MoHSSS facilitates conflict resolution training for faith-based leaders & staff

Over thirty faith-based leaders, who are part of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s (MoHSSS) Support and Heal Network initiative, and Ministry’s staff benefited from a one-day workshop on Conflict Resolution – a key element when addressing social issues.  

The workshop, which was held on March 13 at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, was facilitated by staff from the Ministry’s Gender Affairs Bureau (GAB). The session is part of a series of “train the trainers” workshops tailored for Support and Heal Network’s (SHN) representatives and Ministry’s staff who will be providing support and counselling to vulnerable groups and communities across Guyana.

In her remarks to the participants, Hon Dr. Vindhya Persaud underscored the significance to resolve conflict since “little things can be blown out of proportion, and cause rupture in our society.”

Therefore, as a people oriented Ministry, the SHN and Ministry’s roles in conflict resolution are paramount.  

“Support is a very powerful word. Many persons find themselves in very difficult circumstances, and they have no support. Without support things can escalate very quickly, from the lack of support they can become violent. Without support, people can spiral quickly into depression. Without a network of persons, sometimes people feel as if they’re alone in the world,” Hon Persaud noted.

To this end, the Human Services Minister is optimistic that the session will directly address some of the societal ills, including the increased reportage of violence against women. She opined that many of the reported cases would have arisen from conflict, fueled by lack of understanding.

“Conflict is something that should never fester in anyone to cause it to widen to such an extent, where someone cannot sit and have rational, reasonable conversations,” pointed out Hon. Persaud.

She also encouraged the faith-based leaders as they engage communities that it was imperative to understand the varying perspectives that embolden individuals.

“Understanding is a very tough thing to achieve. You might have a world of respect, but you may not understand another’s perspective. But, our mandate after this training will be to heal in a tangible way. Heal with empathy and compassion,” Minister Persaud charged.  

Established in September 2020, the SHN was conceptualized by Hon Persaud to enable faith-based leaders to promote peace and harmony, make recommendations and devise strategies to effectively support the Ministry’s work on social issues.

Religious organisations involved in this voluntary programme include: Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana; Guyana Islamic Trust; Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha; Guyana Pandits Council; Guyana Central Arya Samaj; Roman Catholic Church of Guyana;  Assemblies of God; New Testament Church of God; Revealed Word Christian Centre;  Guyana Conference of Seventh Day Adventists; Anglican Diocese Guyana; Inter Religious Organisation of Guyana; The Salvation Army of Guyana; The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints; Guyana Rastafari Council; Maha Sabha;  National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Guyana; Guyana United Apostolic Mystical Council; Full Gospel Church – Guyana; Guyana Presbyterian Church; Guyana Lutheran Church; Guyana Brethren Church; Guyana Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at-l-Islam (Lahore); Guyana Wesleyan Church and Hare Krishna Movement and the Guyana Islamic Forum.