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Trust: A Foundation for Lasting Peace

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

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

How the Trustbuilding Program Works

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. 







Read more about the work of the Trustbuilding Program

Our impact in numbers and details.
Our success stories and lessons learned.
The Trustbuilding Program was awarded the UNAOC and BMW Group Intercultural Innovation 2021 Award.

Trustbuilding Program Countries

Crowd gathered with arms outstretched around an Aboriginal man
Developing relationships and addressing historical wounds between First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
Healing historical wounds created through ethnopolitical divisions and restoring community trust.
Bridging the divide between Cameroon's two major linguistic communities: the Anglophones and the Francophones.
Six panelists, of different ages, genders, and ethnicities, look out over crowd of attendees,
Organising honest multi-stakeholder 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
Offering disillusioned French youth an alternative to radicalisation and inspiring them to become active citizens.
Closing the cultural gap between rural and urban youth by developing mutual understanding and trust.
Four Indonesian youth sit in front of a stone statue surrounded by lush greenery, talking
Countering religious extremism and radicalisation by building trust between Christian and Muslim youth.
Hosting interfaith and interethnic conversation spaces to increase understanding and reduce community violence.
Establishing trust to ease tensions between Madhesi and Pahadi communities.
Restoring trust between civil society and the police force.
Three groups of South Africans, of different ages and genders, gather around poster boards to collaborate
Healing intergenerational traumas caused by fractured family structures as a way to increase trust within communities.
Social integration through trustbuilding between IDPs and local communities.
The USA has played a pivotal role in the development and delivery of the Trustbuilding Program.


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Contribute your time and talents. If you wish to help, contact us!
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Join our Community of Learning & Practice, participate in events, and receive updates on the Trustbuilding Program.
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Your donation will strengthen the ability of communities to resolve conflict. Now, and for years to come.


At a time of increasing fragmentation, trust is diminishing around the world. 

Societies face racial and religious divides, intergenerational conflict, increased extremism, larger social divisions and deal with the legacy of war. These divisions tear apart communities and 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 rooted in our values, successfully used for over a century. We link personal change to societal change. We enable people, regardless of religious, racial, ethnic and political differences, to build relationships and commit to working together for positive changes in their communities. 

Conflicts 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 to work together to find lasting solutions.   

Peace and reconciliation depend on recognising the historical wounds which created the conflict. We focus on acknowledging and healing 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 experienced trustbuilders from other areas to share their experiences and inspire participants to form relationships based on shared values. 

The prime quality of trustbuilders is their trustworthiness. Our program offers each participant a chance to examine their integrity and learn how to bring trust into a situation of polarisation and conflict. We develop local multi-sector networks to support the trustbuilders. 

The Trustbuilding Program's Theory of Change in action:

The Trustbuilding Program's Theory of Change in action

The design of the Trustbuilding Program is inspired by decades of focused work through the methodology developed in Richmond, Virginia, USA, where people of all backgrounds worked courageously for racial reconciliation. It produced a tried and tested method, carefully documented and rigorously evaluated, which earned national and international recognition.  

Rob Corcoran - Program Design & Training consultant 

Manon Michelle Monhemius - Communications Officer  

Talia Smith - Program Manager   

Jessie Sutherland - Evaluations Consultant  

Alena Vasilyeva - Program Assistant 


A Program Steering Group governs the Trustbuilding Program  

Ron Lawler (Chair); Barry Hart; Imad Karam; Mediatrix Masava; Roweida Saleh; Sylvester Jones (Fetzer Institute) and Alex Wise. 

Talia Smith - Planning Committee Chair  

Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

We play our part in the broader conflict prevention agenda by addressing this goal.

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

Fetzer Institute
Trustbuilding Program Founding Partner

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 to strengthen the work done for sustainable peace.

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

United Nations Alliance Civilizations
UNAOC aims to bridge divides and promote harmony among nations to prevent conflict and promote social cohesion.

BMW Group
A partner of the Intercultural Innovation Award

Read more about our work