Building peace in Africa

African peacebuilders, who are Quakers or involved with Quaker work, make a real difference in Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya. They work together, often transforming tension and violence in their communities into a commitment to peace.

Cécile Nyiramana looks directly at the camera
Trauma needs healing before reconciliation, says Cécile Nyiramana. Photo credit: Nigel Downes

Bryn Higgs, East Africa Programme Manager for Quakers in Britain, is visiting some of the peacebuilders to see their efforts to build communities.

In Kenya, he will see the progress of a Turning the Tide programme, developed a few years ago through a joint process by Quakers from Britain and peace workers in Kenya. Turning the Tide supports groups to build a more just and peaceful world using the skills and tools of nonviolence.

In Burundi and Rwanda, he will be listening to stories from people confronting violence in nonviolent ways. Their work is at an earlier stage and a similar Turning the Tide programme is about to be launched.


Someone can't forgive with a broken heart. We need first to heal our wounds then start the work of peace and reconciliation.
- Cécile Nyiramana


A gathering in Kenya will enable the peacebuilders to identify the violence they face. This may be physical, structural or communal. Violence could be in the form of corruption or denial of rights, for example disabled groups are campaigning for their rights in Nairobi.

Read more on Quakers working with others to build peace in Africa in these two publications available from the Quaker Bookshop, This Light that Pushes Me and Mending broken hearts and rebuilding shattered lives.

Listen to African peacebuilders