05.10.2017 - UNESCO Office in Harare

Building intercultural competences in Zimbabwe

On the 3rd and 4th of October 2017, UNESCO, in cooperation with the UN Population Fund and the International Labour Organisation, organized the second piloting of the UNESCO manual on intercultural competences based on human rights in Harare, Zimbabwe. Against the backdrop of growing cultural diversity and intercultural interaction within the sub-region, the manual presents a timely, accessible and adaptable activity to sensitize diverse audiences to intercultural competences – the prerequisite skills and behaviours needed to enhance intercultural dialogue and understanding as a means of overcoming conflict, sustaining peace and contributing to development.

By bringing together participants from different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, the manual’s globally accessible story-telling methodology aims to give space for interaction and understanding among people who would not usually meet. Through this interaction, the sources of conflict or misunderstanding are reflected on as participants build and improve their capacity for empathy, reflexivity, tolerance and understanding.

Following the first pilot session of the manual in Bangkok, Thailand, the session in Harare sought to test the manual’s adaptability and effectiveness in the context of this sub-region, both from the perspective of facilitation, and with regard to its ability to build individual capacities for intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Opening with a training of trainers session involving staff from several UN agencies, local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) leaders, educational professionals and artists, some of the newly trained facilitators then undertook the manual’s activity with some 90 local participants who included HIV positive women, sex workers, youth in a low income area and students. Lessons learnt from this pilot session will feed into the global evaluation of the activity, as well as directing adaptions to maximize the relevance of the activity within the African context.

For more information, please contact: Euan Mackway-Jones (e.mackway-jones(at)unesco.org) or Charaf Ahmimed (c.ahmimed(at)unesco.org

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