PartnersGlobal announces PEACE-WAY, a fellowship program intended to support aspiring peacebuilders in West Africa

PartnersGlobal, in partnership with the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and with support from the United States Department of State, is launching the PEACE-WAY fellowship program for young peacebuilders in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, and Togo.

The goal of the PEACE-WAY fellowship is to enhance the knowledge, skill-set, and networks of young West African peacebuilders committed to the prevention and resolution of violent conflicts found within their own communities. The program strives to support these young leaders to implement practical solutions to promote peace.  

A cohort of 350 promising young changemakers will have the opportunity to participate in learning exchanges with national and international peacebuilding and conflict resolution experts. They will grow their professional networks within their countries, the wider West African region, and internationally. Among this cohort, a select group of PEACE-WAY fellows will be awarded seed funding to carry out their own innovative peacebuilding initiatives and participate in a two-day conference in Accra in November 2024.  The funding for this program is provided through the U.S. Department of State under the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability.

“We are honored to lead this regional initiative with the United States Department of State and our implementing partners in five countries. PEACE-WAY presents a unique opportunity to amplify the voices of young leaders who are committed to contributing positively to their communities and promoting peace. We look forward for PEACE-WAY fellows to share their knowledge and experiences, make regional contacts, and nurture their joint passion and commitment for a more peaceful world,” said Kyra Buchko, PartnersGlobal’s Co-Executive Director. She added, “Partners is deeply committed to supporting youth who are on the frontlines of bridging divides and building more peaceful societies for the future.”

PartnersGlobal advances peacebuilding and democratic resilience by promoting open civic space across the globe. Through authentic partnership and accompaniment, inclusive processes, and conflict sensitivity, we help to bring about more peaceful, secure, and accountable societies. For more than three decades, our mission and vision for a more peaceful and prosperous world has centered on the preeminent role of local leadership and locally led problem-solving. PartnersGlobal is implementing PEACE-WAY in partnership with the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) offices in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, and Togo. To learn more and contribute, please visit the PEACE-WAY Fellowship project page.

PartnersGlobal, en partenariat avec le Réseau Ouest-Africain pour la Consolidation de la Paix (WANEP) et avec le soutien du Département d’État des États-Unis, lance le programme de bourses PEACE-WAY pour soutenir des jeunes leaders pour la paix au Bénin, en Côte d’Ivoire, en Guinée, au Ghana et au Togo.

L’objectif de la bourse PEACE-WAY est d’améliorer les connaissances, les compétences et les réseaux des jeunes leaders pour la paix en Afrique de l’Ouest engagés dans la prévention et la résolution des conflits violents au sein de leurs propres communautés. Le programme s’efforce d’accompagner et de soutenir ces jeunes leaders à mettre en œuvre des solutions pratiques pour promouvoir la paix.

Une cohorte de 350 jeunes acteurs du changement prometteurs aura l’opportunité de participer à des échanges de connaissances avec des experts nationaux et internationaux de la consolidation de la paix et de la résolution des conflits. Ils développeront leurs réseaux professionnels au sein de leur pays, de la région et à l’international. Les jeunes présentant des idées les plus novatrices et impactantes pour contribuer à prévenir et résoudre les conflits violent dans leurs communautés recevront un financement de démarrage pour mener à bien leurs propres initiatives. De plus, ils auront l’occasion de participer à une conférence de deux jours à Accra en novembre 2024.Le financement pour ce projet provient du Département d’État des États-Unis par sa Stratégie pour la prévention des conflits et la promotion de la stabilité.

Kyra Buchko, co-directrice exécutive de PartnersGlobal, a déclaré : « Nous sommes honorés de mener cette initiative régionale en partenariat avec le Département d’État des États-Unis et nos partenaires de mise en œuvre, WANEP, au Ghana, Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, et en Guinée. PEACE-WAY offre une occasion unique d’amplifier la voix des jeunes leaders qui s’engagent à contribuer positivement à leurs communautés et à promouvoir la paix. Nous attendons avec impatience que les boursiers de PEACE-WAY partagent leurs connaissances et leurs expériences, établissent des contacts régionaux et nourrissent leur passion et leur engagement communs pour un monde plus pacifique. Au sein de PartnersGlobal, nous nous engageons pleinement à soutenir les jeunes qui sont en première ligne dans la lutte pour combler les fossés et bâtir des sociétés plus pacifiques pour les générations futures. »

PartnersGlobal fait progresser la consolidation de la paix et la résilience démocratique en promouvant un espace civique ouvert dans le monde entier. Grâce à un partenariat et à un accompagnement authentique, à des processus inclusifs et à des actions sensibles aux conflits, nous contribuons à l’avènement de sociétés plus pacifiques, plus sûres et plus responsables. Depuis plus de trois décennies, notre mission et notre vision d’un monde plus pacifique et plus prospère sont centrées sur le rôle prééminent du leadership local et de la recherche de solutions locales aux problèmes locaux. Pour en savoir plus et contribuer, rendez-vous sur

2nd Annual PartnersGlobal Arts4Resilience Awards recognizes vital role artists and activists play to strengthen resiliency in the face of conflict

Washington DC, — PartnersGlobal presented eight awards to outstanding artists and art activists from six countries for their achievements fostering resiliency during its Arts4Resilience (A4R) Honors event on December 7, 2023, held at Studio Theatre. Arts4Resilience is an annual event series hosted by PartnersGlobal that celebrates the importance of artists’ contributions to building resilience and spotlighting critical issues related to social, political, environmental and health justice, and inclusivity.  

Now in its second year, the 2023 A4R day began with a screening of the award-winning documentary, Four Winters, followed by a Director’s Talk with celebrated activist and playwright, Julia Mintz, as a part of an international tour of the film. This screening, featuring the story of Jewish partisans in WWII, was followed by an evening of honors and performances celebrating activist art representing a variety of mediums — from photography to graphic arts to music and theater. Honors were presented in areas ranging from art that calls attention to indigenous voices, human rights, identity and inclusivity, and the climate crisis.  

The A4R Honors also included live performances by internationally acclaimed cellist and composer, Tanya Anisimova; ASL artist and choreographer, Brandon Kazen-Maddox; and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Rachael Sage. Arts4Resilience was generously underwritten by Eva Haller; Anne Labovitz Studio, LLC; My Petite Gallery; and the International Human Rights Arts Movement

“These artists and their work represent the transformative power of the arts to build resiliency in the face of tragedy, division, and conflict,” said PartnersGlobal Co-Executive Director, Roselie Vasquez-Yetter.  

The 2023 PartnersGlobal Arts4Resilience honorees are:  

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Eva Haller 

Eva Haller is a Hungarian-American philanthropist, activist, executive and Holocaust survivor. Born in 1930 in Budapest, Hungary, in 1942, she joined her older brother underground in the Hungarian resistance where she created anti-Hitler leaflets. Later, Eva convinced a Nazi officer that she was too young and too beautiful to die and to let her escape; she remained in hiding throughout World War II. Eva eventually reached New York, where she cleaned houses and concurrently earned a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College. In 1965, she joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Selma march. Along with her late husband, Murray Roman, Eva co-founded the Campaign Communications Institute of America. With help from the proceeds of their successful business, they continued the pursuit of their philanthropy supporting a variety of social justice issues. After Murray died, Eva married Yoel Haller and has pursued her philanthropic career, widely revered, and honored with numerous awards. 

  • Capturing Resilience Award, presented to Julia Mintz 

Julia Mintz is a filmmaker and activist whose diverse body of work focuses on narratives of bravery and resistance against unimaginable odds. She has been on the producing team for films that have been shortlisted for the Academy Awards, have premiered at Cannes, Sundance and TriBeCa, won Emmy and Peabody awards, and can be seen on HBO, PBS, American Masters, Netflix and Amazon. Her most recent film, the award-winning documentary, Four Winters, dispels the myth of Jewish passivity during World War II by sharing the stories of surviving partisans and illuminating the many ways in which the Jewish people resisted the Nazis. This award was presented to Julia for her two decades of work as an activist and filmmaker. She has used her craft and her skillful storytelling to reach audiences with messages encouraging tolerance, freedom and dignity across topics such as: HIV-AIDS; women’s rights; LGBTQI and civil rights, among others. 

  • The Csekö János Art of Resistance Award, presented to Kateryna Sukhomlynova and Journalists of Gaza 

Kateryna Sukhomlynova is a volunteer, public activist, and a trainer in medical rescue. Before the hostilities started in Ukraine in 2014, she worked as an engineer and commercial director. However, following the shelling of Mariupol, Kateryna’s hometown, she made a complete shift in her occupation to focus on training people in first aid, volunteering, and engaging in political and civic activism.  

The journalists of Gaza have dedicated not only their time, career, and energy, but also their lives to be the voice of Palestinians living under terror and siege. The collective dedication, commitment, and passion for fair and just media, as well as and their responsibility to educate people and shed light on what’s happening on the ground represents their ultimate sacrifice for freedom and dignity. 

The Teatro del Embuste (“Theater of the Lie”) Collective is a Colombian stage creation was formed by actors, playwrights, directors, producers, musicians and visual artists from diverse backgrounds, who come together in their desire to explore new forms of expression and perception of the theater. The group seeks to involve the audience and take them out of their routine role of passive spectator. 

  • Art of Indigenous Voices, presented to Enea Lebrun and Andrea Lino Machi 

Lebrun and Lino Machi collaborated on Jenené, a photo and video series about the relationship between the Chagres River and its inhabitants. The collaboration explores the issues of this complex Panamanian territory and offers a reflection on the consequences of development and alternatives to the hegemonic management of the use of natural resources. 

The Arts & Climate Initiative uses storytelling and live performance to foster dialogue about our global climate crisis, create an empowering vision of the future, and inspire people to take action. Through its work over the last 15 years, the Initiative has created a model that has inspired radical life changes among citizens, demonstrating that we can address pressing social and environmental issues in novel ways, using art as a catalyst.    

Mbizo Chirasa is a Zimbabwean internationally published spoken word poet. His illustrious poetry, hybrid writings, political commentary, short fiction, book reviews, and arts features have been published in more than 400 spaces. He has curated and edited the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry, which offered a platform for artists to speak on the numerous issues affecting the country during the Mugabe regime. 

  • Art for Marginalized Communities Inclusivity, presented to Brandon Kazen-Maddox 

Brandon Kazen-Maddox is a choreographer, dancer, director, actor, acrobat, activist, Voiceover, and ASL Artist. Brandon creates work with and for the Deaf and Disability communities, and highlights and empowers BIPOC and LGBTQAI+ artists, building bridges of collaboration and community among people of all backgrounds and abilities. 

by Kyra Buchko and Alyson Lyons

The resounding call for locally-led development by USAID Administrator Samantha Power resonated deeply with us at PartnersGlobal. In her speech from May 2022, Administrator Power reiterated USAID’s commitment to locally-led development as an approach that “prioritizes and elevates the roles of organizations, institutions, and people of the countries we serve” and is “the key to delivering the kind of results that will be visible years and years in the future, long after our programs have wound down.” At PartnersGlobal, we couldn’t agree more. 

For more than three decades, our mission and vision for a more peaceful and prosperous world has centered on and assumes a preeminent role of local leadership and locally-led problem-solving. It is the reason we founded The Partners Network of 20+ local, independently operated nonprofits based in Central and Eastern Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East. We all share what we call The Partners Way – a collective commitment to locally driven development that brings together people, communities, and institutions to jointly reach decisions and take action that build peace and transform conflict. At its core, The Partners Way adheres to the values of inclusion, accountability, resiliency, justice, and nonviolence.  In practice, we focus on process guided by principles of locally-led development and centered on the role of local leadership – no matter the issue, topic, or thematic area.

As we begin to feel a real shift across the international donor community, and specifically US government agencies, to adopt a more locally-led development agenda, we are optimistic and hopeful about the next chapter of development assistance. And since we’ve been doing locally-led development for some time now, we’d like to share a few insights from our experience.

Shift Your Mindset to Shift the Power

The first step toward embracing locally-led development is to shift your mindset from one dominated by Western values and priorities to one guided by community-driven needs. The movement to decolonize aid is intricately connected with this idea. The purpose of decolonizing aid is to transform unequal power structures rooted in colonial constructs that prioritize Global North mandates and perspectives, impacting resource allocation and perpetuating discriminatory norms and practices in the international aid system.

So how do we shift our mindsets? First, we must start by asking questions and listening actively to local organizations and partners about THEIR priorities and needs. While it may sound easy, active listening is one of the hardest soft skills to do effectively because it requires that you pay attention, put aside judgment, and withhold opinions or criticisms. Practice, practice, practice active listening and ask for feedback from partners.

Second, we need to reimagine our relationship to our partners by engaging local leaders as peers and colleagues instead of ‘primes and subs’ to our programs. In this way, we can reorient ourselves to learning from each other, valuing everyone’s inputs and experiences. Further, we need to facilitate diverse and equitable participation and involvement in decision making. This means reaching out to amplify and integrate the voices of women, youth, and indigenous communities and peoples to ensure there is meaningful consultation, as detailed in the Global Fragility Act Coalition’s recommendations on local consultation processes. For project-based collaboration, it is critically important to engage all partners consistently and equitably before the program begins, throughout implementation, and well beyond the project’s end date. 

Third, let’s be intentional about the language we use when communicating to donors, partners, and peers. Language matters. At Partners, we seek informal and formal input from our partners about the optics and impressions created by the language we use in proposals, discussions with peers, and other communications.  This helps ensure that our messaging about our work and our values – including how we talk about local leadership – resonates with and is authentic to local perspectives. And it requires that any new or improved terminology and messaging are translated accurately in local languages and placed into appropriate context.

Progress through Partnership, not Programs

At the end of the day, trust is built and strengthened when we focus on partnership over projects. And trust is a necessary prerequisite for sustaining a locally-led development agenda. Partnership transcends transactional cooperation based on specific activities and forms the basis for continued connection well past the end of a project.  Not only do we work toward sustainability of project results and impact, but we view durable and resilient organizational and personal relationships as an ongoing benefit for all parties. 

One way to build and maintain trust over time is to collectively design your process for collaboration rather than focus on specific project activities or objectives. The end goal is important, but how you get there matters more in the long run. Ask your partners HOW they view and approach collaboration. What is important to them in terms of process? Where is collaboration needed and not needed? How can systems for program implementation be set up that encourage and foster inclusive participation and input? The emphasis on collaborative process helps to decentralize power and facilitates shared responsibility. It places decision-making more equitably in the hands of the local partners and communities impacted by a development or peacebuilding program.

The locally-led development agenda calls on all of us to be far more ambitious in expanding who we work with, and changing how we work so that collectively we drive the sustainable, lasting change that we all seek. This is how we at PartnersGlobal will continue to support local leadership to inspire and guide communities to peacefully manage change.

As the humanitarian crisis unfolds in Ukraine, now is the time to have a conversation about global peace and peacebuilding. The FrameWorks Institute, Alliance for Peacebuilding, and PartnersGlobal joined forces to deliver evidence-based recommendations for more effective narrative strategies that build public understanding and support for peacebuilding. The new brief includes:

  • Existing mindsets around peacebuilding
  • Research-based framing recommendations
  • Ideas for applying these frames in discourse & debate

The ongoing work of building bridges across divides must continue if we hope to create a world where conflicts are addressed without resorting to violence. Shifting the narrative of peacebuilding won’t happen overnight. But aligning messaging and consistency within the peacebuilding field will help the public and policymakers better understand what peacebuilding looks like in practice and why it is a productive mindset and policy option. | For access to the full report, please click HERE or read below:


During March, we celebrated the powerful and resilient women who have strived to make changes for the sake of making an equal and fulfilling space for all of us. Women have been the backbone of many political, economic, and social movements. They have been the faces and voices that have made us look inward and ask ourselves, “Are we the best of who we can be?” As we leave March 2022 behind us please take a moment to reflect on this question. And check out all of the ways we celebrate women in peacebuilding and civil society resiliency spaces.

Resilient Conversations

Resilient Conversations is a forthcoming podcast organized and hosted by PartnersGlobal that explores different facets of individual, organizational, sectoral, and systemic resiliency. The short video series above includes clips from different episodes. Featured guests on the podcast will include our own staff like Co-Executive Directors Roselie Vasquez Yetter and Kyra Buchko; ResiliencyPlus colleagues and coaches Alexa Brand, Olivia Baciu, and Susan Njambi Odongo; and civil society colleagues such as Zuza Fialova of Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia and Carole Frampton de Tscharner and Heloise Heyer of Peace Nexus Foundation.

MENA Women’s Roundtable

Recently, MENA and Civil Society Strengthening Director Rasha Abdel Latif of PartnersGlobal sat down (virtually) with women peacebuilders and Partners Network colleagues from Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and the US to talk about women’s role as leaders and peacebuilders in the MENA region. Enjoy this 20 minute conversation between these incredible women as they reflect on what inspires them to work in this space.

Co-Leadership Model as a Resiliency Approach

We are on our own resiliency journey at PartnersGlobal as we navigate the shifts on our operating environment. One way to shore up our resilient capital is to build in innovative leadership and operating models like co-leadership. This approach both builds in redundancies AND creates space for inclusion and diversity of thought, which contributes to more effective problem solving and organizational management. Get to know our co-Executive Directors Roselie and Kyra by watching the short video above!

Women Peacebuilders Blog Series

Below are a series of blog posts by staff and partners at PartnersGlobal that depict the real stories and impacts of various women peacebuilders across our portfolios. Enjoy!

March 22, 2022 – PartnersGlobal is pleased to join the Coalition for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED) and sign the Pledge for Racial & Ethnic Equity (REE). PartnersGlobal joins more than 30 not-for-profit and for-profit development organizations committed to building racial and ethnic equity within international development. 

By signing the REE pledge, PartnersGloblal commits to: 

  • strengthening its commitments and accountability for racial & ethnic equity within its policies, systems, and culture; 
  • creating practical and quantifiable standards for advancing racial & ethnic equity; and 
  • working to instill racial and ethnic equity as a core principle in the development sector. 

“To be effective and create meaningful shifts, CREED’s Racial & Ethnic Equity pledge is taking a focused view to build equity by concentrating on strengthening racial and ethnic equity within United States-based organizations,” said Indira Kaur Ahluwalia, Founder/Chair of CREED and CEO of KAUR Strategies. “CREED welcomes PartnersGlobal to a learning community of like-minded organizations committed to integrating racial and ethnic equity into how we work.” 

“We encourage our global development sector colleagues to be partners in addressing racial and ethnic equity to improve and deepen the impact of our collective work. Strong democracies cannot be achieved without racial and ethnic equity. We all have a responsibility to push for meaningful change.”   – Roselie Vasquez Yetter

About CREED 

The Coalition for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED) is a collective of international development and humanitarian assistance organizations based in the United States committed to building REE. We pledge to advance racial and ethnic diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our own organizations’ policies, systems, and culture in keeping with attainable and measurable goals; and work to instill REE in international development. 


For questions about the pledge or how to sign, visit  

Partners has been appointed for the three-year Regional Secretariat function of Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in North America. GPPAC is a network of NGOs actively working on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The network promotes multi-stakeholder collaboration and local ownership of strategies for peace and security and it also serves as a community of practice to advance new knowledge, share ideas, and convene regular reflection spaces between peers.

GPPAC is organized around regional subnetworks and we have been involved in GPPAC North America for the past three years. GPPAC North America includes very well-known and respected organizations in the peacebuilding and human rights spaces in Canada, the US, and Mexico:

  • Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada
  • Mennonite Central Committee
  • Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative
  • Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SWEFOR)
  • Servicio Internacional para la Paz (SIPAZ)
  • Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz (SERAPAZ)
  • Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y a la Reconciliación Comunitaria (CORECO)
  • Centro Fray Bartolomé de las Casas
  • Centro de Colaboración Cívica (CCC)
  • PartnersGlobal

For us, GPPAC North America represents a community of practice and learning created to promote new knowledge, approaches and methodologies to advance peacebuilding and peace consolidation, share ideas and experiences on concrete interventions, as well as enable spaces for reflection among peers on situational and structural issues that impact stability and peace at the regional level. In this sense, our affiliation and formal participation allow us to take better advantage of the vast experience of the members of the network to strengthen our programs and interventions and strengthen ties with organizations working on issues of peace, violence prevention and promotion of human rights in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Each morning, fourteen-year-old Fairouz woke up early to take the long walk to get water from a spring outside Al-Manwar, a small village surrounded by hills and green terraced fields in Ibb governorate in Yemen. After she completed 8th grade, Fairouz left school to help her family with everyday errands, such as collecting water and firewood.

“In our village, girls have to fetch water, collect firewood, or tend sheep. My father insisted that I stop going to school in order to help get water for the family… I used to get up in the morning to get water and see other girls going to school. I burst into tears seeing them going to school. I used to ask myself, ‘Why do I not do that? Why does my father not let me go to school?’”

The Roots of Community Level Conflict

Al-Manwar is located about 200 kilometers from Sana’a, on a remote clifftop at the end of a series of dilapidated roads connecting the village to the city of Jeblah. Life in Al-Manwar can be difficult for residents of the village – particularly young girls. For years, they trekked across unpaved roads to reach their school, located 1200 meters from the village. Despite this distance, many girls were able to attend school until the country-wide conflict began in 2015. The war waging across Yemen took a toll on the area’s economy and the ability of its people to access basic services. After the conflict began, the electricity that powered local water pumps stopped flowing to Al-Manwar and families started connecting a haphazard network of private pipes to the local spring.

This created tension in the community, with some unable to afford the equipment to build the pipes. In 2016, a group of young men who saw this system as unfair destroyed many of the pipes, disrupting the flow of freshwater to village residents. Since then, young girls have borne the brunt of collecting water for drinking and washing, dropping out of school in order to carry out this task. Throughout each day, girls from Al-Manwar walk more than a kilometer along the long path to the spring and carry water back to their families’ homes. Carrying the containers on their heads, these girls walk down narrow and difficult paths fraught with danger, scared of what they might encounter. Many face sexual harassment from young men when they walk alone.

After several years of conflict within the community, local residents and community leaders of Al-Manwar were desperate to find a solution to repair the social fabric, bring water back into the homes of villagers, and help the girls go back to school.

Then in 2021, local organization Al-Shaimaa Foundation, together with PartnersYemen, designed an initiative centered on community dialogue and building support for a new water system. At the heart of the initiative was the creation of a seven-member Conflict Resolution Committee that included local sheiks, authority officials, and other influential community members and whose mandate was to peacefully resolve community issues in Al-Manwar.

Employing Dialogue to Find Sustainable Solutions

An initial dialogue was facilitated by Al-Shaimaa Foundation and PartnersYemen to assist the committee in finding a solution to the water crisis. The committee proposed the establishment of a consolidated water supply network to deliver water equally to all local households. Using their enhanced dialogue and facilitation skills, the Committee was able to secure an agreement with all the relevant parties, including a man who lived near the spring and had benefitted the most from the status quo. The negotiated compromise included extending a water supply pipe to his house.

Shortly thereafter, the villagers signed a reconciliation agreement that set the terms for access to the water supply network, formed a maintenance committee for the system, and established a mechanism for dealing with any future conflicts around water management in the village.

Two weeks later, fresh water reached Al-Manwar’s village center.

Today, Fairouz is back in school and excited about the opportunities now open to her in the future. Fairouz’s new reality only became possible after the intervention of Al-Shaimaa Foundation and PartnersYemen, who helped create and then worked together with the Conflict Resolution Committee to address a set of issues that had plagued the residents of Al-Manwar since 2015. Young girls like Fairouz, who had disproportionately suffered before the project, now benefit the most from the new water system. In all, the 23 girls who had dropped out of school were able to go back and continue with their studies.

“Had water not been delivered to the village, my father would not have been convinced to send me back to school… Thank God, I have resumed classes and I go to school regularly,” Fairouz said. “Now, water is in the vicinity of our home. We no longer need to fetch water from that faraway source.”

PartnersYemen’s Work with Communities

Since 2016, PartnersYemen has set up over 90 similar community committees in 18 governorates across Yemen. These committees have served as essential links between community members and local authorities by resolving conflicts that provide more equitable access to local services. Some committees have even established their own new civil society organizations, sustainably advocating for changes at the local level.

In recent years, PartnersYemen and its local civil society partners have found that such committees – when provided with guidance and technical support for facilitation and dialogue – can play key roles in resolving conflicts, forging multiple community reconciliation agreements over resources and service delivery issues.

Partners’ local network of CSOs, of which Al-Shaimaa Foundation in Ibb is a key member, is an important local link to communities across the country. These organizations use their knowledge of local community dynamics to select the local CRC members, develop the Committee’s scopes of work, and provide guidance to help mediate reconciliation sessions with conflicting parties.

While Fairouz and her classmates have benefited greatly from this initiative, important work remains to be done both in Al-Manwar and other underdeveloped rural areas across the country that have suffered under the pressures of the conflict. By utilizing similar conflict resolution and dialogue tools, and with support from Yemeni-led civil society organizations like PartnersYemen and Al-Shaimaa, other communities may be able to work towards sustainable solutions like Ibb’s water system to strengthen their communities and provide opportunities for the most vulnerable.

This piece was co-written by Saddam Al-Dhelaa, PartnersYemen and Matt Ciesielski, PartnersGlobal. For more information on our work in the Middle East and North Africa, please visit our website HERE.

Photo Credit: Girls in School by Julien Harneis