How we work
One of the focus areas for AFRICE is the revival of knowledge, practices, customary law and governance traditions. This is achieved through implementing the following activities as listed below
- Community Dialogues: We conduct regular community dialogues, which, bring together the SNS custodians and knowledgeable elders with their communities to revive their traditions and practices and begin the process of reconstructing community governance systems. These dialogues provide an opportunity for the communities to strengthen their cohesion and confidence, to analyse their situation, and to agree their priorities. The dialogues focus on reviving indigenous knowledge of customary governance systems and through the process building community cohesion. Ultimately, communities organise and reach a consensus on how to engage the government after developing Community Constitutions, eco-ecological maps and calendars and Community Ecological plans that form the basis for advocating for legal recognition.
- Intercommunity Exchanges: The exchanges provide communities with an opportunity to review their progress, share their learning and challenges, and build support and encouragement from their peers who are going through a similar process. Coordinating strategies and actions enables the communities to develop a shared approach for exercising and asserting their rights. Together they build an alliance for protecting the ecosystems.
- Training Community Animators: Community Animators are members of the community (often youth) who work with the communities to reinstate the practice of regular community dialogues. AFRICE provides training to Community animators on how to lead the dialogue process and support the communities in reviving their knowledge and practices, learning from elders and affirming the role of women to build their resilience. Community animators are responsible for tracking and monitoring the dialogue process.
- Paralegal and legal training: Paralegal training workshops take place with key representatives from communities to improve their understanding of their rights and the legal process. The training provides an opportunity for communities to receive training on the legal arguments that support their case as well as develop a strategy for engaging with the government and other key stakeholders, who are decision makers
- Community eco-cultural mapping and calendar trainings: Community eco-cultural mapping and seasonal calendars are developed by representatives from communities. They develop past, present and future maps of their territory, different land uses and customary governance. They also develop eco-calendars of the seasonal cycle and related practices. The maps and calendars form the basis from which they are able to initiate the development of their community ecological governance plans.
- Community Constitutions and Community Ecological Governance plans: Community dialogues provide communities with an opportunity to meet regularly in order to revive knowledge and practices and build cohesion. The eco-cultural mapping process enables communities gather all that they have learnt into visual representation of the original ancestral order of how they used to live; the present disorder; and envision a future map in which they have re-established as much of the past as is possible and relevant and the new elements they wish to introduce.
This provides them with the foundation from which to develop a set of written materials – community constitutions, customary laws and plans. These documents provide evidence of their history and relationship with their traditional territories, their sacred sites and their pre-colonial governance systems, as well as their plans and the assertion of their rights.