For peace to be sustainable, there must be long term support to local communities emerging from violence. Without livelihoods and the chance to earn an income and build a stable future, millions of people risk being drawn into violence, or suffer poverty as a result of instability.
It is one of the reasons why 50% of countries return to war within ten years of a peace agreement being signed.
Our work takes place in some of the most devastated communities in the world. Places few organisations or international services reach.
With our local partners, we directly access war torn areas and provide long term support so people affected by war can rebuild their lives.
Why this matters
Communities emerging from war are fragile. Returning fighters are feared, and often excluded from jobs and social activities. Child soldiers have missed out on an education, lacking the skills they need to thrive. Women, often heads of households, have the pressure of looking after families without the means to put food on the table or send children to school.
Too often outside interventions do not tackle the root causes of instability, and exclude those at most risk of marginalisation.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We are determined to support local people to rebuild shattered communities for as long as it takes.
Between July – September 2016, 447 ex-combatants and 231 civilians received training to help them develop agricultural cooperatives.
This supports them to reintegrate into their communities and makes them less likely to be drawn into violence in the future – a common problem among fighters returning home from the bush.
604 men and women working on agricultural cooperatives growing produce like cocao increased their income – many now able to earn $2 a day.
What we do
In DR Congo we support local partner Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) to support ex-combatants, child soldiers and women affected by war to gain skills and earn an income. Community agricultural cooperatives bring together community members and ex-combatants, helping break down fear and mistrust. CRC teach child soldiers to become electricians, mechanics or tailors, or help them return to school. Tailored business training and small loans help women affected by war to begin small businesses, or grow existing ones so they can earn an income and support their families.
In Somalia, a lack of jobs and economic security often drives young people into hands of militant groups like al-Shabaab. We support local organisation SADO to teach those most at risk to become tailors, electricians and mechanics, providing an alternative to a life in the militia. This creates a stable future for them and their families.
Research and evidence of the importance of locally led, community based approaches forms an important part of our advocacy. We share the learning from our partners with decision makers around the world.