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ZOA celebrates 50 years: deep dive into peacebuilding

Celebrating half a century of dedication to peace and community recovering, ZOA recently held a symposium, bringing together experts in peacebuilding and humanitarian work. The event not only marked ZOA's journey over the past 50 years, but also introduced a detailed paper on peacebuilding. This paper, crafted after extensive research and discussions, delves deep into the reasons behind violence and the need for a multi sectoral approach in peacebuilding: the Peace Nexus. 

Download the paper 


The importance of peacebuilding

Celebrating 50 years of ZOA

On the momentous occasion of its 50th anniversary, ZOA hosted a symposium on September 28th, bringing together renowned experts and stakeholders in the field of peacebuilding and humanitarian work. Over the past half-century, the world has witnessed a surge in the number and intensity of armed conflicts, resulting in devastating violence, displacement, and loss of countless lives. In response to these challenges, ZOA has been at the forefront, partnering with local entities to not only restore affected communities but also to foster peace and stability.

Reflecting on ZOA’s journey

As ZOA marks this significant milestone, it's an opportune moment to reflect on its peacebuilding endeavors. Key questions arise: How effectively has ZOA tackled the myriad reasons that drive individuals towards violence? What invaluable lessons have been learned that can shape future initiatives? To address these queries, ZOA has crafted a comprehensive paper on peacebuilding.

Behind the peacebuilding paper

An external consultant, after undertaking an exhaustive literature review on the motivations behind violent behaviors and engaging in insightful discussions with ZOA personnel across five nations, authored this paper. It encapsulates years of hands-on experience, introspection, and invaluable insights from on-ground observations through this publication ZOA underlines the importance of multi sectoral peacebuilding : as the reasons for people to engage in violence are diverse, interventions in several sectors are needed to contribute to peace. The so called Peace Nexus.The organization staunchly believes that the path to enduring peace and universal well-being lies in collaboration with other stakeholders, each with their own responsibilities and added value..

Highlights from the Peacebuilding paper:

  • The paper elucidates the multifaceted nature of violence, pinpointing various factors that culminate in violent acts. These range from livelihood challenges and political exclusion to socio-cultural aspects like education,  psychological components and gender-related issues.
  • Each individual experiences his/her own “journey” where different factors influence each person differently based on their personal circumstances and vulnerabilities. There are no linear, simplified pathways to explain violence and to design for peace.
  • A significant emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of psychosocial support. By facilitating individuals to navigate and heal from traumatic experiences, it paves the way for community unity and peacebuilding.
  • The paper is enriched with diverse case studies from multiple countries, each underscoring the unique challenges and nuances of peacebuilding in varied settings. These real-world examples are treasure troves of insights for policymakers, NGOs, and all invested stakeholders.

The concluding section advocates for a multi sectoral approach to peacebuilding, emphasizing the seamless integration of humanitarian, developmental, and peacebuilding efforts, the so called Peace Nexus.

An invitation to all

For those eager to delve deeper and gain a broader understanding, the full paper is readily available for download. Together, let's draw from ZOA's experiences and collaborate to shape a peaceful future.

ZOA and the Peace Nexus