An Eastern Mennonite University Center for Justice and Peacebuilding alum Fidele Ayu Lumeya MA ’00 returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo this month to direct the Congo Ubuntu Peacebuilding Center at the Cemtre Universitaire de Missiologie in the capital city Kinshasa.
Lumeya is among several CJP alumni to begin peacebuilding trainings, centers or institutes across the globe. Twelve of these endeavors are profiled in the 2014-15 Peacebuilder magazine (pictured at right).
In 1995, Lumeya’s family purchased a 50-building church campus, where they established a missiology university. Beginning this academic year, which starts in October, conflict, justice, peace and trauma studies will be integrated into the missiology program.
“The center Ubuntu is going to focus more on researching the makeup of peace in several villages of Congo and how peace has been sustained after more than 50 years, since the independence of Congo,” Lumeya said. “The lessons learned and best practices will then lead to publications, conferences, etc. We are going to work with the court system to strengthen the peace tribunals that can only be found in Congo. We will assist them in reframing the restorative justice which was the goal of these tribunals.”
Lumeya has lived and worked in the United States for 25 years, including as the executive director for the Congolese American Council for Peace and Justice and for the Dianne and Lillie Foundation. He has also worked as associate director of international emergency response for Church World Service, as an advocate at Refugees International and with Mennonite Central Committee in Zambia and Angola.
“This for me is a dream come true,” Lumeya said.
In The Congo: The Long Road to Peace and Justice, Lumeya posits that Africa-rooted restorative justice practices is the way to address “deep-seated, real issues rather than their symptoms.”