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.
Today is Human Rights Day, commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The day provides a chance to recall the aspiration to a universal human dignity set out in this document, to face up to contexts where this aspiration is being torn apart and, more than just to feel outrage, to take action.
The shortlist for Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders, our annual awards that celebrate the world’s most innovative locally-led peacebuilders, has been finalised – leaving 13 of the 244 applicants to pass through to the next stage of the competition. Three winners will be announced at a ceremony in December and will each receive $10,000 towards their project.
Despite the shocking brutality of violence in Northern Nigeria, there are always those working for peace on the ground. I came away from this Peace Exchange with an increased sense of hope, both for Northern Nigeria and more profoundly for the ability of humans to survive and rebuild even in the midst of violence. Peace Direct releases the first in a series of reports on the views and strategies of local peacebuilders in conflict zones in order to highlight local expertise and capacities for peace. The first focuses on Northern Nigeria.
One year on from the Paris attacks on 13 November 2015, the dread and the dismay has gradually given way to a need for aid, support and sharing. Living in what seems to be an increasingly divided and fragmented world, we must continue to ressit violence and remember our common humanity, regardless of ethnic origins or religious affiliations.
Yesterday, Donald Trump was elected as the next American President. As conflict continues around the world, the US will continue to play a significant role in security and development policy. And within the USA, a fraught campaign has fueled heated discussions of citizenship, gender and race, revealing divisions that maybe local peacebuilding could heal and reconcile. So before the results came in, we spoke to some of our Local Peacebuilding Experts about what they wanted to see from the incoming administration.
Moody is a young Palestinian who lives in Haifa, on the coast of Northern Israel. He is passionate about music, and a full-time rapper. Moody’s life changed when he attended a concert in Tel Aviv where he performed with both Israeli and Palestinian musicians on stage. Moody’s experiences reveal the power of Heartbeat’s work. In a context so often defined by stereotype and separation, Heartbeat’s music unifies people and allows them to explore the complexity of one another’s identity.