Central African communities have the power to prevent violent conflict. We equip local peacebuilders like John* with the tools and training they need.
Conflict Between Herding and Farming Communities
John lives in a Central African community that traveling cattle herders typically pass through during the dry season. Often, crops are damaged by the cattle passing through, threatening the livelihoods of local farmers. This can lead to conflict, which sometimes becomes violent.
John’s community regularly expresses concerns about this issue – especially when herders from neighboring Sudan and South Sudan are nearby. Recently, tensions were rising to a boiling point, so John and his fellow Peace Committee members stepped in to prevent the situation from becoming violent.
Peacebuilders Address Conflict
The Peace Committee started by carrying out a large-scale messaging campaign throughout the community. They used word-of-mouth and other strategies to raise awareness of the importance of social cohesion. Their main message was “We are all human beings; we can all communicate and cooperate [for peace] despite past problems.” By involving the entire community in these efforts, they helped create an environment that fosters communication, peace, and unity across social groups, including farmers and herders.
Next, they gathered leaders within the community to develop plans to prevent violent conflict. Together, they created a Conflict Resolution Committee including representatives from variety of social groups. The committee now steps in to help anyone in the community resolve disputes peacefully.
Local Peacebuilders Are Successful
Today, John tells us their efforts have been successful. Conflict still arises, as it does in every community. But now they have locally-owned systems to resolve conflict, address the needs of their community, and prevent violence.
Conflict mediation training and social cohesion messaging tools from Invisible Children prepared John’s local Peace Committee to prevent violent conflict. Your support can provide other vulnerable communities like theirs with resources to build peace for a future full of hope.