For the Community of Sant'Egidio war and poverty are closely related. War is the "mother of all poverty", destroying the future of entire peoples. Civilians are the first victims of war, because they are often caught between the opposing sides. Among civilians, it is the poorest who are impacted the most: they often find themselves totally defenseless in the face of violence.
Sant’Egidio holds the spiritual conviction war is evil. It is never the inescapable destiny of human history: peace is always possible. We need to find ways to make peace happen, even when the path seems long and difficult. The strength of the Community’s efforts comes from the desire for peace of those people held hostage by war and violence, particularly in situations where there is no outlet for political mediation. Our care and love for the poor is the source of our commitment for peace.
Sant'Egidio took its first steps on the international stage in the early eighties: first in Mozambique, where millions where dying in a civil war, then across the African continent, in the Balkans and in Latin America. Nowadays, Sant’Egidio’s commitment to peace knows no boundaries. Thanks to its efforts, the Community has become an independent international player, whose authority is recognized and appreciated by various states and international organizations.
The Community is also known as the “United Nations of Trastevere”, with a unique unselfish and giving approach. As a community of people committed to dialogue at all levels, not a professional body, Sant’Egidio has built up a strong credibility and the skill to positively intervene in situations usually reserved for politicians and diplomats. Those skills have been developed through a network of connections and exchanges and by putting the countries in war, particularly the forgotten ones, at the heart of all of their efforts, and focusing on the desire and hope for peace that comes form every corner of the world.
To find out more about the Making Peace Initiates - until 7th February 2017 - please use the search engine at this page