Peacebuilding Solutions’ mission is to reshape and improve current practices in the fields of peacebuilding, humanitarian aid, and reconstruction of communities affected by conflict and natural disasters.
Peacebuilding Solutions was founded in 2008 by a group of like-minded people who realized that there might be a better way to ensure that people who are suffering are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. While working towards my Master’s and Ph.D. in Political Science, I was exposed to a great deal of research showing the gaps inherent in the international system and the lack of accountability, transparency and effectiveness of both non-profit organizations and intergovernmental organizations. As an American, born and raised in a rich and prosperous country, I felt it was my duty and obligation to help those who, through no fault of their own, are unable to help themselves.
Peacebuilding is a very complex phenomenon; interlinking democratization, infrastructure, security, education, human rights and many other topics. Peacebuilding is also something that is quite simply impossible in the short-term: peacebuilding requires years of sustained international effort to ensure that all needs are met in both the short- and the long-term.
Peacebuilding Solutions has decided to begin our efforts by helping those living in refugee camps. Many of these camps are built rapidly and with little regard to long-term considerations such as education, social and cultural needs, security and the like. Refugees are people just like you and me who have been forced to leave their homelands and their loved ones to eke out a new existence in a new place. Peacebuilding Solutions’ mission is to ensure that those living in refugee camps are treated with dignity and respect and that refugees are given the attention and empowerment needed to become an remain, as much as they are able, independent and self-sufficient communities.
In 2010 Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake which left hundreds of thousands dead or injured and over one million homeless or displaced. Since that time, over 1,000 camps have been set up to help Haitians displaced by this terrible disaster and Haiti has become the NGO capitol of the world. Yet despite the best of intentions, many Haitian refugees live in terrible conditions in mismanaged camps racked by neglect, poverty and crime. This is not the fault of those on the ground but rather the result of an aid delivery system that is broken and which prioritizes short-term contracts over long-term solutions. Peacebuilding Solutions intends nothing less than a revolution in aid delivery – a paradigmatic shift that will change the way the way refugees are cared for. Peacebuilding Solutions recognizes that each Haitian is a human being fully deserving of dignity and respect. Furthermore, Peacebuilding Solutions understands that Article 22 of the Haitian Constitution guarantees the “right of every citizen to decent housing, education, food and social security” and we view this as fully binding on our efforts as well. In other words, we don’t think that Haitians abdicate these rights simply because they are forced by circumstance to live in refugee camps. Furthermore, once we have demontrated that this approach can work in Haiti, we intend to carry it to other corners of the globe were refugees suffer needlessly because of a system that has come to think of them as simply numbers on a ledger.
Having just returned from the UNHCR’s 2012 Annual Conference with NGOs in Geneva, I am more energized than ever about our potential to make a positive impact on the lives of refugees. Now, PS must turn its attention to the future. Several of our board of directors have already travelled to Haiti and have seen first-hand the devastation and suffering caused not only by the earthquake but also by the lack of coordination and accountability in the international humanitarian aid delivery system. In the coming months, we will be working hard to finalize our action plan in preparation for an eventual deployment to Haiti. Until then, please continue to watch as we grow, plan, and work to help Haitians transform their island into a better, more self-sustaining place for all Haitians.
-Greg Hodgin, Executive Director, Peacebuilding Solutions
Business Plan 2011-2012
Currently there are millions of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in temporary camps worldwide as a result of political instability or natural disasters. The average length of time that people must reside in a camp is 8 years, however most shelters are simple tents and tarp structures that degrade within a year. These camps also too often suffer from a lack of attention paid to the educational, social and cultural needs of their populations. Read more about our 2011-2012 business plan to find out how we intend to change this.
Designing for Good – GA Tech Case Competition 2011
A student design case competition was recently held giving student teams an opportunity to design portable and robust shelters that can be rapidly built, taken apart, and moved in a crisis….Read More.
Peacebuilding Solution + Engineers Without Borders Atlanta
As we speak, there are approximately 2.5 million people living in an estimated 700 United Nations funded refugee camps around the globe…Read More.