Champions for Peace

Patrick Bwire grew up in Buboko, a poor, war-torn village in Uganda. Whilst the violent conflict had ended, chaos remained. As a child, Patrick was faced with violence, now he is changing the lives of many.
His weapon? Peacebuilding.

Read Patrick’s inspiring story

Through our joint project, CECORE helps young people to change their communities. Now, many young people in Karamoja, Northern Uganda, are moving away from violence and are developing the skills to provide for their families. As young leaders, they speak out against destructive ways and embrace dialogue for peace. And with much success: the young peace champions reconcile conflicting parties, support fellow youth and speak out against violence and practices like forced marriage. Watch this video to see changes that are happening!

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“When you come home you breathe that sigh of relief… you ask yourself: should I really go back and continue with my work? But you end up answering yourself: you have to, because that is where your skills and passion lies.”

Patrick Bwire of the Center of Conflict Resolution (CECORE) in Uganda.


Cameras in Hand

Elzina, Elvira, Yusuf, Melis and Latifa are a few of the youth whose lives have changed as a result of the ‘Cameras in Hands’ project (our joint project with Foundation for Tolerance International).

Growing up in Kyrgyzstan, a country that is characterised by a pervasive potential for conflict, they felt excluded from society, as well as fatigue from traditional peacebuilding activities. They participated in our project ‘Cameras in Hands,’ specifically designed to tackle these issues and provide a platform for them to raise issues important to them. Through this project, in which they scripted, recorded and edited videos and showed them to their communities and policymakers, they became agents of change, and were able to bridge social, gender, and ethnic divides.

Learn more about the project
Learn more about the methodology & project

“I became sure of myself. I know that my opinion and my wishes play an important role in the development of Kyrgyzstan. Previously I would complain about problems, now I think of solutions. This was the biggest personal change after participating in the project.”

Guliza, project participant.

Education for Peace

At just 17, Dragana had to flee her home due to the war in former Yugoslavia. Now, more than twenty years later, she uses the power of education to help bridge the divides created by conflict.

Read her inspiring story

The story of Dragana and the work she does shows the importance of education, especially in fragile contexts. It can help youth deal with the trauma of war, manage and address conflicts and engage in dialogue for better understanding of "the other".

Without a doubt, education has the ability to change lives for the better. This was the case for Khaled. Khaled was born in a small village in the poorest area of Egypt. He was brought up in a culture where violence and conflict were prominent and the use of weapons the norm. He took up education as his tool to make peace. To make a change.

Full story of Khaled

Want to know more about how peacebuilders use peace education for conflict prevention locally? Check out our peace education webinar series!

Tune in to this episode of the Peace Corner Podcast for more about peace education in Ukraine!

Redesign the Table for Women’s inclusion

Meet long-time feminist activist working in the field of Women, Peace and Security, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls. She is a pioneer in her field of work, with one main message: it is time to redesign the table, it is time for more women to be part of peace processes.

Check out her story

Women drive conflict prevention on the ground. Every day, women build sustainable peace in their communities as educators, community mediators and advocates. Their inclusion in peacebuilding processes is, therefore, a prerequisite for long-term success. However, women and especially young women, remain excluded from peace processes. We unite in our shared commitment to redesign the table and shift the power to women peacebuilders preventing conflict at the local and regional level.

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“More financial support to regional and national efforts is needed, so that more women are leading peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts.”

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Chair GPPAC Board

Local action on SDGs

For peacebuilders like Visaka Dharmadasa (Sri Lanka), Justine Kwachu Ngum Kumche (Cameroon) and Khaled Emam (Egypt), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an important tool. Implementing the SDGs is critical to strengthen conflict prevention, as an integral element of inclusive and sustainable development.

Taking the SDG framework and adjusting the goals, indicators and means of implementation to local contexts is important to us. This is key to making the SDGs successful. Our members, WAA Cameroon and WANEP Ghana conducted civil society reviews of how to localise and implement SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies through a people-centered approach, highlighting the benefits of using this framework. From these reviews the importance of meaningful inclusion of women and youth came out as one of the key recommendations.

Check out the implementation of SDG 16+ in Cameroon and Ghana.

SDG toolkitTune in and listen to this interesting podcast episode on the SDGs!

“Whatever decisions are taken at the United Nations Headquarters, ultimately the implementation happens at the local level. These decisions should resonate with the needs of the people.”

Visaka Dharmadasa, GPPAC member and Gender Focal Point in South Asia.

Preventing Conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

All across the world, our members are working to prevent violent conflicts and build peaceful societies. Like in the DRC, where after many years of violent conflict, there are still frequent eruptions of violence. A reemerging conflict practice is kidnapping. The trend of carrying out kidnapping for ransom as a means of generating income has been on the rise in the DRC, particularly in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu.

Our member, Héritiers de la Justice in DRC, is working on this issue. They provided communities with a toll-free number to call where they learned more about the issue, shared information and alerted authorities. This led to the arrest of several outlaws responsible for looting and hostage-taking, in the territory of Uvira in the DRC. Héritiers de la Justice made sure to continuously involve youth and women in the approach to the problem, as it is key to include all members of society.

The work of Héritiers de la Justice was made possible thanks to the funds from our Prevention Up Front Alliance project.

A Glimpse Past the Wall in Palestine

This is Walaa, a young Palestinian woman who lives in a refugee camp next to an Israeli checkpoint. Every day, Walaa is faced with separation in her country. Through the work of peacebuilder Lucy Nusseibeh, she has been able to tell her story.

In Palestine, a place where there have been many years of conflict, peace can seem unattainable. Yet, there are those who have been working tirelessly to make a change for many years. Amongst those people is Lucy. As the founder and Executive Chair of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND), Lucy has been working in Palestine’s West Bank for over two decades. As we were filled with questions, we travelled down the road to Jerusalem paid her a visit.

“Participants are trained both to film and be filmed. They become aware of their own image, through filming each other and themselves in discussions on different topics. So, it raises a lot of awareness, including self-awareness, which then empowers them to articulate better their own views and needs. This is one of the ways we have found really effective working with youth and women.”

Lucy Nusseibeh, Director of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND).

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