Peace and Durable Development (PDD) is a nonprofit organisation which was found by Eugene Twizerimana on April 3, 2001 in Burera District, Northern Province of Rwanda. Considering the history of war and conflict in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region in general, the founder of PDD had the idea of building peace starting at the family level by offering activities that help promote social and economic development.
PDD builds peace through training in conflict resolution, mediation, trauma healing, nonviolence, children’s rights, and women’s rights. PDD seeks to promote a culture of unity, reconciliation and cooperative approaches, with an awareness that illiteracy if often a source of conflict and violence to others and even one’s self.
The organisation also lobbies for family health, fighting against sicknesses like HIV, and especially those afflicting women like gynaecological disease. A significant challenge families face, is dealing with diseases that aren’t well understood. For instance, diseases relating to sterility and fisture can cause conflict in a family and harm to an individual’s health simply because they are shy about communicating their symptoms and afraid to seek treatment. This is especially true in rural areas where specialists in gynaecology are difficult to find. PDD works to raise awareness of this issue in communities and help make possible medical checkups so that individuals can receive treatment.
PDD works to promote family development through savings and loan groups as well as food security through conservation agriculture and animal husbandry. In 2009, the organisation carried out a survey of past beneficiaries which illustrated that the most frequent cause of conflict in their families and communities is hunger and poverty. For this reason, PDD understands this work to be crucial in their pursuit of peace.
The organisation trains people in environmental conservation and caring by encouraging forest protection and tree plantation. As part of this process, we hold discussions with community members to explain how humanity can never achieve peace if the health of the environment is neglected. The health of humans is dependent on the health of the environment, and the health of the environment is dependent on humans. Understanding this can help achieve peace.
To put Peace and Durable Development's initial activities into practice, the organisation initially relied on contributions from its members. Later the organisation began to receive support from Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), an international relief and development organisation. PDD continues its partnership with MCC today.