Peace work which integrates local knowledge and international processes
Finn Church Aid (FCA) believes that the best way to achieve positive development and stability is through increased community ownership.
FCA peace work includes:
- Facilitating horizontal and vertical dialogue for peace between right holders and duty bearers.
- Promoting the role of women and traditional and religious leaders in peace processes.
- Facilitating peace and reconciliation processes training and enabling communities in conflict prevention.
- Engaging with international level processes for global impact, and linking them to work on the local level.
- Developing methodologies and guidance supporting consensus-building among UN Member States regarding the Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace.
We link our right to peace work and right to education and livelihoods work, e.g. by promoting the culture of peace in schools in Central African Republic, South Sudan and Somalia. FCA’s peace work is closely linked to ensuring better livelihoods, e.g. by solving land conflicts in Kenya and Cambodia.
Supporting peace work in local communities
We support peace work in local communities by
- training religious and traditional leaders in becoming effective peace builders
- helping communities solve local conflicts
- supporting communities in influencing national and international peace processes
Our baseline study indicates that in fragile states, such as Somalia, traditional and religious networks are widely seen as having the capacity, and public trust, to find solutions for sustainable peace.
Somali peace process
One of our success stories is our support for the Somali peace process. FCA has put great effort into empowering the religious and traditional leaders in the peace and state-building work of Somalia.
Our efforts to link the Somali elders more closely with Somali authorities, as well as with the United Nations, have been successful. We have opened channels for discussion and assisted in the country’s peace and state-building process and seconded a staff member to the transitional government of Somalia in 2012.
Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers
FCA works as an interim secretary of the Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, a service for international and local mediation and peacebuilding initiatives.
The Network consists of religious and traditional leaders and organisations supporting their mediation and peace-building efforts. The initiators of the network are the UN Mediation Support Unit (MSU) in the Department of Political Affairs, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Religions for Peace (RfP) and Finn Church Aid (FCA).
The objective of the Network is to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of mediation efforts through strengthening local ownership and supporting the positive role of religious and traditional leaders in mediation.
Activities of the network include: assignments by the MSU, or other international actors, to consult, mobilise and facilitate contacts with the religious and traditional leaders, and carry out baseline assessments; task forces with thematic focuses; training for UN and state mediators and religious and traditional leaders. The Network places special emphasis on gender, and provides channels to support female religious and traditional leaders, and also sensitises men to the issues of women’s rights and the benefits of non-discrimination and the inclusion of women.