About Our History and Mission
Friends Peace House, as known as URUGO RW’AMAHORO in Kinyarwanda, was created in December 2000 by the Evangelical Friends Church of Rwanda, a member of the Quaker branch of historically pacifist churches, as an agency to witness peace, reconciliation, and conflict resolution in Rwanda after the genocide and war of 1994.
We are a church-based organisation, but we work with all Rwandans without discrimination with regards to race, church membership, religion, faith, or gender. FPH has an autonomous board of directors and independent finances.
Our mission is to promote peace, unity and reconciliation among the people of Rwanda and to holistically contribute to the development of the Rwandan society.
The vision of our organization is to see Rwandese people living together, having good relations with one another in healthy, well-developed communities.
Our core values include: Peace (Shalom), Integrity, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Unity, Transparency, Openness, Discernment.
The overall objective of Friends Peace House is to develop the capacity of the Rwandan Community to enhance individual’s quality of life and to promote peace and harmonious living. Specifically, we aim to:
- Deepen and strengthen commitment to work for peace among communities
- Promote cohesion, dialogue and solidarity among communities in order to speed up the process of rebuilding broken relationships
- Develop the consciousness to work to attain self-support, build the sense of ownership and positive social-economic change.
We have seven general categories of activities:
Trainings and seminars about conflict resolution, human rights, trauma healing, culture of peace and non-violence, peace, and reconciliation;
Since the start of our activities in 2001, Friends Peace House has grown significantly. Over 30,000 individuals have been trained from all over Rwanda by FPH and are peace resources in their communities. Over 65 groups have been formed as a result of trainings and these groups continue to develop themselves their members and their communities.
Our activities are wide and varied but focus primarily on building the capacities of leaders, the state, grassroots associations, civil society institutions, and the general population of Rwanda to respond to situations of conflict and violence in their homes and communities. In 2004, our Alternatives to Violence Project trained more than 1300 village-court gacaca judges, teaching them listening and conflict resolution skills. Women in Dialogue brings together women from across a difficult divide in Rwanda. Women survivors of the genocide and women whose husbands have been imprisoned for genocide-related crimes often do not trust each other; even though they may be neighbours, they have little contact between themselves. Women in Dialogue bridges this gap, as women on both sides of the divide are invited to come together through a series of seminars about trauma healing and conflict resolution. In our Women’s Rights programmes, we teach women to assert their rights, challenging traditions that deny them inheritance rights and force them to remarry after their husband dies. Our Youth Department currently supports twenty-five youth associations working for peace, health, and human rights in their local communities.
In the past few years we have also moved into our new office complex and training centre in Kagarama sector in Kigali city (pictured above).