We may not all live in places ravaged by war and violent conflict. But we can all relate to feelings of division, hostility and polarisation within our communities.
Many people though also live with violent conflict on a daily basis. Wars are complex and difficult. Conflict and violence can escalate, leading to more violence. Harmful narratives become entrenched and people become enemies.
Whether we live with the daily threat of violence or not, we can all do more to heal division and create more peaceful societies. We can also support those impacted by war to build peace. Everyone has the right to lead peaceful lives!
By seeing the human in others, looking beyond the hate and beneath the stereotypes, we can start to break down barriers. Focusing on what we have in common and seeing others’ perspectives, we can begin to build trust. Divisions can only be healed by understanding.
What is peacebuilding?
For those experiencing violence, trauma and insecurity, peace is not a luxury but an urgent need. Without peace no society can thrive.
Peacebuilding is a long-term process of transforming damaged relationships and reforming institutions. Bringing people together and helping them resolve their differences peacefully, and addressing the root causes of why people are fighting in the first place.
As peacebuilders, we believe conflict is part of being human. However, violence is not.
Peace isn’t just about ending wars, it’s also about rebuilding communities. Through connecting people across conflict divides, we can begin to develop empathy and understanding. Slowly beginning to build trust, overcoming fear and making people feel safe again.
Understanding and tackling injustices and the causes of conflict, we can reconcile societies and help prevent future violence. Involving groups like women, minorities and young people in processes to build peace means that peace is more likely to last.
Watch Conflict: look closer to find out more about our approach to creating more peaceful and inclusive societies.
What can I do now?
What unites us can count for more than what divides us. Take a couple of easy steps and start to #SeeTheHuman.
- Start a conversation with someone whose viewpoint you disagree with.
- Spread the word: tell others about the need to bridge divides and #SeeTheHuman
The journey to a more peaceful world starts with each one of us. Here. Now.