Who we are …

Background and history of EIRENE

EIRENE is a Greek word that means “peace”. EIRENE is a non-profit ecumenical international peace and development service and a recognized agency for development service, voluntary social year, and international youth peace service.

In 1957 EIRENE was founded by Christians from different denominations who felt committed to the principle of non-violence and who wanted to take a stance against the rearmament and for a peaceful co-existence. Two of the founding members were the historic peace churches: the Mennonites and the Church of the Brethren. They are still institutional members of EIRENE together with the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Dutch branch of EIRENE, and the EIRENE trust. It is also possible for private individuals who feel connected to EIRENE and wish to support its activities to become members of the association.

Our program and focus areas:

  • volunteer services around the world: up to 70 people, young and old, support EIRENE every year by working at local partner organizations in projects for justice, peace, protection of creation.
  • since 2015 we recieve also volunteers from partnerorganisations from Uganda, Nicaragua, bolivia and Bosnia Herzegowina to do a volunteer servec for one year in Germany.
  • non-violent conflict resolution around the world: EIRENE specialists in the area of civil peace services help to solve conflicts peacefully in Africa and Latin America.
  • Helping people help themselves: development workers from EIRENE support local partner organizations in Africa and Latin America in promoting sustainable development adapted to the needs of the local people.
  • Domestic projects and promoting volunteer work.

The international branch office

26  staff members work at the international branch office in Neuwied on the Rhein, Germany. EIRENE receives financial support from the Lutheran Church in Germany, federal ministries, the European Commission, and other sponsors. Around one quarter of the 5,8 million euro yearly budget (from 2013) is covered though donations.


Regions where we work

Currently development workers are deployed in Morocco, Uganda, Mali, Niger, and in the African Great Lakes Region, as well as in the Latin American nations of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Bolivia.

For those wishing to take part in the volunteer service program, EIRENE offers positions in its North Program with projects in the USA, Canada, Northern Ireland,  Belgium and France. The East Program offers the chance to volunteer in Romania and Bosnia Herzegowina, while the South Program has positions in Uganda, Morocco, Niger, Nicaragua and Bolivia.


Focus areas and goals

EIRENE volunteers and development workers strive towards a culture of non-violence, justice, and the preservation of creation together with partner organizations in Latin America, Africa, the USA, and Europe. EIRENE supports sustainable development projects and civil conflict resolution programs in Africa and Latin America through financial aid as well as by sending personnel. Human rights initiatives, self-help groups, and rural development projects are at the core of our work. Consulting services by development workers is a central part of our involvement.

Domestic projects are also very important to us since advocacy for world-wide peace and justice must start at home, in the “North”, or industrial nations. That is why we promote being active in development policy issues and volunteer work here in Germany as well.