Worldwide Featured Project: Burundi

Burundi is a small central-African republic with a history of ethnic and inter-tribal warfare and genocide. Despite its Catholic roots, hundreds of thousands have been killed with many more being impacted by the slaughter among neighbors and families.

RENEW International's Work
In 2004, RENEW International put its experience and expertise at the service of peacebuilding in Burundi. In partnership with the Catholic Bishops of Burundi and Catholic Relief Services, RENEW International developed a parish-based peacebuilding process designed to promote a culture of peace and reconciliation. The process provides an environment where trust can begin to build and wounds to heal.

People of diverse cultures and education as well as ethnic backgrounds gather in small groups to reflect on peace-related topics from the scriptures, to share their own experience of suffering, listen to others, and commit to live what they have learned in their daily lives. Gradually, the participants learn to listen to each other, and come to see each other as brothers and sisters.

As part of the process, RENEW International conducts leadership workshops for groups of lay leaders, who in turn, train other small community leaders. In the past two years, the RENEW International staff has trained approximately 200 trainers, each of whom has trained about 100 small community leaders. RENEW International developed materials on peace and reconciliation which were inculturated by local leaders. This basic grassroots experience provides the foundation for true peacebuilding that fosters a tolerant society. It gives people the courage to be instruments of peace in their families, communities and the wider society. RENEW International is the first and the only organization to offer this kind of process in this holistic manner.

Learn how to Make a Gift
Read how RENEW's ministry helped forge a partnership between American and Burundian hospices