On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, AFSC convened a number of community conversations in urban neighborhoods in Haiti.

Raising awareness of the importance of positive peace, nonviolence and non-discrimination in their communities, including gender violence and violence prevention against children and youth, AFSC’s local partner organizations reached about 850 people over the course of two days.

In addition to members of local peace networks (who meet regularly to address the root causes of conflict in their neighborhoods) the community leaders also invited religious authorities from the Catholic and Evangelical churches, city representatives from the Haitian government, women and human rights organizations, and the press.

The groups discussed issues facing urban neighborhoods, including gender-based violence, risk prevention, violence anticipation, the role of the police, and discrimination.

Bringing together people from different arenas is part of AFSC’s work in Haiti. “The participative methodology used by AFSC and transmitted in training sessions through the local peace networks is very effective,” said one of the participants from Cite Soley. “It offers to everyone the opportunity to share with the rest of the group the causes of their suffering, their sorrows, their confusions, frustrations as well as what gives them hope to continue to live."

“This exchange process contributes significantly to bring transformations in the personal behavior of the facilitator and the group in general.”