Empowering New Generations for Active Nonviolence

“Active nonviolence happens when peaceful means are used to promote one’s ideas, fight injustice or resist aggression. It happens when respect for one’s adversary is preached. It happens when one advocates for a struggle that does not undermine the integrity … of one’s opponent.”

— A young participant in the Kinshasa training,
Democratic Republic of Congo,
facilitated by Les Amis de Nelson Mandela
pour la défense de Droits Humains


In May 2018, Pax Christi International launched a new programme in the Great Lakes region of Africa called ‘Empowering new generations on active nonviolence and entrepreneurship’. The purpose of the programme is to educate young people on the culture of peace and active nonviolence and includes assisting disadvantaged youth in creating small scale businesses. This project is taking place simultaneously in 3 countries (Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo) and is being implemented by 16 organisations in Kinshasa, Kananga, Kisangani, Goma, Bukavu, Butembo, Uvira, Butare and Bujumbura. The project was initiated with a special “training of trainers” in order to build up a pool of young men and women trained in active nonviolence and the skills to train others. This initial group of trainers then carried out the planning and implementation of further trainings in collaboration with youth movements in their villages and at local schools. Recognising the attraction that extremist armed movements present to young people by providing them with the means to sustain themselves, it was also determined that entrepreneurship needed to be a core component of the programme, offering young people a pathway to economic sustenance. To accomplish this, the second phase of the programme concentrated on accompanying young people in income generating activities.

Project Activities


La stabilité chasse la violence

HISTOIRE DE SUCCÈS

PROJET D’APPUIS DES NOUVELLES GÉNÉRATIONS À LA NON-VIOLENCE ACTIVE ET L’ENTREPRENEURIAT

Dans le cadre du programme de la région “des Grands Lacs” d’Afrique, et plus particulièrement dans le nord Kivu (RDC), Pax Christi International et Africa Reconciled forment avec succès des jeunes à la non-violence active et à l’entreprenariat. Les objectifs de ce programme sont de permettre aux jeunes de devenir eux-mêmes des formateurs mais aussi des ambassadeurs de la non-violence active dans leurs communautés, de développer et d’aider ces jeunes à la découverte d’activités génératrices de revenus et de mettre ensuite sur pied leurs projets d’entreprise.    

La formation à la non-violence active se fait à travers des “clubs de la paix” ouverts à tous. Ces clubs se trouvent au sein d’écoles, d’universités, de communautés de jeunes ou d’églises.  Au total, 600 filles et garçons de 16 à 35 ans ont bénéficié de la formation sur la non-violence active et le leadership.    

Parmi ces personnes, 235 jeunes ont été sélectionnés sur base de critères objectifs pour suivre une formation complémentaire en entreprenariat. Le résultat est incontestable, plus de 100 d’entre eux ont transformé leurs projets en de vraies entreprises performantes. Aujourd’hui, ces jeunes ont une vision optimiste de l’avenir. Ils sont devenus des acteurs importants de la stabilité pour leur entourage. En tant qu’artisans de la paix, ils essayent d’influencer, de transformer leurs communautés vers une culture basée sur la non-violence. Ce changement permet aux communautés de se développer progressivement vers une société positive, prospère et non-violente. 


Swedish Minister visits Pax Christi International’s Member Organisation -Africa Reconciled in Goma/ DRC, 16th Nov 2019

Thanks to the support provided by Pax Christi International, Africa Reconciled (member organisation of Pax Christi International) was able to carry out actions of peace building, youth entrepreneurship, the promotion of democracy and respect for human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa Reconciled was recently selected by the Carter Center as an organization for the implementation of Youth Centre activities in the City of Goma. On the 16th of November 2019, Africa Reconciled received the Swedish Minister for International Cooperation to evaluate the impact of the Youth Project Initiatives supported by his country.

You can find more pictures here.


Training on Entrepreneurship’ – Africa Reconciled in Goma DRC

This week (21st October – 25th October 2019) PCI sponsored its member organizations to finance the entrepreneurship of youth groups. One of them –Africa Reconciled, in Goma, DRC organized the training of one youth group (11 members) on entrepreneurship before starting their income generating activities. The training took place as part of the ‘Empowering new generations on active nonviolence and entrepreneurship’, program that was conducted by the Trainers who had previously gone through the ‘Training of Trainers’ program.

After this training, the participants will be in a position to start and operate the ‘breeding of pigs’ business.

You can find more pictures and a video here and information regarding the project here.