Interview with Meschac Gervais, Manager at OWCF
Is it possible to encourage peace in Africa?
First of all, I would like to say, unfortunately, it seems that peace is not a big priority in the world agenda.
We continue to see economic, political, and civil war among and within nations including Africa.
It is very possible to encourage peace in Africa. It simply requires true and real readjustment of our priorities but more importantly taking more actions than making beautiful speeches about peace.
What are you doing to encourage peace in Africa?
I encourage peace in Africa in my daily work.
As a Manager at One World Children’s Fund (OWCF), I work with many grassroots and community based organizations in Africa.
Through my duties, I advocate for, help with empowerment and trust in our grassroots organizations and leaders to make effective change in their communities which I think is a fundamental step for peace.
One World Children’s Fund efforts lead to amazing transformation in the lives of children as well as people in many communities and these changes are not isolated from peace in these communities.
I see peace in a holistic way and I recognize that the impact of our specific work with our partners is also peace encouraging.
Our partners’ expertise and knowledge make our work and efforts a true contribution to the betterment of their communities.
In fact, when we support children’s education, health, and shelter, we also support a sustainable peace initiative that will take more effect even to the next generation.
Additionally, I think everyone needs to understand that peace in Africa, although globally influenced, will not happen without the leadership, cooperation, integration, willingness of Africans.
Africa and other developing countries around the world must be the ones to lead peacekeeping initiatives in their own territories.
I encourage peace in Africa by involving, inviting, and respectfully letting grassroots and local leaders take the leadership because these people, grassroots, community based organizations, are the true catalysts to reach peace.
What can others do to encourage peace in Africa?
I think one of best things for anyone interested in peace within the continent to do is to recognize the power of the people of Africa in terms of what they can do to encourage peace in themselves and also to support and invest in the people – provide resources and opportunities to use their leadership skills.
Africans know what, how, where, when, and the best way to approach peace effectively and efficiently.
I think others can really encourage peace in Africa by recognizing that it must be done by Africans, for Africans, and in an African way!
Meschac is the Program and Community Manager at One World Children’s Fund, an international nonprofit supporting grassroots organizations to educate, health, and house children worldwide.
He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers San Francisco Hub.
He developed and managed the International Community Service Program for University of Southern Indiana where he also earned his MPA. Besides the U.S, Meschac has worked in Haiti coordinating a number of grassroots organizations and led a Needs Assessment Research project for the Ministry of Planning. He also interpreted for many international and foreign organizations including an investigation led by the U.S Homeland Security and had taught Spanish as a Foreign Language at a couple language institutes.
Meschac is passionate about seeing a world with peace, justice, equality, and opportunity for all.
He is a global citizen and he speaks 5 languages.