About Peacebuilding

At CRS we believe personal wellbeing can only be achieved in the context of just and peaceful relationships. As a result, we strive to integrate peacebuilding, governance and gender concerns into all of our programming, with the goal of resolving conflicts and changing unjust structures, systems and policies. Integration also ensures that the different areas of programming “fit” together and complement each other.

 

Our approach

  • Integration with emergency response: In East Timor, CRS succeeded in closing 16 camps for internally displaced people by facilitating their return to their communities in a safe, supportive environment. The Facilitating IDP Return and Community Re-integration project also ensured that their return was sustainable. In Bosnia Herzegovina, the PRO-Future reconciliation project adjusted its small grants funding in response to heavy floods. Working across ethnic and religious divides, people repaired roads, waterways and a health center fence, and adapted a kindergarten space, building greater mutual trust as they did so.

  • Integration with agriculture and natural resource management: In Sudan, the Sharing Our Assets and Resources (SOAR) project in ten villages enhanced communities’ capacity to prevent and mitigate conflict between herders and farmers while improving their access to shared natural resources and assets. It reactivated collaborative livelihood strategies and promoted co-management of water sources. SOAR Higher is now engaging young people in conflict prevention while promoting savings groups and shared income generating activities among them.

  • Integration with health: In Nicaragua, the CRS-supported Child Survival Project helped improve the health of women and children by involving men in their family’s health care. The number of women who delivered their babies in hospitals instead of at home increased by 60% in the project area; prenatal visits increased from 40 to 70%; and attendance at maternity waiting homes increased by 285% over the course of the 5-year project. In Malawi, a CRS program organized the country’s first ever Faithful House conference that gathered 150 couples and local government officials to educate men on their role in maternal and child health care.

  • Integration with water and sanitation: In southern Honduras, where conflict over water is pervasive, we integrated peacebuilding approaches into our water projects, which contributed to improved outcomes, and more holistic sustainable development.

  • Integration with education: In the Philippines, CRS local partners trained 118 teachers in 21 schools to integrate peace education into the curriculum. In Bosnia Herzegovina, a CRS project integrated anti-trafficking education programs into the curricula of 144 secondary schools in eight cantons.