EIP is implementing a project titled ‘Ensuring peaceful coexistence and promoting Human Rights values among the communities of Lower Omo Valley through active community participation”. The implementers coined a short project name called Lower Omo Valley Project (LOVaP) and its project time is from February 19, 2020, to February 17, 2023.
The project is financially supported by the European Union (EU) under the Civil Society Fund (CSF3) for three years’ duration. The project is intended to support target beneficiaries of South and West Omo Zones of Dassanech, Nyangatom, Hamer, and Selamago. The project aims to promote and ensure peaceful coexistence and social cohesion among communities.
Ethiopian Institute of Peace (EIP) is implementing the above project in partnership with Enhancing Pastoralist Research and Development Alternatives (EPaRDA). As Lead Applicant, EIP implements the peace component. EPaRDA is a Co-Applicant and implements the Human Rights (HRs) and Harmful Traditional Practices (HTP) part.
The project targets the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in three woredas namely Selamago, Hamer, Dassanech, and Nyangatom. The target woredas are home to a number of indigenous ethnic groups including Mursi, Hamer, Nyangatom, Erbore, Kara, Dassanech, Muguji, Kuwaigu, Dime, Bodi, Bacha, etc. Other ethnic groups who came from highland areas of Ethiopia also live with these communities.
In the project period, a total of 33 inter and 196 intracommunity dialogues will be expected in providing a safe space for communities to come together and talk about issues of concern. These dialogue approaches sought to enable these community members to increase mutual understanding and to improve relationships between them, empowering communities to address their issues in constructive and creative ways for their peaceful coexistence.
“No one from Konso and Bodi can believe if you tell them that people from the two tribes sit together for a meal. This never happened before community dialogue sessions have started by the project. It is even hard for them to think of. But thanks to EU support and EIP, the intra and inter dialogue activities created ample opportunity for both communities to meet and discuss on the culture of peace and peaceful coexistence under the same table. This was done with the huge support of the woreda security office. It is now a reality. A reality that has been captured by the camera always to be remembered. According to the head of the security office, Ato Birhanu Hallecha this is just the first meal between Konso and Bodi people. And it is just a turning point for them to say let bygones be bygones, to start a new beginning, a new road…. a road to peace and peaceful coexistence!!”