The Weltfriedensdienst e.V. (WFD) was founded in 1959 in Berlin as a political and confessional open working group. The formation of the society was a response to the horrendous experiences of the Second World War and also to Germany’s decision to re-arm only ten years after the end of the war.
The founding members, among them the Magdeburg Pastor Lothar Kreyssig, wanted to create an international peace service in order to make a contribution to overcoming conflict and poverty in the world through the coordinated work of volunteers. The Weltfriedensdienst was part of the reconciliation services which also included the Action for World Solidarity (ASW) and Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ASF).
Today the WFD supports grassroots initiatives in Africa, Palestine and Latin America. In addition the WFD carries out an intensive education public awareness program in order to help ensure that the problems of the South are not forgotten here in Germany. The Weltfriedensdienst sees its work as engagement for a more just world.
The WFD is one of the seven development service institutions recognized by the Federal Government and is thus authorized by the law governing development workers to mediate the provision of cooperation partners to projects supported by the WFD.
THEIR WORK IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH
The triad “Peace-Development-Human rights” characterizes the program of the WFD. Civil peace work in Palestine takes care of the very youngest. Through the use of music and theatre, children and young people are able to reflect on frustrating experiences of powerlessness in a creative way. In a seemingly hopeless situation, this can pave the way for a peaceful future. Farmers in Senegal are encouraged to cultivate ecologically and sustainably; smallholders in Argentina are supported in the enforcement of their land rights.
The Weltfriedensdienst has partners in 19 countries in the Global South. The projects pick up local initiatives and support them both materially and by providing qualified personnel. This close cooperation with local partner organizations facilitates a fruitful exchange of expertise and experience between the North and the South. This is one of the fundamental goals of the Weltfriedensdienst. In order to review the achievement of its goals, the projects of the WFD are regularly evaluated by external experts.
Economic growth and the absence of war are no cause for complacency, as long as human rights are still being disregarded for instance the right of Guinean girls to retain their physical integrity or the right to grow old with dignity. The Weltfriedensdienst is committed to the protection of people and their rights in the South as well as in the North.See more