Ghana: Peacemakers

To help reduce violence in Ghana, young adults, teachers and pastors receive non-violent conflict resolution training. The so-called “Peacemakers” are on a mission of peace!

Ghana is a country of many different cultures and religions. This diversity is usually seen as positive, but violence can break out, especially involving young adults. Girls, street boys and unemployed young people are particularly vulnerable. In their search for a better future, they are easy targets for people prepared to resort to violence. But who doesn't want to live in peace?

Coping correctly with conflicts

In 2005, a workshop organised by the EMS and the Presbyterian Church in Ghana (PCG) marked a turning point. It dealt with solving conflicts without resorting to violence. The young participants were so enthusiastic about the "Peacemakers Program" that it was already introduced in all 17 church districts of the Presbyterian Church in the following year. Since then, young people, teachers, pastors and youth leaders have been trained as peacemakers and pass on their knowledge to local youth groups. Traditional Ghanaian chiefs and elders are also involved in the activities. A handbook developed from the first workshop serves as teaching material.

Ghana

28.3 million inhabitants, of which approx. 19% are Protestants

Living and promoting peace

At their meetings, the Peacemakers identify areas of conflict in their own environment. What are the situations that trigger violence? Where do conflicts occur? Young people are their target group. They encourage pupils of both genders to set up peace societies and learn all about the peace mission, for example in debates. They also advise Ghanaian apprentices and trainees on how to deal with conflicts in the workplace. These are at the bottom of the company hierarchy and often suffer from difficult working conditions.

Networking is also important for the peace mission. Peacemakers are in regular contact with other institutions of the Presbyterian Church, such as the Presbyterian Inter-faith Research and Resource Centre, which works to promote dialogue between Muslims and Christians and for a better understanding between religions.

Project Goals

Compared to the rest of Africa, Ghana has a high degree of internal stability. The country is regarded as the “democratic beacon” in West Africa. But some of the old-established conflicts between the many cultures and religions still persist. The Presbyterian Church in Ghana (PCG) is dedicating its attention to resolving these conflicts with its “Peacemakers” programme. In this Ghana’s youth plays an important role. Trained “Peacemakers” identify conflict hotspots and pass on their knowledge to local youth groups. Together they learn to question old patterns and join together in a peace mission.

Project Work

In cooperation with the National Peace Council Ghana, conflict hotspots are first identified and then suitable contact persons are sought out in the communities. They are persuaded to join in the “Peacemakers” programme and receive training as mediators. The solution to a conflict is not prescribed by the “Peacemakers” but is worked out by the conflicting parties. The joint aim is to find a solution that leaves nobody the loser. The mediators support the conflict parties in becoming aware of their emotions and interests and expressing them so that everybody involved can understand.

 

Project Partners

The Presbyterian Church in Ghana (PCG) is the oldest Christian church in Ghana. It originated in 1828 from the work of the Basel Mission. In 1926, it became independent and adopted its present name. It has about 870,000 members. The PCG runs educational institutions ranging from kindergartens and primary schools through to secondary and vocational schools. It sponsors four hospitals, several regional clinics and mobile basic health care services. EMS supports mainly PCG’s development programmes in education and health care.

 

We are pleased to hear that you are interested in this project. If you have any general questions, please use the contact form below. We are also happy to help you personally if you have any questions or require further information – by phone or by E-mail.

 

Georg Meyer

Head of Unit Africa

+49 711 636 78 -14

meyer@dont-want-spam.ems-online.org

Angelika Jung

Head of Unit Fundraising

+49 711 636 78 -63

jung@dont-want-spam.ems-online.org

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