Burundi is in crisis and teeters dangerously close to the edge of a return to full-blown civil war. Our local partner, MIPAREC (offsite link), has worked since 1995 to bring people together across the divisions that threaten Burundi's future. Now, they have invited us to work with them to address the structural violence of corruption, shrinking political space and abuse of power to help build a sustainable peace.
How we work
In November 2015, Quakers in Britain launched a pilot project teaching members of MIPAREC's peace committee skills in active nonviolence. Trainers from our nonviolence programme in Kenya facilitated three weeks of intensive training and a Kenyan coach is in Burundi now, supporting and accompanying the newly trained resource people as they begin community campaigns for change.
Our guiding principles
We believe that:
- Most direct violence is derived from underlying and often invisible social injustice. In order to build peace we must be willing to make visible and challenge structural and cultural violence.
- There is something good in every person, even those who are perpetuating social injustices. Effective nonviolent action seeks that good and calls it out.
- Nonviolence requires risk, self-discipline and a deep commitment. It must come from deep within. It will never work when it is imposed from without.