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Core Program Areas

Agriculture Education Emergencies Health HIV and AIDS Microfinance Peacebuilding Water and Sanitation

Cross-Cutting Areas

Capacity Strengthening Climate Change ICT4D IHD Monitoring and Evaluation Youth

Restoring Relationships

Reconciliation, collaboration, and solidarity

CRS’ work to foster social integration ranges from trauma healing in Sudan and Madagascar to returnee/resident reconciliation in Georgia, East Timor, Zambia, Afghanistan, and India to faciliating collaboration between migrant and host communities in Central America.

In Madagascar, CRS sponsored interfaith reconciliation workshops in five of the six national provinces after violent elections in 2001.

In Tarija, Bolivia, where internal economic migration has created a tense situation between migrants and locals, CRS is working with young men and women between 16 and 21 years old to develop and demonstrate a capacity for critical, constructive, and creative analysis on the themes of peaceful coexistence, tolerance, and respect. The project is reinforced by the education community, which has incorporated peacebuilding and cultural appreciation initiatives into local school curricula.

Peace education

Peace education has been a fundamental component of CRS support for peacebuilding in Cambodia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, India, Ecuador, Bolivia, Iraq, the Philippines, and Colombia.

In Colombia, the Escuela de Paz y Convivencia (School for Peace and Coexistence) has developed a comprehensive model of applied learning that extends over twelve months and covers organization, learning, and social action. The innovative pedagogical approach has led to greater recognition of men’s and women’s roles in a culture of peace, an increased understanding of the family as a microcosm of society, greater engagement in the larger community, increased mobility, and an emerging sense of neighborhood.

Peace education efforts in Rwanda triggered the organization of unity and reconciliation clubs in secondary schools. These clubs are action-oriented and in many cases they report increased mobility, reductions in tension and violence, greater intermarriage, and more people resolving their own conflicts.

In Burundi, the Bureau National de l’Enseignement Catholique (National Bureau of Catholic Education) prepared a peace education curriculum and accompanying instructors’ guide with CRS support. The curriculum effectively raises the issue of violence based on ethnicity, using relevant local context but without blaming any single ethnic group. The curriculum and guide were made available to parochial and state schools.