Peace grows from within

Building Peace

EED is one of the 8 operators responsible for the implementation of the Civil Service for Peace throughout the world. At the request of the partner organizations, EED sends support professionals (Fachkräfte) who have the mission to strengthen the promotion of peace. This work of promoting peace essentially depends on the strengthening of local structures and initiatives on the principle: Peace grows from within. The peace professional joins a local organization and integrates with the staff. EED works with its partners in countries in conflict, post-conflict but also in countries where the risk of violent conflicts is increasingly perceptible.

Peace work is everywhere put in synergy with development work. The contextual analysis carried out by those concerned on the spot makes it possible to identify the risk factors that may lead to the break-up or escalation of societal conflicts. This allows us to identify the levers of change likely to reduce the risk of violence. The activities of organizations receiving support professionals aim at stabilization and a more active citizen participation of the first concerned. To do this, it is necessary to touch the three dimensions: political, economic and cultural.

Peace: a worn and abused concept…

If we speak of our contribution to peace, the danger is great to lose ourselves in the cliches attached to the concept of peace. Since the work of peace has become a “market” in the developmental world in the same way as “humanitarian” work, the “gender” approach, and so many other keywords that come to fashion in language donors and funding requests, it is essential to define more precisely what is meant by the context in which we work. That is why the different programs of the Civil Service for Peace of EED together with the partners and colleagues of each country and each region develop a vision of peace rooted in the realities they live.

Peace is not a passive concept. It is therefore not defined as the absence of something, but rather as the opposite of war and violent conflict.

Peace is not an apolitical concept. Unlike some schools of thought, we do not reduce peace to an individual and psychological question. Peace concerns the individual within the framework of community and social life. In any human community there are conflicts, it would be aberrant to deny them and to preach the kindness towards each other. To achieve peace, it is necessary to develop a culture of negotiation and to start from the existence of divergent and contradictory interests.

Sustainable peace can not be built on the basis of injustice. Peace on the basis of oppression and terror is a “peace of cemeteries”. Such a situation necessarily leads to revolt and violence against injustice sooner or later. This is why our conception of peace encompasses the notion of justice and struggle for the creation and fairer distribution of wealth.

Peace can not be brought about by external forces. Peace professionals are not neutral saviors who bring peace to amorphous or bloodthirsty countries and communities awaiting salvation from the outside. Those who come to contribute to the work of peace do not bring the solutions, they develop them together with the local partners engaged in this work. Peace grows from within. It therefore calls for the consciousness, mobilization and organization of the populations concerned. It must take root in the local area and benefit from global advocacy work.

 Peace can not be brought about by external forces. Peace professionals are not neutral saviors who bring peace to amorphous or bloodthirsty countries and communities awaiting salvation from the outside. Those who come to contribute to the work of peace do not bring the solutions, they develop them together with the local partners engaged in this work. Peace grows from within. It therefore calls for the consciousness, mobilization and organization of the populations concerned. It must take root in the local area and benefit from global advocacy work.

Peace is an individual and collective commitment. To achieve stability and peace, it is necessary that the individuals and groups concerned commit themselves to work constructively against injustice and misery, to safeguard creation by creating local and international alliances.

 Peace is a culture. It develops on the basis of intercultural crosses and feeds on the productive transformation of conflicts of interest.

Peace is not learned in formations, it is lived and built on the basis of political, economic and cultural realities. It can not be applied as a schema on a given situation nor be taught in workshops and matched modules. It emerges on the basis of analyzes of factors and actors of division and unity to become a way of managing life.

There are many texts and theories that can fuel our reflections on peace. It is not a question of sorting between the “true” and the “false”, but rather of crossing the ideas, of testing them and adapting them together.