Despite a year of war, violence and tumultuous conflict, the work of our partners gives me confidence, hope and inspiration that local people can stop war and build peace, even in the world’s most fragile places. As 2016 draws to a close Chief Executive, Dylan Mathews, shares some of the years’s highlights.
My name is Jalal* and I live in north-west Pakistan. It is known as a hotbed of militancy and extremism, where militants run the streets and bombs destroy lives. When the Taliban began taking over our area, I didn’t know what to do. One by one, I lost most of my friends to the Taliban. They were used to carry out suicide attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan and Waziristan, just across the border from Pakistan.
If one thing is clear, it is that stories have power when it comes to peacebuilding. So often in war, people are silenced. Whether it is through fear, or the breakdown of infrastructure, people’s voices often cannot be heard from war zones. These stories from our annual event celebrating local peacebuilding took us on a journey. We felt the anguish of war, and the hope brought by peace.