Taking both sides is at the core of CHIPS peacemaking methods. But how do we do that? And why?
Let's give you some examples....
In Ghana, two tribes have been in conflict for over 20 years, but three people from each side now live together in a shared house working together on practical projects. Together, that mixed team go out to run these projects and they work with people from all tribes in the area.
In Brixton, we connect with young people from different estates and communities through detached youth work, playing football, mentoring and group work in schools, eating together and through trips out. Our youth workers build connections with people from all sides and are now working to create opportunities for these young people to meet and connect through things like starting small businesses, playing sport together and seeking to improve their communities.
In Uganda, our mixed ethnicity teams worked for 24 years doing veterinary training with people from both sides of the conflict, digging wells which could be used by people from both groups, and training people in improved agricultural practices. Eventually over 20,000 people from both sides settled in mixed villages on former battlefields in the border area between their two districts.
In Cyprus, our team build relationships with both sides and used these connections to maintain houses, sustain farms and eventually to enable exiled communities to move back safely into their old homes where they were in the minority but lived in good relationship with neighbouring villages.
In Philippines, people from different tribes, religions and communities came together to build a shared fishing platform. They built and used this together and through that developed relationships across the different groups.
Real peace is active, dynamic, creative and relational, as we see exemplified by Jesus in the Bible.
// So how can you help make peace?
Ask yourself some questions:
- Where are there divides, tensions or violent situations in your communities?
- Which side do you feel most drawn to, or might you be identified as being part of by others, in those situations?
- Do you know people from both sides?
- Where can you go to find people from both sides, to listen to them, and to hear their stories?
- Are there places where those people already come together? If so, can you get involved to help there?
- Can you create more spaces like that yourself?
We'd love to help you to seek peace in your own communities. Please do get in touch if you want help to do that.
You can help us to make peace in Ghana, Brixton and elsewhere by supporting us: