Coexistence Community Consultations

The Coexistence project was launched in November 2003 following the signing of a one year memorandum of understanding between ACCORD and the Washington-based Co-existence Initiative (TCI). The project is intended to undertake studies in South Africa on co-existence and conflict management post-1994.

The main objective of the Coexistence Community Consultations project was to elicit local understandings and articulations of coexistence from communal groups in South Africa who were at one time in conflict with one another but are now interacting in a state of coexistence.

The planning of the project, by The Coexistence Initiative and ACCORD, began in October 2002, and preparatory meetings took place from January to July 2003. The actual consultations were held during August 2003 at Muden and Mpumalanga, both in KwaZulu-Natal, and Stutterheim, in Eastern Cape. Thereafter much time was devoted to the writing of reports and the drafting of sections for a publication, but due to other urgent work the writers concerned could not dedicate all their time to this project.

The findings about how communities have indeed overcome adversity to embrace diversity promise to be very meaningful for practitioners, educators, members of civil society, and others interested in peace-building. The publishing of the material and the lessons learned is scheduled for early 2005.