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Trustbuilding Program

Building trust across the world’s divides for a century

Trust: A Foundation for Lasting Peace

80% of humanitarian crisis are conflict-related - The World Bank

Where trust is lacking, polarization tears communities apart. It fuels inequality and even seemingly minor disagreements can escalate into wide-scale violence. Our Trustbuilding Program helps communities in conflict to reconcile and create lasting peace from the ground up. 

How the Trustbuilding Program Works

Two Nepalese young women hold signs saying 'peace begins with me' and are smiling
We equip local trustbuilders

We train local trustbuilders and give them tools to reconcile conflict and heal historical wounds. 

Elderly white Cnadian woman on the right smiles and is embraced by elderly Indigenous woman on left
We incorporate all perspectives

We enable all sides to speak their truth. Each project is locally owned and designed to increase social cohesion and equity. 

Young men, various ages and ethnicities, peer down at a table with images
We invest in the future

Building trust is a long-term commitment. We transform individuals and communities, build up capacities and resilience to create lasting positive change. 

5,375

reached through trustbuilding activities

55

trained local leaders four continents

15,000+

volunteer hours contributed

Read more about the work of the Trustbuilding Program

An African Imam and African pastor plant a sapling tree with the help of a young African man
Trustbuilding initiatives are now active in seven countries. Learn more from our detailed report
Full color drawing of African woman with cropped hair and dark-rimmed glasses speaking
Mumbi shares how the Trustbuilding Program in Kenya changed her life.
Be the change you want to see in the world
A network of +1,000 IofC alumni in 109 countries are active in a wide range of nation-building projects.

Trustbuilding Program Countries

Crowd gathered with arms outstretched around an Aboriginal man
Developing relationships between First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
Six panelists, of different ages, genders, and ethnicities, look out over crowd of attendees,
Honest dialogues on the root causes of discrimination in Quebec.
Young black male with navy baseball cap looks around wall corner at a poster with colored shapes
School programs offering disillusioned French youth an alternative to radicalization.
Four Indonesian youth sit in front of a stone statue surrounded by lush greenery, talking
Enlisting reformed extremists to counter radicalization and empowering youth to counter religious extremism.
Pastor James Wuye and Imam Muhammad Ashafa plant a tree while a group looks on, smiling
Developing interfaith and interethnic conversation spaces to reduce community violence.
Nepalese youth gather and lift their hands in celebration outside a university
Establishing trust to ease tensions between Madhesi and Pahadi communities.
Three groups of South Africans, of different ages and genders, gather around poster boards to collaborate
Healing generational traumas caused by fractured family structures.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Group of people, of mixed ages and genders, some with headscarves, stand in a circle wearing masks as one person in the center speaks
Contribute your time and talents. If you wish to help, contact us!
Brown hand, of undetermined gender, writes in a notebook
Join our Community of Learning & Practice, take part in events, and receive updates on the Trustbuilding Program.
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Your donation will strengthen communities ability to resolve conflict, now, and for years to come.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TRUSTBUILDING PROGRAM

At a time of increasing fragmentation, trust is diminishing around the world. Communities face racial and religious divides, intergenerational conflict, the rise of extremist attitudes, as well as social divisions and the legacy of war. These divisions not only tear apart communities, but also limit economic development and opportunities for the next generation.  

Trust is the cornerstone to building lasting peace for generations to come. 

Our work is transformational. We have a unique methodology that is rooted in our values, and has been successfully used for over a century. We link personal change to societal change. We enable people regardless of religious, racial, ethnic and political differences, build relationships and commit to working together for positive changes in their communities. 

Situations of conflict are breeding grounds for lies, blame and bitterness. Solutions depend on bringing truth, integrity and trust into the situation. We inspire and equip people with the inner qualities, practices, and skills needed to build trust across deep divides by providing the tools needed to work together to find lasting solutions.  

Peace and reconciliation depend on recognizing the historical wounds which created the conflict. We focus on healing the historical wounds which provoke the conflict, bringing all sides together in safe spaces to enable each side to see the situation as the other sees it. We bring trustbuilders who are succeeding in other conflict situations to share their experience to inspire participants to form relationships with others based on shared values.  

The prime quality of trustbuilders is their own trustworthiness. This Program offers each participant a chance to examine their own integrity, and learn how to bring trust in a situation of mistrust, polarization, and conflict. We place emphasis on equipping the next generation with these skills and developing multi-sector networks for trust. 

Awardee of the Intercultural Innovation Award 2021 by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations & BMW Group.

Hengi Bayat - Fundraising Manager  

Rob Corcoran - Program Design & Training consultant 

Manon Michelle Monhemius - Communications Officer  

Talia Smith - Program Manager   

Jessie Sutherland - Evaluations Consultant  

Alena Vasilyeva - Program Assistant 

 

The Trustbuilding Program is governed by a Program Steering Group

Ron Lawler (Chair); Barry Hart; Imad Karam; Mediatrix Masava; Firyal Mohamed; Roweida Saleh; Shakiyla Smith (Fetzer Institute); and Alex Wise.

Talia Smith - Planning Committee Chair 

Alex Wise - Fundraising Committee Chair 

 

Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Through addressing this goal, we play our part in the wider conflict prevention agenda.

The Knowledge Hub offers resources and best practices from the Trustbuilding Program and its project teams. 

Fetzer Institute
Trustbuilding Program Founding Partner

MasterPeace
Mobilizing, inspiring and connecting talents for a sustainable future with less conflict.

The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers
Builds bridges between grassroots peacemakers and global players in order to strengthen the work done for sustainable peace.

ECOSOC
IofC International has special consultative status at the UN’s Economic and Social Council.

Council of Europe
IofC International has participatory status at the Council of Europe