Peace consolidation and the promotion of gender equality, specifically working with men towards the transformation of masculinity-related norms at the individual, family, community and with public and private institutions, namely, the police force, the army, schools, religious groups as well as health services providers.
LPI encourages values of cultural diversity, solidarity in order to serve better vulnerable people, sharing our experiences with other social actors.
A society where men and women live in harmony in their households, a community where children are raised in a health environment.
We are grateful to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which generously made funds available for the Living Peace Program in the provinces of North and South Kivu in the DRC.
About Living Peace Institute
Living Peace Institute (LPI) is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of equality between men and women and the prevention of the gender-based violence. LPI is actively involved in the restoration of peace and gender promotion among couples, in the households and in the conflict-affected society at large.
Creation of Living Peace Institute
To break this cycle of violence, it was determined that psychological support for these men is required in order to help them understand and change gender roles, including the concept of men’s superiority or the imbalance of power in the relationship between men and women.
It is in this context that, with the support of an international organization, PROMUNDO-US, and the funding from the Dutch Ministry of Cooperation, a local organization, Living Peace Institute, was established in 2015 in Goma, Province of North Kivu with the mission to work with men to restore peace in the provinces of North and South Kivu.
The aim of LPI is to promote positive masculinity and gender equality by converting men and boys, traditionally perceived as responsible of human rights violations, into ambassadors of peace, guardians and defenders of human rights.
"Living Peace" Methodology
An International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) conducted by Promundo Institute and the study on masculinity and gender-based violence in DRC conducted by UN Women have established a strong link between men being victims or witnesses of the violence in an armed conflict and perpetrating violence in their homes and communities.
Those studies, conducted in the context of post-conflict countries, concluded that educational activities and therapeutic group session help participants develop positive copping strategies to restore healthy and non-violent relation in a post-conflict situation.
Genesis of Living Peace Institute
Since mid-nineties, the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo has witnessed activities of armed groups operating mainly in the provinces of North and South Kivu. These armed conflicts not only created a situation of persistent insecurity but also caused serious human rights violations.
The impact of those armed conflicts on the local population is disastrous on several levels. In a special way, women, girls and children have suffered enormously as victims of sexual violence perpetrated by men during this long period of armed conflict.
To Break the Vicious Cycle of Violence
According to the International Men and Gender Equality Survey conducted in 2002, in DRC’s province of North Kivu, up to 40% of women and 23% of men have been victims of sexual violence.
The same survey found that male victims tend to manage high levels of stress and trauma. Unconsciously, to protect themselves from anxiety, these men resort to strategies that allow them to momentarily reduce their sensations of vulnerability. These strategies include the abuse of alcohol and drugs, fighting and violence against women and children.
Hence, males who are victims of violence perpetrated by other males in turn become perpetrators of violence, creating a vicious cycle of violence at home, in the community and in society at large.
Living Peace Institute RDC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), especially the eastern province of North and South Kivu, have experienced armed conflict for over the last two decades. Paradoxically, those conflicts which were conducted by men have exposed individuals’ vulnerability and man’s vulnerability in particular. . To vindicate his masculinity, man, victim of the violence uses violence towards his wife and children as a way of trying to vindicated his war-affected masculinity and overcome his vulnerability.
LPI was created to provide psychosocial support to war-affected men, perpetrator and victim as the same time, by inculcating in them positive masculinity through therapeutic group sessions among themselves. To achieve this, LPI targets vulnerable populations including the youth, men and women affected by the war.