There are no more dedicated peacebuilders than those who find themselves stuck living through violence and conflict.
Peace is about the delicate art of peacebuilding relationships and trust in a complex reality. Support for peace initiatives is an investment in the individuals, communities and organisations that are working – and will go on working – to build and sustain peace for years to come. That is the message from the collection of stories published by the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO). The stories come from EU- and EU Member State-funded projects implemented by EPLO member organisations and showcase the ideas, challenges and determination of people building peace around the world.
From the west coast of the United States to the northern border of Lebanon, training people from local communities to resolve conflict and build relationships in their own neighbourhoods is a powerful tool for peace.
While the story of conflict in Kashmir might be familiar, the story of how women have experienced the conflict is not. A more complete picture starts by challenging the assumption that peace and security ‒ and ideas on how to manage them ‒can be framed and discussed by a limited demographic of men.
Violent conflict not only destroys lives, but also the friendships, marriages, families, and livelihoods that tie communities together. For two clans that had been divided by violence, re-opening a road marked their moment of reconciliation.
People in Yemen are often portrayed as passive observers of the violence that is racking their country. But there are communities challenging this perception and working to increase their own day-to-day safety and security.
Across the world, the norm of having almost all of the politics shaped by only half of the population is being challenged. But when it comes to the politics of building peace, women are still being confined to the margins.
After 40 years of conflicts in Afghanistan, seeking out a partner and taking a step toward ending the violence takes courage. There have been precious few moments that held out the prospect of peace but, since September 2016, one has arisen.
What we know is what we see, what we hear and what we read, so when it comes to responding to violent conflict, how the conflict is portrayed can be the difference between grasping and overlooking opportunities to prevent violence.