Forging ethnic bonds in unsettling times.

Across East Africa there are many conflict and post-conflict areas where Village Enterprise is working to address peace through its microenterprise development model.

In Kenya, following the highly-controversial 2007 presidential election, widespread violence broke out between different ethnic groups. Many people were beaten or killed. Others lost their homes and all their worldly belongings. Tribal tensions led to the targeting and looting of businesses, crushing the livelihoods of thousands of Kenyans.

In Northern Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted more than 30,000 children. Women were especially affected by this conflict; many of their husbands were murdered by the LRA or fled the conflict, children were abducted into the army, and soldiers used rape as a tool to spread violence. Since 1996, the Ugandan government has been forcibly relocating 90% of this population (nearly 2 million people) to camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

As displaced people in Kenya and Uganda begin to resettle, they need a way to generate an income to rebuild their lives.

Started in 2009 in conflict-torn Kenya, Village Enterprise’s Peace and Business Initiative was framed to broadly achieve the following:

  • Create peer-owned businesses that serve as role models for how people of different tribes or clans can work together to promote economic development and lead their generation in building a more peaceful country.
  • Empower rural Kenyan and Ugandans to start businesses that will provide much-needed income as they resettle while enabling life-transforming investment into education, nutrition, housing, and sanitation for their families.

In 2013, Village Enterprise has been extending this sustainable and innovative program to the Amoria region of Northeast Uganda. Read more here.

See ‘Peace’ in Action

Learn more about our peace program in Kenya.

Peace Training

“They felt so relieved deep down in their hearts; it was a beginning of a new era in their lives as they promised to focus on reconciliation as a way forward,” witnessed Isaac Otim, Field Coordinator in Northeast Uganda.


Program Highlights

  • Business owners serve as “Peace Advocates” in their communities and participate in savings groups
  • Peace and Reconciliation training built into curriculum

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