Why is peace needed in the Great Lakes region of Africa?

‘An estimated 5.4 million people have died as a consequence of the war and its lingering effects since 1998. In spite of the official end of the war in December 2002, approximately 500,000 Congolese have continued to die each year.’

International Rescue Committee

Conflict in the Great Lakes region of Africa has led to years of instability. The absence of peace has displaced families, increased the prevalance of diseases, and restricted young people's access to education.

But peace is possible...

Time and time again, Peace Day has proved to be a catalyst for cooperation and peace-building and, as demonstrated in Afghanistan, can offer a window of opportunity for communities in need, enabling individuals and organisations to undertake life-saving activities on the day.

Find out more about our project in the Great Lakes region of Africa with the latest Statement of Purpose


Peace Day 2014

On Peace Day, a celebration took place at the Goma International Airport, reaching tens of thousands in attendance and millions more across the world through TV and digital platforms. This concert showcased a positive and constructive story from the region featuring 5-time Grammy-nominated hip-hop/RnB star Akon, alongside Congolese stars Lexxus Legal, Dety Darba, Mzee Mbukuli and Sango’A. Over 3000 Peace Day activities were organised in the region on Peace Day 21 September 2014 across all sectors of society through Peace One Day Coalitions and Initiatives.

Major humanitarian activities, organised by our partners, took place throughout the region on Peace Day 21 September such as a polio vaccination campaign (UNICEF), creation and distribution of fuel efficient stoves and briquettes (UNHCR), mass community events (Sister Angelique), football matches and concerts in Burundi and Uganda amongst many others. Free peace education resource developed in collaboration with the DRC Ministry of Education and UNICEF is distributed across 51,380 primary schools in the DRC.


Check out this short film about Howard G. Buffett's work in DRC and the wider Great Lakes region of Africa.


This project was made possible by the generous funding of:

Peace One Day Trips

Goma & Kigali - July 2014

In July, Jeremy and the Peace One Day team travelled to both the DRC and Rwanda. As well as organising key details ahead of the Peace Day celebration, they met with leading NGOs, UN bodies, faith leaders and media outlets in the region. This included a press conference in Goma with local journalists and interviews on both TV and radio. Jeremy took part in a range of high-level meetings including a MONUSCO press briefing and meetings with Search for Common Ground, UNHCR and International Alert.
For photos from this trip please check out the gallery below. 


DRC & Rwanda - April 2014

In April, Jeremy returned to the Great Lakes region of Africa. He first stopped in Kigali, Rwanda for a series of meetings, first with the Country Director of World Vision International to discuss how forgiveness and reconciliation is central to their work and the ongoing peace process, before meeting with representatives from UNHCR, UNICEF and UNDP.

Crossing the border into DRC, Jeremy met up with the Search for Common Ground team and filmed a number of their projects in Misisi province in North Kivu, which involved participatory theatre and community radio stations. Returning to Goma, Jeremy met with MONUSCO, UNDSS and Caritas, before being interviewed for a second time on DRC’s largest radio station, Radio Okapi.

Amani Festival - February 2014

Jeremy and the Peace One Day team returned to the DRC in a visit that included the capital Kinshasa and Goma. In Goma, Jeremy took part in the Amani Festival which included performances from Innoss'B and Lexxus Legal. This celebration of peace through music also showcased the work of organisations working for peace as part of the humanitarian village. It was great to see Search for Common Ground and UNICEF represented.

Later in the trip, Jeremy travelled to Kinshasa for a series of high-level meetings with UN OCHA, UNICEF, UNHCR, IRC and MONUSCO.

Ethiopia - January 2014

Jeremy and the Peace One Day team flew to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet with the United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Mary Robinson.

It was a remarkable discussion and Mary Robinson believes Peace Day can play a part in the wider peace process in which she is involved, both in DRC and the Great Lakes region.Ethiopia - January 2014

DRC - January 2014

Jeremy and the Peace One Day team joined UNICEF for a trip to DRC visiting both Kinshasa and Goma. During this trip, Jeremy met with a number of individuals and organisations from all sectors of society to learn from their work in the country, as well as to outline how they can manifest action on Peace Day, 21 September.

With UNICEF, the team also visited Mugunga 1 Internally Dispaced Persons camp and The Centre of Transit and Orientation managed by UNICEF partner CAJED that runs a reintegration programme providing psycho-social support and professional training for former child-soldiers. These trips proved powerful and poignant reminders of the work being done to build peace after conflict, as well as giving young people an opportunity for a peaceful future.

Uniting people for Peace Day

Throughout Jeremy's trip, he has met organisations and individuals from every sector of society including school children, journalists, soldiers, UN peacekeepers, peace activists, NGO workers, forest rangers and many more, spreading the message of Peace Day and learning more about what people are doing to build peace in the country.

He has also met with Search for Common Ground, UNICEF, MONUSCO, Radio Okapi, United Nations Department of Safety and Security, Kinshasa Youth Journalist Network, British Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Diane Corner and Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Wivine Mumba Matipa. Please click on the button to the right for photos from these meetings.

By uniting every sector of society we can work together and unite on Peace Day as never before.


PeaceTalk 6

As part of the PeaceTalk project that sees classrooms around the world connecting via Skype with the message of Peace Day, in December 2013 Jeremy visited Collége Mwanga in Goma DRC to facilitate PeaceTalk 6.

This connected Collége Mwanga with Basisschool De Luchtballon in Tiernen, Belgium. What followed was a powerful demonstration of how young people are building lasting and sustainable peace. Young people from different continents learnt from one another and shared ideas about how we can unite on Peace Day.


Collége Mwanga Film Screening

Prior to PeaceTalk 6, students at Collége Mwanga in Goma, DRC watched Jeremy's documentary The Day After Peace. Here are a few photos from the event.


Who Will You Make Peace With?

The theme for Peace One Day is Who Will You Make Peace With? Here are a selection of photos from Peace One Day's trips to the Great Lakes region of Africa showing the support for the campaign for Peace Day, 21 September.