From Argentina to Zambia, Zimbabwe to Azerbaijan, 225 local peacebuilders from 53 countries have entered this year’s competition to find Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders. After weeks of deliberation, 11 organisations have been selected for the shortlist. From this shortlist we’ll select four prize winners announced on Armistice day, 11 November. Whether it is the winners or other entrants, two of these new peacebuilding organisations will join the Grow Peace Fund for 2015.
Set up specifically for smaller peacebuilding organisations, Grow Peace helps to develop peacebuilding organisations’ capacity, and strengthens their exceptional peacebuilding work. Through the fund, we’ve been able to find new organisations – small projects with big ideas that make a real impact – and grow peace.
This year, the competition’s shortlisted organisations have responded to the needs of their communities by setting up policing systems, combating weapons proliferation, producing inter-group music and radio projects, and rehabilitating former child soldiers.
In Burundi, Dagropass exchanges guns for tools, giving former combatants a stake in peace and removing their incentives to revert to violence. In Indonesia, Institut Perempuan campaign in West Java to promote and protect women’s rights. In Washington, the DC Peace Team acts as civilian peacekeepers, preventing violence between citizens and police by building trust and tackling insecurity. These organisations are among the 11 shortlisted for the competition – of which four will join the Grow Peace Fund when the winners are announced in November.
The Grow Peace Fund in 2014 has provided emergency food supplies and psychosocial support to typhoon survivors in the Philippines, and helped put conflict resolution on the syllabus of many high schools in Burundi. The work of these grassroots peacebuilding organisations is diverse in location, theme and context, but common to all is a desire to challenge the status quo and provide practical solutions to complex issues.