GSN launched its first impact report “Growing Connection, Resiliency and Agency: The impact of community-led trauma-informed peacebuilding in response to violent extremism in Kenya” at the second annual Paris Peace Forum (12 November 2019).

Storytelling Overview

Storytelling has been one of the greatest ways to teach humanity about life since the beginning of time.

GSN
Stories

In places in conflict the story is often handed down from one generation to the next so that the conflict is also handed down and the division and hatred remains alive. People like a good story and a good ending. This is how our brains are wired. But what happens when it is a consistently bad story as well as a bad ending as is the stories and life experiences of many.

Green String Network, uses stories, watercolor images, life testimonies and stories of personal transformation as one of the key tools of learning from each other. When people are traumatized, they are often haunted by their past experiences as well as the stories of the past experiences of others. This only makes them form new stories that relate to that reality, but the stories never have happy endings. At GSN we support people to rewrite their stories and thus rewrite their past.

Many studies show the brain “lights up” in reacting to imagery, truly transporting the reader to the events being described. We can all recall a good story that we have read or heard as this shows we have placed ourselves “there” during it’s telling.

Traumatized people relive the events (stories) they have experienced through nightmares, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts. They constantly see themselves in the story and never seem to find a way out of it. Unless their thoughts and stories are transformed into new thoughts, new stories and better endings then the nightmares only continue. At GSN we support developing and transforming these stories of pain into stories of emancipation, forgiveness and reconciliation.

One of the key aspects of the story is the storyteller. Through healing, transforming, empowering, uplifting, educating and supporting African leaders through a process of trauma healing and self-awareness, they become equipped to become the most powerful and dynamic story tellers not only though their words but through the actions.