Who Do We Help?
CRS works with local partners and supports already existing initiatives or groups whenever possible. For example, in West Africa we are committed to supporting a strong network of local peacebuilders called the West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP), who work across the region on peacebuilding and violence prevention.
We also work with partners who represent the diversity of their country/region, whether they are Muslim, Catholic or follow indigenous religions. It is important that we share common values with our partners even though we may be rooted in different religious traditions. Supporting local capacities helps ensure our peacebuilding programs fit their context, are culturally appropriate and sustainable.
We have peacebuilding programs in over 50 countries. Of the roughly 35 countries that had violent armed conflicts in the year 2000, CRS had programs in 28. This included places such as Colombia and Sudan. We also work in countries where we assist partners in recovering from violent conflict, such as Angola and Bosnia-Herzegovina, or places looking to prevent future conflict like Morocco and the Philippines.
Peacebuilding is a long-term project and it is often said that it will take as long to get out of violent conflicts as it did to get into them. As our Peacebuilding Principles indicate, we must make the long-term commitment to work and walk in solidarity with our partners on this long, hard journey.