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A Global Peacebuilding Campaign by Local Peacebuilders

  • Published

    23 January 2024

Ten local peacebuilders have spent the past nine months co-creating* a global campaign that aims to catalyse changes in the attitudes and behaviours within the peacebuilding sector. From Venezuela to Nepal, these ten people have virtually met every week since February 2023 and have gone from being a group of strangers to being a team of friends working together to create this campaign.

The idea of a co-created global campaign began in Beirut, Lebanon in August 2018. Peace Direct’s Peace Exchange event brought together a group of peacebuilders from around the world to discuss how to best resolve conflict in their communities and build sustainable peace. During one of these conversations, the idea of this global campaign was born. 

This campaign will highlight the effectiveness and necessity of local peacebuilding while calling for more international support and educating the bigger system about the realities of local peacebuilding.

After a call for applicants attracted 700 local peacebuilders, Peace Direct set about selecting the final ten. Representing nearly every corner of the globe, reflecting an incredible diversity of perspectives and backgrounds, we now had our co-creation team!

Despite living in different contexts and having different motivations to take part, it quickly became apparent that all the co-creators had something in common: they were united by the same traumas and ambitions.

“Becoming a member of the co-creation team meant gaining access to a safe space where we could openly share our personal stories and experiences.”

Throughout the co-creation sessions, the team set about dissecting every aspect of their peacebuilding work and the sector itself. Taking an in-depth analysis of the problems, the causes, the knock-on impact, and ultimately discussing the solutions.

They agreed that their success in the local peacebuilding space is mainly thanks to their relationships with communities and networks, the building of mutual trust, and the protection of civic space. Equally, recognising that the lack of trust toward local peacebuilders and the funding requirements that are often imposed make it hard for work to be truly sustainable and adaptable.

“Building peace is not an easy task, but it is a ground-breaking and heart-warming mission carried out daily by thousands of local peacebuilders.”

With this in mind, the global campaign found its message. Focused on driving significant changes and championing local peacebuilders’ wealth of insights and expertise. Working toward a future where peacebuilding is locally led and globally recognised, respected, and supported.

“A product of countless hours of conversations, networking, brainstorming, and collaborating with colleagues across the globe. Amidst the flux of our lives – some of us relocating, others witnessing their countries struck by a crisis – our collective determination and care for one another infused our journey and the campaign with a profound sense of purpose.”

* In this context, co-creation is referring to the process in which local peacebuilders are the leaders, owners and creators of the campaign from start to finish

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