conscience showcases one new peacebuilder each month highlighting the effective, alternative solutions to military security that you can pay tax for with a clear conscience.
Meet Dunia Katembo
Dunia is an Organiser for Perex-CV a Peace Organisation working in Central Africa. Working in the North Kivu Province of the Lubero area PCV is currently running several peace building initiatives in the area.
Their mission is to contribute to the pacification and development of the DR Congo by the sustainable training of adult and youth ex-combatants as well as other vulnerable members of local communities.
Perex focuses on the rehabilitation of ex-combatants particularly looking at the economic integration of soldiers that have been affected by war. Using local co-operatives they’ve been able to ensure local soldiers have access to credit allowing them to build businesses for themselves.
Young people are often disproportionately affected by conflict and with PCV targeting youth soldiers using entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty PCV has now helped over 150 ex-combatants in this way.
In 2005, PEREX-CV participated in the training of 450 ex-combatants and 150 other vulnerable people during their community reintegration. This was by means of community construction work of four bridges to open up the town of Butembo.
Vulnerable men and women brought together in a solidarity group which produces market garden products. They are in the process of producing cabbages on their community land. PEREX-CV trains them in this field so that they can become self-sufficient and improve their quality of life in Lubero.
Dunia sums up PCV’s mission as follows –
“We remain convinced that it is really utopian to speak of peace in our country without first talking about socioeconomic stabilisation of citizens who have joined armed groups and who live in our communities without any other adequate training to assure their survival. It is also utopian to speak of peace in third world countries without thinking about the issue of youth abandoned to their sad destiny, who have no perspective, no values. It is these individuals who become absorbed into violence and conflict and it is these individuals and vulnerable Congolese women who we train in issues of peace, peaceful co-habitation, reconciliation and non-violence. We call on all good men and charity organisations who read this to please support us in our noble task.”
Dunia is also a supporter of Women’s Rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has worked with local groups to ensure women have a bigger voice in politics.
If you are a peacebuilder who wishes to add your work to our group of real peacebuilders then please contact us at info (at) conscienceonline.org.uk
conscience has recently published the report Non-military security solutions; peacebuilding alternatives to military responses by Eufracia Taylor. The report provides analysis of non-military security solutions and makes recommendations in support of non-military-based peacebuilding. It also challenges the current levels and patterns of military spending by the British government. Please click here to download your copy.
Using these real examples of peacebuilding conscience is campaigning for the improvement and development of the government’s inter-departmental Conflict Pool. The Conflict Pool funds conflict prevention, stabilisation and peacekeeping activities to reduce the number of people around the world whose lives are affected by violent conflict.