About us

Peace Direct is an international organisation dedicated to supporting local people to stop war and build lasting peace in some of the world’s most fragile countries.

The world is battling war and violence, and deadly conflict tears across communities around the globe. It touches and destroys lives from Paris to Peshawar. Our work has never been more urgent.

Led by local people, we tackle the causes of violence at the root, and rebuild lives after war has torn communities apart. We are dedicated to making peace a practical option, ensuring local people have the skills and resources to make it a reality.


We believe passionately in non-violence and the power of local action. Local people are central to the resolution of their own conflicts. Peace is not sustainable if imposed from the outside.


In 12 years we have supported local peacebuilding organisations in over 25 countries around the world, providing vital assistance to ensure grassroots action stopping conflict and violence can continue, and grow.

With our local partners, we have saved lives, provided paths out of violence and built better futures for thousands of people.

As an independent organisation funded by people like you, we can direct money and support to where it is most urgently needed.

Because of this we can stop wars and build peace, one person at a time.


Peace Direct at a glance

Our story

I couldn’t imagine how anybody couldn’t be obsessed by the terrible debris and carnage of war and not want to do something about it.
Scilla Elworthy
Peace Direct co-founder and patron


Peace Direct was born out of a passion to provide local people risking their lives on the front line of conflict with the resources they need to carry out their work. 

From small beginnings in the basement of a flat in London, to a dynamic and respected organisation that has supported over 40 peacebuilding organisations around the world, our history is true to our grassroots approach.


Our approach: why local peacebuilding?

The world’s current approach to preventing and resolving conflicts is not working.

50 per cent of wars restart within ten years of a peace treaty being signed.


Underpinning all our work is the belief the current structure of the aid system is flawed.

Local people have been sidelined in efforts to stop war and build peace.

We want to shift the balance of power and resources towards those who have the deep local knowledge of a conflict, and the long term commitment to fight for peace.

We have always tried to do things differently. We do not establish country offices or employ expatriate staff.

We don’t arrive in conflict zones and we don’t leave them.

Instead, we find creative ways to support local organisations to implement their own work. Locally owned, non-violent action is cost effective, scalable and strengthens the prospects for long term peace.

Shifting the balance

The tide is now slowly turning.

More institutions, donors and policymakers are acknowledging the role local people must play in resolving conflict, and in their own development.

While there are still real changes to be made within policy and practice, Peace Direct is well placed to build on this shift.


What we do


Through targeted advocacy, we speak with high level representatives from governments, international institutions and policy making bodies. We amplify the voices of local peacebuilders onto the international stage. Read more »


Peace Direct produces Insight on Conflict, the leading online resource for local peacebuilding in conflict zones worldwide. Through dedicated mapping of over 1,300 peacebuilding organisations, it highlights the scale and impact of local peacebuilding around the world. Read more »


We support 11 organisations in nine countries to carry out practical work to stop war and build peace. Through long term support, we help them become sustainable and independent organisations that transform the communities they live and work in. Read more »

Latest news

This International Day of Peace, we draw inspiration from Gulalai Ismail, who is building lasting peace against all odds.

Today, 2 billion people live in areas of conflict and violence. But this International Day of Peace, we take courage from someone who, against all odds, is building peace. Together we can stop wars, one person at a time.Read more »

9/11, 16 years later: what should we learn about peace not war?

As the US announces further troop deployments to Afghanistan, what can we learn from local peacebuilders about avoiding terrorism and violent conflict?Read more »

Violence in Charlottesville

The events of Charlottesville force us to pay attention to groups that have attacked minorities for decades. We can no longer look away.Read more »