How do you measure impact? How do you measure changed lives? What are the indicators that something has happened?
It begins inside; the metamorphosis is, at first, almost invisible; it becomes visible in action, in risky commitment to non-violent political and social change.
I remember Saleh, a Muslim member of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement and an imam. I also think of Widad and Mai and Yasmin and Arije and Enass – all Sudanese Muslim women whose lives were changed through and beyond a ten-day training in conflict transformation and non-violent direct action. I think of Feraz and Henna and Deli, Filipinas who measure the ongoing impact of their training in their work in justice, peace, mining justice, community rehabilitation, education and development. And then there’s Atungo and Woba from North East India whose working out of the impact of their encounter with Partera in unique ways, spreading the news of transformation throughout the North East.
The trainings impart skills and techniques; the real change is the breaking down of barriers of enmity as people come to understand their common humanity. Excited about what they’ve learned and found unleashed in themselves, their training as trainers multiplies the impact exponentially as others upon others are trained and trained to train. Beyond those they train, they become movement leaders, watched from close by and far off, inspiring more of the same.