In November 2015, Quakers in Britain launched a pilot project teaching members of Rwanda Yearly Meeting skills in active nonviolence. Trainers from our nonviolence programme in Kenya facilitated an intensive training and Kenyan coaches continue to support the Rwandan partner organisation.
With the help of Quakers in Britain, our Rwandan partners have now started following a similar path as the programme in Kenya. They focus on training community volunteers in non-violent campaigning, and providing support to community-led campaign groups.Citizens who want to make changes in their communities are learning how to speak out loudly and strongly, but without violence. Communities are finding the courage to address root causes of their conflicts, rather than only dealing with the symptoms.
How we work
- Our work is built on authentic partnership which springs from the Quaker understanding of equality.
- Our methodology is adapted from Quaker social change training to develop nonviolent campaigning skills specific to Kenya.
- We use responsive training and ongoing accompaniment to ensure the training takes root.
- We nurture community ownership and ensure that every campaign is locally driven.
- We go where the energy is and start small.
Our guiding principles
We believe that:
- Much 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.
Read a story of profound personal change, arising from a nonviolence training workshop in Rwanda
Listen to interviews with African peace activists, undertaken for This Light That Pushes Me, an photography exhibition and book created by Quaker Peace & Social Witness.