ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Peacebuilders Around the World

Updated on May 5, 2014

Finding Good News Among The Bad

If you are a regular newspaper reader, it would be easy to think our world is becoming increasingly more violent. However since the media mostly reports bad news, it pays to look beyond than the headlines and find where there is also peace, co-operation and love. Reading about violence and conflict taps into our primitive fears and want for survival, and gets us feeling we have to pay attention to all the bad news. Good news doesn’t have quite such a dramatic effect, but it is heart-warming to read stories of human compassion and strength.

Peace Direct works with local people to create peace

I would like to share with you some amazing stories of human strength, courage and kindness. All of the people mentioned in this Hub are supported by a charity called Peace Direct. I particularly like the Peace Direct belief that those best positioned to create peace in areas of conflict are local people. In the midst of any conflict there will be people working for peace and it is these people whom Peace Direct supports.

Using Facebook to encourage peace

During and after the 2011 riots in the UK there were many stories of senseless violence and looting. It seemed that this was just the way of young people who grow up in deprived areas. Reports spread of young people using Facebook and other social media to incite others to violence. What was not so well reported was that many other young people in the most deprived areas of London were using social media to encourage others to stay at home well away from the trouble.

Truce 20/20

Many of these youngsters are members of an organisation called Truce 20/20. This project in the London borough of Newham has been helping youngsters learn conflict resolution, mediation and workshop leadership, skills that they can then pass on to others in their communities. While these young people may not have been able to stop the riots from happening, they are evidence that change can occur, that peaceful co-operation is possible. In the aftermath of the riots, the young people in Truce 20/20 began working together to find ways to meet the challenges of their communities in a positive manner. One initiative of Truce 20/20 is an interactive video that encourages youngsters to consider the consequences of dealing with tricky situations with aggression, assertiveness or evasion.

Watch this video so learn more about Truce 20/20

Peacebuilding Around The World

Henri Ladyi is probably the Peacebuilder that most fills me with awe. He has been going into conflict-torn areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo for several years, and has convinced thousands of militia fighters to give up their weapons. But he doesn’t stop there; he also provides the fighters with the assistance they need to live in peace, so that they won’t just return to violence at next call to arms. The men are trained in farming or in a skill and assisted to join working co-operatives, benefiting entire communities. Over a thousand of these former fighters have since joined the police force and many have joined the national army. 650 of the fighters were children who can now lead normal lives.

Henri’s work is so effective because he understands the people he supports, and knows their strengths. His organisation, Centre Resolution Conflits, has worked with other local peace-builders, leading to many more militia giving up their weapons. It also helps victims of the conflict to rebuild their lives by finding them safe places to live and materials to build a home. Earlier this year, when the UN discovered that its own $4 million disarmament project wasn’t working, it turned to Henri for help.

In the video below Henri Ladyi talks about the children's experiences.

Henri Ladyi talks about the children he helps

Peacebuilders in Sudan and Pakistan

In rural Sudan an oil company built a health clinic for the locals, but they unwittingly built in on the land of a different tribe and conflict broke out. Local Peacebuilder, Rasha el Fangry, talked with the tribes, discovered what happened and the oil company agreed to build a second clinic. Now both tribes have the health care they need for their children, and they have peace.

Gulalai Ismail grew up in the Peshawar area of Pakistan, where children as young as twelve have been suicide bombers. On hearing of one such case, this astonishing young woman began working to counter the idea that extremist violence is a legitimate political tool. She was sixteen! Her Seeds of Peace group have now trained 50 young volunteers who go into schools, colleges and villages who persuade people to reject extremism and opt for peace, so saving many young boys from a life that could ultimately lead to suicide, and saving countless other lives.

In all these cases, what Peace Direct has done is find local people who are already working effectively for peace, and then provided the resources to make them even more effective. In some areas, such as Congo and Sudan, they have linked local groups, so creating regional networks. By publicising the work of these grassroots peace-builders to governments, aid agencies and media, the concept is spreading and in 2010 the UN sent Peace Direct’s paper Ripples Into Waves to all its peace advisors.

Peacebuilders Coming Together

This photo shows Gulalai, Chiyedza and Rasha (from Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Sudan) in discussion at a recent conference.
This photo shows Gulalai, Chiyedza and Rasha (from Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Sudan) in discussion at a recent conference. | Source

An Easy Way to Support Peace

I hope that reading about these extraordinary – and yet ordinary – individuals will help you feel encouraged about the state of our world. To learn more about Peace Direct visit the sites below.

http://www.peacedirect.org

© 2011 Yvonne Spence

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      4 years ago from UK

      Hi Rebecca, and I definitely agree - no giving up! Thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      4 years ago from UK

      Hi MYWIKISTEP, yes I think you are right and spreading the word about peace makers does lead to change - if nothing else it gives hope and it's easier to motivate ourselves when we have hope.

      Thanks for your comment and for following.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      It is good to know that these organizations exist, and thatnks for making us aware. We just can't give up on the quest!

    • profile image

      MYWIKISTEP 

      4 years ago

      Hi Melovy,

      Spread the word and everything will change. Then there will actions and more belief on Peace, and ourselves.

      Great inspiration!! I am Following too!

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 

      4 years ago from New York City

      Your welcome, anytime Melovy :)

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      4 years ago from UK

      Hi Drive By Quipper, I agree with you - it's so important to have local people who understand regional dynamics involved in any peace process.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Drive By Quipper profile image

      Drive By Quipper 

      4 years ago from Wrong Side of Town

      Whatever happened to the Peace Corps? This reminds me that outsiders do not understand regional dynamics. It is good to take your time and get to know people.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      4 years ago from UK

      Mike, I so agree with you regarding the news. All the focus on bad stuff breeds fear and anger and I feel sure if we shared these kinds of stories more often that alone would help create the peace everyone wants!

      Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 

      4 years ago from New York City

      This was a truly heart warming article about peace and helped me to learn more about the world and how other people are struggling with violence in their daily lives style, as well as those who stand up for peace.

      Thanks Melovy for sharing this article with us, I hope things have improved out there in the UK and London since that time 2 years back. It's always good to hear about peace is right, I just hate the News for the fact of all the bad stories all the time. I do wish there was only good to tell of worldwide, and focused upon much more then all the bad news.

      Thumbs up and getting shared for sure!

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      Tammy, thank you so much for reading this hub. It is very dear to my heart, and I am so glad you also feel heartened by these amazing people.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      A great hub on a great organization. Thank goodness someone is working to find peace in this crazy world. Well done!

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi vocal coach. I am so thrilled that you feel inspired to donate. I love this charity for the way they support local people and I am so inspired and awed by the people they support. Thank you so much for reading and for your comment.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh, thank you for this very inspiring hub. It's so nice and refreshing to read about something positive and helpful going on in our world. I'm visiting the link for cards on peace and making a donation. Voted up and more!

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      HI Jokylu,

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I agree with you we change our world one person at a time. Small actions lead to big actions.

    • Jokylu profile image

      Jokylu 

      6 years ago from Waratah North, Victoria.

      Great and very challenging hub, thankyou for sharing. I will certainly be following up with this one.

      One person at a time I can change my world.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi Kaphotos,

      Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed it. I definitely agree with you that world peace starts within and expands outwards - what a great way to put it. I’m hoping to do a little to help by spreading the word about great organisations like Peace Direct.

    • profile image

      kaphotos 

      6 years ago

      This is great and I really enjoyed reading this. World peace starts from within and expands outward ..thanks for the good positive thoughts.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      Hi Happyboomernurse,

      I’m so glad you feel inspired by Peace Direct. To be honest, I’m not surprised that you hadn’t heard of them before as I hadn’t until last year and they are a UK based charity. I think what they are doing is great, because it is helping people to help themselves, and so gives them the power. And as you say why start from scratch when there are locals willing and able to do what it takes.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      This was so inspiring and I'm so glad you're sharing this information on Hub Pages. I had never heard of Peace Direct but it sounds like a great organization and that we have much to learn from the effective way they operate. Sounds like they've discovered a base formula for success: "In all these cases, what Peace Direct has done is find local people who are already working effectively for peace, and then provided the resources to make them even more effective."

      Why start from scratch with outsiders when locals are willing and able to step up to the plate?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)