“As you read this issue, I hope that what shines through is CHIPS distinctive approach to peacemaking. One aspect is incarnational: we live where we work, sharing the lives and experiencing the conflict of those we seek to help. Our teams live at the same level as the communities they work with – whether that is a remote village in Ghana without basic amenities, or a council estate in Brixton. Our peacemaking is practical – creating spaces for people from all sides to feel safe, work together and build new relationships. We are in it for the long haul – sustainable peacemaking takes patience, perseverance and lots of time.
CHIPS began work in northeast Ghana in 2009 where the Nanumba and Konkomba tribes have been in conflict for decades. A 1995 peace treaty ended armed violence but left both sides wounded, without a way to move forwards together – a ‘frozen conflict.’ Development and investment have stalled, poverty and mistrust thrive, punctuated by serious outbreaks of violence, notably in 2013, sparked off by the murder of a chief, and most recently in February this year with gun battles in Bimbilla.
In the midst of this, our CHIPS Team led by Desmond Mpabe (see here) are making peace through their practical work, quiet presence and daily reconciliation. You have helped them make a remarkable difference: we can now claim a positive impact on the lives of over 7,500 Ghanaians. In this issue we focus on their work and the projects that make this change possible. Plans are underway for a possible visit from Desmond to us in the UK next year – I hope you will have the opportunity to meet him and hear first-hand about CHIPS in Ghana.
Back in Brixton, it is violence on the streets and amongst young people that our team are tackling, with expansion into a neighbouring estate, mental health training and collaboration with other local initiatives – a powerful mix (see here).
As always, we are inspired and led, in the way we live and work, by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ – the Ultimate Peacemaker.”
Chair of Trustees