War Stories Peace Stories is proud to partner with Peace Direct, an international organization based in London dedicated to supporting local people in efforts to end war and build lasting peace in some of the world’s most fragile countries.
“We know from experience that there are always people building peace, even in the midst of the worst violence and war. Local peacebuilders like our partners and many others around the world are courageous heroes, who are too often overlooked by the media, unknown to the public, and ignored by decision-makers,” said Bridget Moix, Senior US Representative for Peace Direct. “War Stories. Peace Stories. seeks to change that. With so much violence in the news, we need new stories to inspire each of us to do our part for a more just and peaceful world. We’re excited to be part of this initiative.”
While news headlines are often filled with violence, Peace Direct strives to tell a different story—the story of people living in war zones and working to end conflict. Through their website, Peace Insight, Peace Direct and its network of Local Peacebuilding Experts have already mapped over 1400 local groups working for peace in 40 countries around the world. Peace Direct’s approach is to focus on supporting local leaders who know their context best and can find the solutions needed to be successful in achieving a sustainable peace in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones.
The results of this approach have been impressive. In 2106, 14,827 people across the globe were directly supported through Peace Direct. The outcomes of these partnerships include the rescue and resettlement of 301 child soldiers in the D.R. Congo; the training of 1,101 young peace activists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia; and support for 3,907 Somali young people and their families in their efforts to improve quality of life and increase economic opportunities.
In Burundi, Peace Direct’s local partner works to prevent and respond to conflict through an Early Warning, Early Response (EWER) network. This network monitors violence, hate speech and human rights abuses. Since the beginning of the conflict, the network has reported over 5,500 incidents of violence or human rights abuses and produced close to 150 reports on the current situation in Burundi.
In Sri Lanka where war has ended but tensions remain, Peace Direct’s partner the Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation (CPBR) run a project that empowers young people to become peace-builders in their communities.
With new projects in Syria and Nigeria, and plans to support additional organizations in the future, Peace Direct proves that when local people and local organizations play a leadership role in the work of peace and reconciliation, peace can last.