International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, founded in 1994, has pioneered effective multi-sector programs to promote genuine dialogue, reconciliation, and cooperative problem solving in over 25 conflict-affected countries on four continents. Our programs engage key actors – from government ministries all the way down to the grassroots level – to strengthen their capacity to reach out across deep divides to resolve conflicts, rebuild trust, and prevent future violence in communities where ethnic, religious, sectarian, or political conflict poses a threat to a healthy, inclusive democracy.
Olivia Stokes Dreier
447 West St.
Amherst, MA 01002 USA
peace,peacebuilding,dialogue,conflict transformation,reconciliation,conflict resolution,tolerance,training of trainers,intergroup relations,capacity-building
International Peace and Security (Q40)
Intergroup/Race Relations (R30)
Management & Technical Assistance (S02)
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
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What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Karuna Center works by invitation and in partnership with in-country NGOs, academics, community groups, educational and religious institutions, local governments, and local community peacebuilders. Through these partnerships Karuna Center facilitates intra-communal and inter-communal dialogue workshops designed to foster trust and communication between conflicting parties.
Where we workNew!
Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
How will they know if they are making progress?
What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
Our programs seek to engage key actors – from government ministries all the way down to the grassroots level – to strengthen their capacity to reach out across deep divides to resolve conflicts, rebuild trust, and prevent future violence in communities where ethnic, religious, sectarian, or political conflict poses a threat to a healthy, inclusive democracy.
Building Local Capacity – The Karuna Center maximizes community actors’ capacity to develop local solutions to local problems. We engage with those who stand to make the most significant impact in their communities, and collaborate with them to design programs that are well-suited to the local context, and best utilize Karuna Center’s expertise.
Conflict Transformation – Our programs explore the intersection of social, political, and economic factors that contribute to conflict. Utilizing culturally sensitive, practical trainings, participants learn about the root causes of conflict, identify strategic opportunities for intervention, and build skills for conflict resolution and prevention in a way that respects the needs of those recovering from violence and trauma.
Dialogue – Facilitated, structured dialogue sits at the core of our approach to peacebuilding. Often, people enter our programs carrying feelings of resentment and enmity toward another community. Through well-facilitated dialogue, participants come to recognize the essential humanity of the other, and develop a shared sense of common purpose and willingness to move forward together. We do not see dialogue as an end in itself, but rather as a means toward action and social change.
Sustainable Peace – Our longer-term programs include a "training of trainers" component and mentorship in the design and delivery of peacebuilding projects. Karuna Center alumni gain skills that can be used to train others, and facilitate dialogue between adversaries, thereby building a critical mass of peacebuilders committed to justice and the prevention of future violence. Some of our program alumni have gone on to found their own peacebuilding organizations, and remain vital partners in Karuna Center’s mission to realize more inclusive, peaceful communities.
Though we are a small organization, we are able to maximize our efforts by engaging those actors who stand to make the broadest and most significant impact in their particular communities.
Our staff bring extensive experience in conducting conflict assessments (most recently in Rwanda and Senegal for USAID) and consultancies on conflict sensitive development for organizations such as the World Bank, USAID, and the Asian Development Bank. From 2002-2012, our Executive Director, Ms. Olivia Dreier Stokes directed the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) Graduate Certificate Program at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro VT. Darren Roth, our Director of Operations is an alumnus of the program.
Members of the Board of Directors contribute their time and expertise to the Karuna Center on a volunteer basis. They are tasked with monitoring the overall policies and direction of the organization, are active in fundraising and organizing community events, connect the organization with relevant colleagues from their own personal networks, and provide expertise in their area of specialization on a pro-bono basis.
Each of our project evaluations includes both a quantitative and a qualitative component (i.e. statistical analyses, focus groups, participant interviews, etc.). Results are compiled, analyzed, and drafted for inclusion in the final report, which we make available to the general public on Karuna Center’s website and upon request.
Most recently, we concluded a 21-month long USAID-funded peacebuilding program in Sri Lanka that established constructive relationships between 160 Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist religious leaders whose communities were deeply estranged after 27 years of civil war. Our program brought about dramatic attitudinal changes in the leaders and their communities, and ultimately reached over 7,000 people via 56 joint community projects. At the close of this project, we assisted religious leaders in establishing district-level interfaith councils to continue their reconciliation work, and address emerging conflicts.
Our programs in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1999-2003), Macedonia (2002-05), and Kosovo (2006) worked with educators to create school communities that could bridge the deep wounds left by the Balkan wars of the 1990’s. We have also developed conflict transformation programs for a variety of educational institutions in the United States.
Karuna Center For PeaceBuilding, Inc.
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
as of 12/21/2017
University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University Law Schools
Elise Collins Shields
Sagesse Holdings, Inc.
Burns and Hammond, Inc.
U.S. Justice Department
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?