Sustainable Peace Starts with You
Over almost two decades, the Institute for Sustainable Peace has helped transform conflict and enable reconciliation across racial, ethnic, tribal, and religious lines in the Balkans, Darfur, and cities in America. We work to unite faith-based and secular groups working to solve the same problems from very different starting points, and help companies and NGO’s to resolve significant conflicts within communities, teams and families. Partner with us to spark change in your sphere of influence so together we can change the world.
We strengthen our communities and nation by bringing people of diverse viewpoints together and providing them tools to truly understand each other. Our focus is on creating bridges of understanding that help people overcome fear of one another and work together in common purpose.
We began working in 2007 with activists and leaders from Sudan and South Sudan in transformational leadership training and peacebuilding. More recently our focus has been partnering with organizations of South Sudanese to design and facilitate healing and reconciliation workshops among members of the Diaspora.
A Peacebuilding Breakthrough In Darfur
In 2011, ISP’s Sudan Project Manager, Makki Ibrahim Makki, returned to his home city of El Malam, in the heart of Darfur, after a ten year absence. During his visit to Darfur, he and his colleague Lukman Ahmed began meeting separately with leaders of his tribe, the Fur, and with leaders of the Bin Mansur, an Arab tribe, which had been fighting with and ultimately displaced thousands of members of the Fur tribe during the brutal civil war and genocide in Darfur. After several meetings with leaders of both tribes, Makki convinced them to meet together in a hotel ballroom in Nyala, a city in Southern Darfur.
After an extended meeting, the leaders of the two tribes reconciled and drafted a plan for healing and reconciliation. The participants created a Working Group of 24 members with representation from both tribes. The Working Group includes the mayor of the region, the regionâ€™s representative to the legislative assembly of South Darfur, the commander of the regional rebel group, and other local leaders. The Working Group was tasked with: (1) continuing the reconciliation process and (2) assessing the reconstruction and development needs that will be vital to the peacebuilding effort. It was also decided that there should be a much larger meeting involving displaced persons and residents of El Malam.
That meeting took place a few days later with hundreds of displaced persons returning to meet with current residents of El Malam.
Essentially the entire town of El Malam turned out for the meeting. In the meeting that day, the residents and former residents of El Malam began the process of reconciliation with many of the displaced persons returning to El Malam and nearby villages for the first time in several years. A celebration for the entire town was held shortly after.
The El Malam Working Group decided in its next meeting to continue the reconciliation and uniting of the Fur and Bin Mansur people by working together to rebuild many of the buildings of El Malam and the villages of both tribes destroyed in the war. They chose to rebuild the school first.