COPING WITH CONFLICT

Managing Conflict is something we all have to do in our own lives. We have all experienced conflict within our families and with work colleagues, usually over small matters, but sometimes over very serious ones. Sometimes we feel we have helped to settle the conflict: at other times we may feel we have made things worse. This issue of Footsteps tackles conflict within and between communities. As resources become scarce and life more difficult, so conflicts are likely to become more common. As Tom Houston of World Vision said, ‘The main problem in the world today is conflict and the greatest need is for reconciliation in these conflicts. There is no greater contributor to human suffering and no more significant barrier to effective development action than the violent conflicts that are tearing apart communities and societies throughout the world. Since 1945 120 armed conflicts in Third World countries have killed over 20 million people, most of whom were civilians.’

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 36 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 36 click here (981K).


  • A useful fly trap

    So many diseases can be spread by flies that an effective and practical fly trap would be very useful. Meegan and Morley have designed a simple trap which can catch 200–300 flies a day and is made out of plastic bottles.

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  • Bible study: Loving our enemies

    Loving our enemies Read Acts 6 and 7. Stephen was a young man richly blessed by God and full of power. He performed great miracles and wonders among the people. But some men did not like him. They started arguing with Stephen, but God gave him great wisdom and no-one could stand against him. So, they bribed some bad men to tell lies about Stephen. Finally, he was arrested and brought before the Council (the highest religious court of the Jews) and the High Priest. When young Stephen appeared ...

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  • Conflict and watershed management

    by Vidya Gorakshkar. The watershed of a river includes all the land which drains into a river, the upland and wooded areas where streams begin, as well as areas nearer the river itself. Managing this watershed area may involve soil and water conservation, afforestation, fodder, animal husbandry, fuelwood, community development and indeed most aspects of rural life. Some villages in the Ahmadnager District of Maharashtra State in India are participating in the Indo-German Watershed ...

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  • Conflict: The long road back up

    Once differences develop into tensions, there are unlikely to be any short-cuts to agreement. Both sides must start by opening channels of communication and working upwards to reach full agreement.

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  • Conflicts about natural resources

    by Scott Jones. Conflicts can often arise about access to and control of natural resources like land, water in a stream or well or products from a forest or lake. Such conflicts may result in that resource not being managed in a productive or sustainable way. We usually think of conflict as being negative. But conflict can be used positively – it can bring issues to the surface which can then provide an opportunity to heal wounds, to develop goals and ways to achieve those goals that are ...

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  • Editorial

    Managing Conflict is something we all have to do in our own lives. We have all experienced conflict within our families and with work colleagues, usually over small matters, but sometimes over very serious ones. Sometimes we feel we have helped to settle the conflict: at other times we may feel we have made things worse. This issue of Footsteps tackles conflict within and between communities. As resources become scarce and life more difficult, so conflicts are likely to become more common. As ...

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  • How people respond to conflict

    Groups of people in a conflict situation each have their own interests or goals. But how they respond to conflict depends also on how important they feel it is to maintain a relationship with the other group or groups involved and on how much power they think they have. What are the different ways in which people respond?

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  • Involving outsiders

    Sometimes parties involved in a conflict themselves see the need to do something about it, to meet and discuss. They negotiate to find a solution.

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  • Letters

    Rabbit rearing Rabbits can easily be reared by young people for a profit, helping them to become financially independent of their parents for small items such as books and pens.

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  • Post-conflict reconstruction: Experiences in Rwanda

    by Ian Wallace. The events in Rwanda in 1994 had an impact around the world. At Tearfund they caused us to think long and hard about our response both to the needs of the survivors of the genocide and the rebuilding of the social trust that had been destroyed.

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  • Resources

    Thy Word… a Lamp and a Light A bible study guide towards peace, healing and reconciliationby Gladys Mwiti and Benson Kamande Oasis Counselling Centre

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  • Sterilising seed beds

    Using the heat of the sun to sterilise seed beds is a cheap and simple method of sterilising soil. When planting seed beds it is very helpful first to reduce the number of micro-organisms found naturally in the soil which can cause disease. There are chemical methods of doing this but they are expensive and may result in pollution.

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  • The Bead Game

    A useful evaluation tool It is difficult to collect data to evaluate HIV/AIDS education programmes. Working with people who have low levels of literacy is particularly challenging, because written questionnaires cannot be used and people are hesitant to reply honestly in oral interviews.

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  • The tree with healing properties

    by Scott Jones. The forests of SW Cameroon are a valuable natural resource. There are many conflicts of interest among and between local people, government agencies and companies. One example is about the harvesting of a useful tree called Prunus africana. A European company uses the Prunus bark to make a medicine to treat a type of cancer. Local people earn money by supplying the company with the bark. Demand for the Prunus bark is high and rapid harvesting threatens its survival.

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