Personas
Protagonistas en la prevención

Fadhili Jackson Manyaki

Mr. Fadhili Jackson Manyaki is a Peacebuilding Specialist at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, which is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has been working in the field since 2012, having spent time as a consultant with several organizations including SPLM North (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North), the Forum of Parliaments of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (FPICGLR), and TANGO Consult. Mr. Manyaki has a Bachelor's in Theology, an advanced diploma in Humanitarian Programs Management, and a diploma in Disaster Management. He recently attended AIPR's Global Lemkin Seminar for the Prevention of Genocide, held in November of 2016.

People
Interview

Which actions and/or policies do you feel are the most effective in the long-term prevention of mass atrocities?

As it is known that Mass atrocities are not isolated events but rather a process over a period of time, built on different structural underlying issues; therefore prevention should be a process too. I am in favor of policies and actions which create a base for respect for human dignity regardless of identity. I would like to see a government-sponsored but peoples owned prevention process whereby women, youth, children, religious leaders, civil societies participate to restructure our societies. We are living in societies where political, social and religious “construction of the other” is prevalent. In most cases groups feel mistreated, disrespected, excluded and unwanted while on the other hand other groups feel superior, correct, and visionary and are rightful owners of the given process. It is my wish for the Government to embark on a national rebuilding process through which different stakeholders (including political parties, religious institutions, Civil Societies, Youth groups, Women, etc) shall be involved in creating a common national vision, mission, core values, and development strategies. This process will close loopholes which perpetrators utilize for their agendas. The process shall also reduce political tension due to the shared national vision.

Could you tell us a bit about the Prevention Village and your work in its founding?

Despite of being an employee of a non-State regional peacekeeping training institution, I am a founder of Serenity Voice Foundation which is the organization working on the establishment of a model community on the basis of social development, peace-building, human rights observance and prevention of atrocity crimes. The project is still in its early stages. I work on democratization process, by training the villagers on their civic duties and rights and as a result of a four months training villagers decided to unseat their village leader due to unaccountability, impunity, and corruption, and elected a new leader! I also oversaw the creation of the village common vision, mission, values and the writing of its four years strategic plan 2017-2020. The Prevention Village works on the following pillars:

  1. Social restructuring: Programs aimed at getting the community reach a common ground on shared values, ideologies, culture and vision.
  2. Democratization: Programs aimed at building and nurturing rule of law, respect for human rights and social inclusion in the village decision making
  3. Economic empowerment: Programs such as social farming (Bees keeping, fish keeping, Agriculture), Small industries initiative, Social Credit facilities, and education for the illiterates
  4. Early warning System: including mobile app data collection among villagers, creation of a conflict resolution chamber which makes use of the positive local means of conflict resolution (such as use of elders, religious leaders and eminent persons)
  5. Cultural development: Engaging the community into developing their positive culture in order to strengthen their social fabrics. Programs such dances, poetry, library of the collection of local proverbs with their meaning, and inter-religious gatherings.
  6. Education, Knowledge sharing and Advocacy: opportunity for fellowships, volunteerism, and offering of education and advocacy through media and art, and replication in other villages.
  7. Memorization of the human dignity: in genocide prevention we tend to memorize the past evil and inhumane actions committed to our fellows; in this village we tend to do the opposite by memorizing the best values in humanity. We intend to build a park of peace and dignity. In this park we shall erect an image which depicts persons of different races joining hands enjoying their lives in unity. This shall send a message of one identity which really matters: HUMANITY.

Who or what motives you and inspires you in your work?

Since my childhood I lived a life being discriminated, mistreated and disrespected because first I was born out of wedlock, and that my alleged father was from a different ethnic group and of different religion. The pain I (beatings, torture, segregation, etc) went through and the rancor I harbored in my heart are the source of my inspiration. My anger is not towards those who hurt me but against the social models of disrespect for human dignity. I don’t want other people to go through the ordeal I did. It makes me so happy to convert crying faces into laughing ones; I want to see people are respected just because they are human beings.

For you personally, what was the most important element of your visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau?

The thinking of it now, my heart goes faster! Auschwitz Birkenau for me is a constant reminder that human beings are evil and none is above the line. With this thought I’m encouraged to recommit my entire life day by day to helping those around me find and affirm themselves in living accountable lives. I will never forget standing by the pond in which human ashes were dumped! I felt the chilling in my heart, and asked myself, how can a man do this his fellow? I also thought of the people I hated and those I wished to have power to get rid of, and then I asked myself do their wrongdoings give me a reason to terminate their lives? Oh no… I’m no better than the Nazi soldiers if I keep on embracing the reasons why my presumed enemies should not exist! Gosh, my life is changed!