House of Peace (HoPe) is a social peacebuilding project established in 2015 with the support of the Society of Jesus (i.e the Jesuits) in Lebanon and Syria. HoPe has established an office comprising eight staff members in Beirut. It aims at enhancing social peace within local communities by working with refugee and host community groups, and with NGOs working on the Syrian crisis. HoPe has been registered in Canada, Ottawa by virtue of Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act in 2018, and is in the process of being registered as NGO in Lebanon.
Mission and activities
HoPe’s vision is bringing together uniquely different individuals with shared values, and transforming the notion of peace into a practice of being and living, to inspire social change towards a hopeful and purposeful life. They believe that at all times, especially in times of turmoil and change, a source of peace exists in every person and every society. HoPe aims to use this potential for peace to emerge and blossom. They work towards social peace in an inclusive and participatory way through shifting perceptions about reality, peace, self and the other. This shift is achieved by supporting and connecting community-based initiatives and dialogue spaces, advancing the principles of conflict sensitivity and voicing grassroots perspectives, stories and aspirations.
Their main activities include conducting workshops and trainings. In Social Peace Workshops, they address local community members from different backgrounds, in order to support and accompany them to develop their own community-based social peace initiatives. They further deliver Conflict Sensitivity Trainings to humanitarian NGOs working on the refugee crisis. “Their Voices” action research papers, highlights grassroots perspectives and narratives about social peace issues, to be discussed during organised roundtables.
Following the notion that social peace is only obtainable through the collective, HoPe has established a network of collaboration partners in peace building throughout Lebanon. Among others, this network includes forumZFD’s partner Basmeh&Zeitooneh and Shift.
Cooperation with forumZFD
The project “Partnership for conflict sensitivity: Enhancing conflict sensitive project implementation” was launched in July 2017 as an initial cooperation between HoPe and forumZFD in the Capacity Development programme. In this pilot phase, HoPe, supported by forumZFD through advice and technical inputs, will conduct ten three-day Conflict Sensitivity workshops for local NGOs working with Syrian refugees and their hosting communities. The aim is to increase the application of conflict sensitivity techniques and build up knowledge on conflict transformation within the NGOs targeted leading to individual, but also institutional and communal level. Experiences shared during the workshops will be used in one of the next editions of ‘Their voices’.