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Impact Evaluations | July 13, 2016

Strengthening Trade, Building Peace

Testimonies from COSOPAX/RGL Participants

This overview of the Commerçantes Solidaires pour la Paix/Région des Grands Lacs (COSOPAX/RGL) project shares testimonies from women working together to promote conflict transformation and economic strengthening in the Great Lakes Region. In 2013, CRS began working in partnership with the border dioceses of Uvira and Bukavu (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Cyangugu (Rwanda), and Bujumbura (Burundi) to launch the new pilot project, which brings 60 women cross-border traders (15 from each diocese) together to build social, cultural and economic relationships. Through the formation and training of autonomous Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) within each diocese, and through regular entrepreneurship training, COSOPAX women have also gained skills to improve their businesses and the capacity to fund their immediate and longer-term needs.


  • Project Overview

  • Context

  • Voices of COSOPAX Traders

  • Section I: Creating a Culture of Peace

  • Section II: Overcoming Longstanding Predjudices

  • Section III: Creating a Formal Socio-Economic Network which Advances Peace

  • Conclusion: Looking to the Future - Amplifying Advocacy