ABOUT OUR PROGRAMME - Who we are and what we do

The Community Peace Programme provides overall project and financial management, as well as all the training, support, monitoring, fund raising, payment processing, data management and verification in a contractual relationship with the Peace Committees. It is responsible for maintaining the integrity and consistency of the Peace Committee/Community Peace Centre model and for leading reflections on its effectiveness of the following components.

A) The PeaceMaking Process – Conflict Resolution

The key to the resolution of a local dispute and the agreement on a workable and effective plan to not only solve the problem, but also to prevent it from happening again, is to bring together the appropriate local people. To achieve this outcome, The Community Peace Programme facilitates the discussion of the dispute according to an agreed-upon set of rules and a standardised process.


1. In the community, a dispute arises

2. Community members bring the dispute to the Peace Committee.

A Peace Committee is a group of 5 to 20 people in a community whose purpose it is to create an ongoing structure that the community members, governments and others can relate to. They will facilitate the resolution of disputes as a group of 3 or more people.

3. The Peace Committee invites the disputants and committee members...

4. to a PeaceMaking Gathering which is held a couple of days later at the house of a Peace Committee member...

The Peace Committee organises a PeaceMaking Gathering asking specific members of the community to attend in order to contribute to solving the problem. The people who attend bring with them knowledge and resources that they can use to help solve the problem. Therefore who is asked to attend is very important. Having the appropriate people there ensures that the solutions will be community solutions and the decisions taken will respect people's values and the way they live.

5. or at the Peace Centre.

If the Gatherings do not take place in a house of a Peace Committee member, they may take place in a room of the community centre or in a Community Peace Centre. The gatherings are always informal and non-threatening.

6. The gathering is opened by reading the “Peace Committee Code”.

7. Peace Committee members take a report of events from one disputant, while the others wait outside, and interview each participant separately.

The facilitators hear from each disputant and the people called to the Gathering separately. This is not done to decide who is right and who is wrong, but to identify the underlying cause of the problem and who might be able to assist in finding a solution.

8. The report of the events are then read out in the presence of everyone.

9. The sources of the problem are identified and discussed – everybody is encouraged to join in and speak without interruption.
All the people affected by what happened can share their views, because it is important to understand any related problems.

10. The goal is to agree upon a plan of action to ensure that the problem will not happen again.

The plan of action is reached by everyone who is present in the PeaceMaking gathering. The Peace Committee members are only facilitators in the discussion. This empowers the community members to take responsibility for their actions and enhances their problem-solving skills. The plan of action is written down and all parties bound by the plan of action sign to show their commitment to the plan. The plan lists who is responsible for certain actions which are to be carried out. This ensures that everyone understands what has been decided and that it will be implemented. In almost every case, a plan of action can be agreed upon.

11. The parties might want to show their conciliation by shaking hands.

A gesture of conciliation is only useful if it contributes to the people being able to move forward to a better tomorrow. Sometimes they will apologise to each other in the form of a hug or handshake. This is not seen as essential.

12. Finally the gathering is closed by some PeaceMaking gesture.

At the close of the gathering, the people present do a dance, song, prayer or a holding of hands to symbolise their commitment to what has been decided and their commitment to Peace.

B) The PeaceBuilding Process – Social Development

PeaceBuilding deals with the community's broader generic problems, rather than with individual disputes. Local government is often involved in PeaceBuilding projects. The process of PeaceBuilding extends the work of the Community Peace Programme from a conflict management model to a governance model.

Responding to criticism that professionals are always paid, while poor people are asked to volunteer, the Community Peace Programme remunerates community members who are active in the Peace Committees in recognition of their service to their community. This remunerated instead of voluntary work, besides bringing a modest income into poorer families, is an incentive to build a culture of community solidarity, self-direction and respect for human rights. The programme itself therefore creates work.

The payment is divided in half and the Peace Committee members retain one part and the other half goes into a PeaceBuilding Fund. This fund is used to pay for local projects that have been identified by the Peace Committee as necessary. The Community Peace Programme's main drive is to identify and utilise the under-valued human resources in poor communities to the benefit of these communities. This is done through training, income generation and sustainable problem-solving.

A long-term problem may be identified by the Peace Committee through a pattern in the disputes or through regular community surveys. A Solutions Gathering is then arranged for the problem to be addressed. This process works in the same way as a PeaceMaking Gathering, with the outcome being to decide whom to commission to do the work.

The Peace Committees pay for the work from the money that they have built up in their PeaceBuilding Fund, giving priority to local community members to carry out the work. Thus the money is circulated within the community and work is created.

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  Contact us | PO Box 3507, Paarl, 7620 | Tel & Fax: +27 (0)21 8641145 | email: info@communitypeaceprogramme.org | sitemap | Designed by Beehive.co.za