Looking back at 2019, I am continually impressed by the courage, commitment, and resilience of our partners and thousands of local peacebuilders around the world. As war and violence raged in many places, local people on the frontlines of conflict have saved lives, interrupted cycles of violence, and strengthened the foundations for lasting peace in their societies.
Overall in 2019, Peace Direct supported local peacebuilders in 12 countries to stop violent conflict. Our partners set up local Peace Courts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, helped children traumatized by Syria’s war and trained Filipino women in conflict resolution, among many other projects.
As the end of the year approaches, we take a moment to look back at some of the key moments in our work and the lives of our partners.
Updated on July 2, 2020: In Pakistan, an anti-terrorism court acquitted Gulalai Ismail and her parents of financing terrorism charges. “Thank you for standing up in this hard time with my family,” the Ismail sisters said.
From May 24-26, we joined some 400 diverse peacebuilding experts, practitioners, policymakers, and NGO representatives at the Alliance for Peacebuilding’s (AfP) annual conference in Washington, DC. The theme of the gathering, “Next Gen Peace”, spoke to the future of peacebuilding as a field, and the three days were full of energy, insightful panels, and thought-provoking discussions. For us, the event was a time to listen and learn from others, share our own work, and collaborate with the AfP community to encourage greater support for local peacebuilding, including the critical role of youth as peacebuilders. Our experience at the conference highlighted six key lessons for the future of peacebuilding.