor the primary school students.
The little sisters learn about peace building, cooking, and ‘art as therapy’ as they participate in various activities and bond with their big sisters.
Visits to local orphanage
Each term, Loreto Peace Club members visit the local orphanage and childcare center (Pan Ngoth) in Rumbek, to discuss peacebuilding with local women and children, while learning about active listening and compassion.
These visits give the women a safe space to share their stories, sing, dance, and discuss the roles that they can play in promoting peace in the local community. Club members also donate items such as soap and food during these visits.
Every year, Loreto Peace Club members host a concert to reflect on the lives of those lost during South Sudan’s civil wars and the need for peacebuilding.
Every year, Loreto Peace Club members host cultural presentations to highlight issues related to peacebuilding and conflict resolution, through songs, poems, skits and dances.