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On Friday, 1st of April, project dldl/ድልድል completed week-long ‘refresher’ trainings on domestic violence with 155 clergy previously trained by the project team in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia. The pilot training series on domestic violence with Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo clergy was co-delivered with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission (EOC DICAC), a formal partner to the project.
Following participants’ assessments and informed by international evidence that clergy trained on domestic violence may need regular support and guidance to fully assimilate training content (Istratii and Ali, 2022), a decision was made to return to the project sites and engage the clergy who had been trained in the first round of the pilot in a second series of ‘refresher’ trainings. The sessions also integrated exercises, presentations and short discussions with the clergy participants to obtain their accounts on how the training content has been used and shared with their communities, how their teaching has been received and challenges they have faced so far. Participants were also invited to share their thoughts on the overall pilot project and to suggest how they thought it should evolve in the future so that its positive effects could achieve continuity and maximum impact with the community.
A final report that describes the pilot’s approach, the content of the training and the participants’ assessments and suggestions will be released in the next month by the project team.
Until then, the project wishes to acknowledge the support of EOC DICAC in facilitating the organisation of these workshops, and specifically Mr Bantamlak Gelaw, Kesis Aklil Damtew, Mr Dejene Meberate and Qes Mulugeta, and Mr Henok Hailu.
Sincere thanks are also due to the clergy participants for their acceptance, engagement and humility to listen to the project team and for their commitment to protect girls and women in their communities. Domestic violence is not inevitable and it can be curtailed as a problem – faith can play a significant part in this effort.