“I learned to listen and not just to leap to the answer” - Sharmila Moiane

24. June 2022

On 27 and 28 April in Nampula, 12 HELVETAS Mozambique staff and 6 representatives of partner organizations took part in a two-day course entitled “Being Conflict Sensitive”.  The course piloted a new curriculum that supports individuals to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude to behave in a conflict sensitive manner. The course complements previous training that HELVETAS Mozambique staff received in 2020 on conflict sensitive project management, which focused more strongly on conflict analysis and project design.

Through discussions and exercises the participants explored understandings of conflict and were introduced to the concept of conflict sensitivity and Helvetas’ three-step approach to working in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Participants discussed the four conflict sensitive principles of respect, accountability, fairness and transparency and applied them to real-life scenarios. They also developed their skills in active listening, asking questions and non-violent communication. Reflecting on the course in the final session, Sharmila Moiane, KALAI project coordinator, said, “This course helps us to be better people and to have a better relationship with everyone we work with, including colleagues, partners and local communities.”

The course was delivered by the security manager Gércia Aboo, who is also the conflict sensitivity focal point, and advocacy & communication advisor, Leonel Albuquerque, with the support of senior conflict transformation advisor from head office, Owen Frazer. In order to ensure conflict sensitivity is well integrated into programme activities, HELVETAS Mozambique plans to repeat the training course for other staff and partners and to integrate elements of it into other courses. Issues related to conflict sensitivity will also be discussed at regular meetings to ensure that all staff is sensitized, and the approach is put into practice.