We need your support to stop conflict and save lives
With your support we can help bring lasting change to people living in conflict. Your gift will help local people to build peace and heal their own communities.
Other ways to donate
By phone: Call us on (646) 459-2728
By post: Peace Direct @ The Center for Social Innovation, 601 West 26th Street, Site 325, New York, NY 10001
Local people building peace around the world
In the world’s most difficult and dangerous conflicts, local peacebuilders are making a real difference. Every day they risk their lives to build peace and prevent conflict in the places where it starts – locally.
These local heroes can work in places outsiders can't reach. And stay long after the immediate danger has passed. They work tirelessly for the future of their country because it is, quite simply, their home.
Local people have the power to find their own solutions to conflict – and to build their own better futures. Together we can make this happen.
BurundiMobilising young people to reject armed militias and prevent a civil war.
DR CongoRescuing child soldiers, disarming militias and resettling civilians.
DR CongoHelping war victims and uniting villages in peace councils.
IndiaPromoting social harmony between different communities and regions.
MozambiquePreventing and controlling violent crime through community policing.
PakistanHelping young people to resist recruitment by violent extremist groups.
Sri LankaTraining young people to build peace across the divides of war.
United KingdomTraining young people to resolve conflict in schools, homes and communities.
ZimbabweTraining government services, women and schools in conflict resolution.
Action for Peace and Development, Burundi
Burundi is a small country that has suffered nearly five decades of violence and grave human rights abuses. Since gaining independence in 1962, some 300, 000 people have died as a result of violence between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups. And although the last rebel group laid down their weapons in 2009, the situation remains fragile.
65% of the population is under the 20, and it is vital that they are fully involved in the opportunity for peace. This is why local hero Landry Ninteretse started Action for Peace and Development (APD}, a youth group that engages young people in building peace and democracy in Burundi.
APD is setting up peace clubs in high schools, where students will learn the skills they need to resist political violence. The peace clubs are also a place where young people can develop their own practical ideas for how to achieve a more peaceful, tolerant and democratic society. The young peacebuilders will share this with their peers, families and communities and to a wider audience through radio shows.
Centre Résolution Conflits, DR Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo}, the second largest country in Africa, conflicts have raged for more than a decade killing over 5,000,000 people and forcing 2,500,000 million people to abandon their homes. Here, local peacebuilder Henri Ladyi has dedicated his life to building a peace that will last.
Henri is the co-ordinator of local peacebuilding organisation Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) based in the Eastern Congo, a region which has been most vulnerable to conflict. The CRC:
- Rescues child soldiers and finds a place for ex-militia members within communities and work with them to reintegrate into society, finding them work and supportive networks so that they will be able to leave violence behind them. The CRC understands that, although many boys and men who have been drawn into militia groups want to stop fighting, they often cannot see any other way.
- Provides assistance to communities to manage the return of people forced to leave their communities during the conflict.
- Helps communities to reject violence in the long-term by supporting communities to help themselves through conflict prevention committees.
Fondation Chirezi, DR Congo
The human cost of the war in Eastern Congo is horrifying. In the height of the violence many women suffered systematic rape at the hands of the armed groups and thousands of children were orphaned and left vulnerable.
Local hero Flory Kazingufu believes that as much of the violence in South Kivu now happens at the community level, any remedy for conflict must come from within these communities. Flory set up The Chirezi Foundation to build peace and change lives by finding alternatives for these victims of war, the women and children and their communities.
Flory set up traditional peace courts, to reach villages through the commitment of trained community volunteers of peace and community parliaments. These peace courts offer local people a way to handle the conflicts they face in everyday life, without violence.
Kashmir, as disputed territory between India and Pakistan, is one of the most militarised places in the world. Decades of violence and brutality have divided Hindu and Muslim communities. Perodic unrest, street protests and violence have ripped through the streets of Kashmir. It is often young people who were caught in the centre of it.
Local hero Ashima Kaul wants to stop violence and death in Kashmir by mobilising those who are most vulnerable – young people and women. Ashima and her organisation, Yakjah, counter the violence and build relationships between Kashmir's different religious and ethnic communities.
Yakjah believes that by promoting social harmony between the different communities and regions, they can reduce violence. They bring together young people from across Indian-administered Kashmir to learn about each other’s cultures and work together for peace.
In post-war Mozambique, the effects of bitter civil war have left high levels of crime and widespread availability of guns.
FOMICRES, led by former child soldier Albino Forquila, focuses on preventing and controlling violent crime in a country still experiencing the aftermath of trauma and conflict.
In Mozambique more policemen die each year of AIDS than are trained to replace them. Across the country almost 500,000 volunteers assist the police, but they lack of training. FOMICRES wants to prove that careful selection of policing volunteers and a new volunteer training course can bring down rates of violent crime.
Aware Girls, Pakistan
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is one of the most fragile states in Pakistan. Religious extremism has grown to become one of the biggest security threats. Militant groups have been known to incite extremism and violence, increasingly amongst young people. The government has struggled to maintain control in the region.
For women especially, extremism has led to growing insecurity – many fear kidnap or worse. Local hero Gulalai Ismail is working with women and young people to create real change.
At just 16 Gulalai Ismail set up Aware Girls with a group of school friends to change the lives of young women in Pakistan. They began by focusing on women’s rights, and as their membership has grown, they are now training young activists to build peace, challenging violence and extremism.
Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka
For nearly 30 years, Sri Lanka has been scarred by a bitter civil war driven by ethnic tensions. Although the war ended in 2009, tensions between ethnic groups remain high. If left to simmer below the surface, these tensions could threaten the fragile peace Sri Lanka is working to build.
Local hero Dishani Jayaweera is determined to replace mistrust and fear with co-existence and harmony. In 2003 Dishani set up the Center for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation (CPBR).
CPBR believes that change has to come from individuals. And works with young people and religious leaders to build a united Sri Lanka guided by compassion, justice and respect for diversity. CPBR has reached out to all of the religious groups in Sri Lanka – Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamil Hindus, Muslim Islamic, and Tamil and Sinhalese Christians.
They bring together religious leaders to openly discuss what the future holds for their communities. These leaders go on to promote inter-community activities that bring people together regardless of religion or ethnicity.
They have also set up the Young Visionaries programme to train the next generation of leaders to help people live together and prevent any further hostility or violence.
Truce 20/20, United Kingdom
Truce 20/20 gives young people the skills to handle and mediate tensions to prevent violence in their own community, making the Newham area of East London a safer and more welcoming place.
Truce 20/20 brings together young people who want to make a positive change in Newham. It’s completely free to take part and young people gain formal accreditation in conflict resolution, mediation and workshop leadership through a ten-week evening course.
One of the highlights of the programme is a visit from a peacebuilder from a conflict zone overseas. This is a unique opportunity for the young people to hear first-hand how local people are making a difference in Africa or Asia. Their grassroots approach and perseverance gives the young people new perspectives on their own communities.
After graduating from the Peacebuilders’ Workshop programme, participants go on to develop and deliver their own peacebuilding projects in their community, passing on the skills they have learnt to other young people. Over 85% of our graduates take part in these volunteering activities.
Years of political and economic crisis have thrown many people in Zimbabwe into abject poverty. 80% of people are unemployed. With this number only set to rise, people have few options.
Envision was set up following the election turmoil in 2008 which caused worsening political violence, a breakdown of infrastructure and a nationwide outbreak of cholera. Their aim is to bring diverse groups together to lead their own development.
Envision is mobilising women’s groups, interfaith groups and other community groups to take control of their own lives and the future of their communities.
You can make a difference today by standing up for peace.
Without people like you, none of this would be possible. Last year roughly a third of our support came from our supporters - that’s a staggering 6581 gifts. Because of you, local peacebuilders can dedicate their lives to building peace in the world's most difficult and dangerous places. You are important and integral to what we do.’ There’s a typo in ‘possible’.
A special thanks to some of our fundraisers
Lord Jack McConnellLord McConnell raised £20,000 by living on £1 a day for a week.
Katherine & MarkKatherine & Mark raised £625 by asking for donations instead of wedding gifts.
Jane Thurnell-ReadJane raised £3,150 by cycling the length of Britain.
...and 1,000's more who have fundraised or donated.
Your donation can make peace possible
With your support local people can stop conflict and save lives.
Your donation doesn't just provide the resources to do a job. It shows these heroes that they are not alone. That half way around the world you are standing by them as they risk their lives to build peace.