Recent winners of the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation show the amazing work that is being carried out across the world. From working alongside communities in Cambodia to breaking down religious differences and mentoring peace workers in countries such as Rwanda, Nepal and Afghanistan, Prize winners are working to continue the work started in Coventry over 70 years ago.
Winner in 2012 – Responding to Conflict:
Since its inception in 1991, Responding to Conflict (RTC) has been a leader in the field of conflict transformation. Offering training and learning processes, mentoring and professional support, RTC has to date trained more than 2,300 people from 80 countries. Its main handbook, ‘Working with Conflict: Skills and Strategies for Action’, is acknowledged as a key resource for practitioners, trainers and academies throughout the world and has been translated into eight languages, with more that 11,000 copies sold. Training has been delivered in some of the most volatile conflict zones in the world such as Israel/Palestine, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Uganda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Sudan.
RTC takes a holistic approach to transforming violent conflict, building peace from within communities and encouraging positive social change. Through its work there is a strong emphasis on learning, enabling partners to develop confidence, independence and a long-term commitment to improving their own practice, in addition to a profound appreciation of their experiences and a deep respect towards their cultural and spiritual roots. In all of their programmes they strive to learn from, and with, their partners and disseminate what they learn for the benefits of others.
To learn more, visit www.respond.org
Winner in 2011 – Professor David Ford:
Professor David Ford, director and founder of the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, was the 2012 recipient for his work with the Scriptual Reasoning initiative at Cambridge. This is an approach to inter-faith engagement which involves reading the texts of the three Abrahamic religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam together to foster a deeper sense of both the common ground and the distinctiveness of each religion.
The programme looks at the need to transform our understanding of others’ religious traditions and the appreciation of her own.
Winner in 2010 – Cord:
Founded in 1967 in Leamington Spa, Cord began as a direct response to the humanitarian crisis in the war zone of Vietnam. Since then it has developed its expertise working alongside people displaced by violent conflict and has assisted millions in peacefully and sustainable rebuilding their lives and communities, making demonstrable improvements to the wellbeing of areas affected by war and conflict. Cord has worked in 26 countries over the years including Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Kosovo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
One of Cord’s largest projects have been in the camps of Eastern Chad, working with 85,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur. The organisation also has homebuilding education programmes in Burundi and mentoring and training programmes in Cambodia. Part of Cord’s success lies in its commitment to work alongside communities, providing additional resources and new perspectives while enabling the communities to build peace from within.
To learn more, visit www.cord.org.uk