I am Lázaro Pereira Candieiro, a Mozambican from Beira city of Sofala Province. I’m a community volunteer and I work for several organizations in Sofala Province. In 2014, I quit my job as a dairy technician and I have been dedicating myself to helping communities. I worked with Association and Social Development (ASD), Lutheran Community and Christian Council in Mozambique (CCM). I’m also a collaborator with the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Beira and the Aqua Healing and Counseling Project in Zimbabwe, the place where I conduct trauma workshops.
In Justice and Peace, community empowerment works: I help the community to be protagonists on their own development and influence behavioral changes in relation to gender and land conflicts. I often use Aqua healing which is a kind of group therapy that helps healing traumas experienced by each participant: family trauma caused by domestic and social violence, war, unemployment or any negative social circumstance. We had a lot of difficulties working with people because in our workshops we already brought topics that we wanted to address and there was no progress because it was not a current situation experienced by the population. With the help of the 2016/2017 TFT Diploma course that I participated in, there was a dynamic change in the work of our team. We became facilitators, listeners and code creators that created a space and opportunity for engagement and helped the participants to have more openness and confidence to share their problems. The main issue was to conscientize the people I work with that they are the only protagonists of their own change. Through research we brought codes that reflected problems the community were faced with. They stirred the sensitivity of many and little by little our meetings started to be interesting and participatory.
The TFT method of engaging made it easier for me to facilitate workshops with Peace Clubs at the city level where I addressed the problems that plague our city and young people. We raised awareness about the negative effects of early marriage and pregnancy, alcohol and substance abuse – using theater plays at times. We also organized cleaning campaigns.
Thanks to TFT, I had to understand that as a facilitator, I have to create trust, and confidence so that others can unlock their hearts as well as intellects, and be able to speak from the bottom of the soul and together experience the journey of transformation. The tools and codes are good to help everyone’s participation; they create curiosities, spirits of togetherness, and inclusion in the search for solutions for a problem. And the result was commendable. Today, communities can already create committees to demand land use and distribution, and to denounce the usurpation of land by NGOs, we have already taken some cases to a legal clinic. From 2017 up to 2019, more than 500 women in various activities of the project already actively participate in meetings and are free put their opinion.
In the trauma workshops, I added the power theme, to help participants through codes to create a way out of their problems; the river code is what I use most and other codes that help them understand the importance of talking about their problems and the power to be in a group.
Transformation In The Home
TFT is a unique experience that has changed me, my perception about the world, about gender, my personal attitudes and the control of my anxiety. It is an experience of inner and spiritual transformation; a deeper knowledge of the self, self-respect and of others around. TFT helped me out of fanaticism and self-indulgence and I became a man of alternatives in the family after the loss of my parents and taking responsibility for my brother who is now 20 years old. It was difficult to manage family life; I felt more like a parent in charge of providing food and some basic goods, but not a father who guided his boy to face life responsibly. I had to show the example and encourage him to face the housework, it was hard work because we grew up with the belief that it was only for women and girls.
Adjusting To The Coronavirus
Since the outbreak and subsequent regulations of the Coronavirus in 2020, we had to adapt to the new reality. Many activities were closed and usual workshops just returned in the end of November 2020 and with few numbers of participants. Trauma circles were conducted from house to house with less than six people (family therapy). Young boys joined the campaign of sensitizing communities about the measures to contain the virus – we did it door to door.