Peacebuilding Groups Gather From Around the World

SPI students
(L. to r.): Elizabeth Nsarkoh from Wast Africa Peacebuilding Institute (WAPI); Manjrika Sewak (partially hidden) and Ameet Dhakal, both from the Asian-Pacific partnership for Peace; and Emmanuel Bombande, also of WAPI, take part in a discussion at the week-long regional Peacebuilding Institute gathering at Eastern Mennonite University. Sewak, Dhakal and Bombande are all graduates of EMU’s Conflict Transformation Program.
Photo by Jim Bishop

Fifteen leaders of regional peace-building groups gathered for the first time during the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at EMU.

Their May 30-June 4 conference launched a network between existing institutes in Zambia, Ghana, the Philippines and the United States and groups planning peacebuilding institutes in South Asia, the South Pacific and Jamaica. Funding came from a United States Institute of Peace grant written by SPI co-director Pat Spaulding.

“The peer relationship is important,” said Jon Rudy, who works with the Philippines’ Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute. The Summer Peacebuilding Institute at EMU, at 10 years, is the oldest among these nonhierarchical, nonviolence-based institutes, having 1,500 alumni around the world, but MPI has graduated 650 in its five years, while several hundred have completed the newer Philippine and African institutes.

Conference topics included fundraising, burnout, organizational evaluation, theory in relationship to practice, and generalized versus regional skills, noted facilitator Bill Goldberg, a special projects assistant with EMU