Dialogue and learning on restorative justice

Dialogue and Exchange Program Report

April 6–12, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa 

This Dialogue and Exchange Program (DEP) facilitated a study tour for members of the Burundi parliament to South Africa, where they exchanged ideas and learned from experts—former commissioners and victimsin transitional justice from South Africa, Togo, Sierra Leone, and Ghana through live and virtual encounters to have a better understanding of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process.

Loans help with transition to stable life after experiencing war

Damienne Ndoricimpa

Damienne Ndoricimpa (right) got a loan from an association of her neighbors, which helped her start a small business.

Recovering from years of ethnic and violent conflict is a long and complicated process that requires healing from the trauma of war, rebuilding a cohesive community life, and stimulating an economy so that people can make a living and get what they need to build resilience.

With half a million refugees affected by war returning to Burundi in the course of a decade, the government and United Nations have prioritized the need to reintegrate people, both socially and economically.

51 years of freedom: Burundi’s path to a fragile peace

Associate General Secretary for International Programs Kerri Kennedy reports on her recent trip to Burundi.

Burundi is celebrating its independence day this week, marking the day the country achieved independence from Belgium in 1962. In honor of this holiday, I thought I would take some time to reflect on my recent visit to the country. I had the opportunity to visit the Burundi programs during a quick trip that I took in June.  

Finding the courage to work for peace

Listen to David Niyonzima, founder and director of the Trauma Healing and Reconconiliation Services (THARS) in Burundi, on how his faith influences his peace work.  David leads workshops on trauma healing and providing community spaces for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation.

This audio is an excerpt from a longer interview with David Niyonzima, conducted by Friends Liaison Lucy Duncan and Friends Relations Fellow, Madeline Schaefer.  As well as being the director of THARS, David is also a Quaker pastor and member of Burundi Yearly Meeting.

Elders as Peacemakers in Burundi

Listen to David Niyonzima, founder and director of the Trauma Healing and Reconconiliation Services (THARS) in Burundi, on the traditional role of elders as community peacemakers.  David's work involves leading workshops on trauma healing and providing community spaces for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation.

QUNO's 2011 work in Peacebuilding

Peacebuilding policy and practice continues to evolve at the UN, and while support for national ownership and building local capacity are frequently highlighted, UN peacebuilding often takes a top down, rather than a bottom up, approach. QUNO continued to engage with the UN work in Burundi, contributing to discussions on peacebuilding and transitional justice. We worked with Chinese academics to explore the UN’s approach to peacebuilding and peacekeeping, including jointly hosting delegation visits to the African Great Lakes region and to New York.

Seeds of economic growth, security lie beyond agriculture for many in Africa

Dependence on the land has long been a source of conflict in Burundi. Its soil can’t keep up with the rate of population growth—among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa—and the courts are crowded with cases of conflicting claims to property.

At the root of the problem is the fact that many Burundians’ livelihoods are tied to agriculture while the land is increasingly infertile, says Triphonie Habonimana, AFSC program officer. Food shortages, combined with high unemployment rates, spur conflict.

Regional workshop focuses on generating income from nonagricultural work

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The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Burundi organized a regional conference on good practices for promoting income-generating activities (IGAs) as part of socioeconomic reintegration. The conference was organized within the framework of AFSC’s dialogue and exchange program, which brings together key groups to discuss peace issues and shares the resulting recommendations within Burundi and internationally.

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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