Although Côte d’Ivoire’s post-electoral violence of 2011 has limited the role that Ivorians of different political leanings can play in the country’s development, civil society actors have retained the freedom to operate in a way that creates greater space for political expression and positive action. Two such actors are Côte d’Ivoire’s Evangelical and Catholic churches. Karuna associates Joseph and Joachim have begun working with members of these congregations to capitalize on their breadth of reach and make optimal use of their power as change agents.
Joseph and Joachim, in partnership with the US-based development firm AECOM, facilitated a three-day training workshop in Abidjan for 50 Evangelical and Catholic Christian leaders to analyze the positive role they can play in the post-conflict recovery process. Participants were encouraged to discuss steps they can take to enable more proactive contributions in the recovery experience and develop greater inclusivity in the profile of Ivorians involved. Joseph and Joachim are now developing a training of trainers manual to prepare the participants to return to their own communities ready to help their fellow members support the recovery process in their respective areas.