Stories of Transformation

One of the highlights of peacebuilding is hearing the stories and seeing the ways that lives have been changed for the better, despite the stressful situations with long histories of trouble and conflict where peacebuilders often find themselves working. We want to celebrate the daily glimpses of hope and change that they dedicate their lives to encouraging.

Chickens, Trainings and Thankfulness

A few months ago a chicken was stolen from the home of a poor family in a village north east of Phnom Penh, and Ming knew exactly who had stolen her family’s chicken: the village ‘bad boy.’

From Training in a Classroom to Transformation in a Prison

Last month I travelled about four hours drive from Phnom Penh to a provincial prison to hear the health education officer share his concern for the safety and emotional well being of prisoners. His story opens a window into how Peace Bridges transfers training in a class room to transformation in a community.


Peace Bridges collects stories of change as part of our ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

1. Learning to Listen: a pastor witnesses the healing power of listening to others (March 2010).

2. Released From Bitterness: a sister realizes that by holding a grudge she was only punishing her self (March 2010).

3. Stereotyping & Discrimination: a Cambodian begins to see beyond a prejudice for Thai people (March 2010).


In the February 2009 external evaluation (DOWNLOAD HERE), Patty Curran documented over 40 stories of significant change. These short, simple stories from everyday life illustrate the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of Peace Bridges' work, as well as inspiring hope.

1. Acting Like the Big Guy: modeling open relationships in a supervisory role.

2. The First Time: a husband and wife learn to listen to each other.

3. Somehow I'm Also More Gentle: a pastor reflects on moving from fear and judgment to gentleness.

4. The Bicycle: a go-between helps parties settle a dispute over a shared bicycle.

5. People Can Solve Their Problems: a pastor learns to give advice without assuming he knows best.

6. A Forked Tongue: a peace builder learns about right speech.

7. 100% of the Time: a husband reflects on how he used to blame his wife and how moving away from blame and shame has affected him.

8. The Baby Chick: a father reflects on how Peace Bridges' training affected the way he handled his child's accidental killing of a baby chick.

9. I Was Always Right: an NGO worker reflects on how his attitudes and perceptions of himself have changed and its impact on his work.

10. "Just Don't Admit It": a peace builder refects on his changed perspective on being honest about mistakes.

11. "My Harsh Feelings Soften": a co-pastor reflects on the role of identity in blaming and judgmental thoughts.

12. "First, Be Quiet": a pastor learns to listen and understand as the first step.

13. It Took About a Year: a pastor helps two families in conflict hear each others' perspectives.

14. Wait for a Solution: a peace builder reflects on listening to understand.

15. Ready for Me to Start Screaming: A husband and wife learn the value of slowing down and listening as a first option.

16. Being Aware of My Feelings: A false accusation between friends stirs strong emotions, but awareness of those emotions can help us choose wise responses.

17. Usually We Took a Walk: a woman in a difficult domestic circumstance finds support in a friend who will listen.

18. They Are Not Alone: an NGO worker creates a safe place for victims of sex trafficking to open up.

19. With No Agenda: a mother finds support to help the family reconcile with the son by showing love and concern.

20. No Longer Have That Power: A Vietnamese-Cambodia is empowered to deal with racism in a healthy way.

21. A Right Way of Speaking: a woman finds the patience and the voice to deal with a perception-based conflict with a foreign missionary.

22. The Company Motorcycle: a pastor finds a way to proactively engage a conflict between two men over the use of the company motorcycle.

23. I Could Live With a Little Mud: an angry neighbor takes time to understand why his road is flooding.

24. Siding With the One I Liked Best: a prison official finds a new way to handle conflicts between inmates.

25. Sit Together With Me: jealousy turned to conflict and gossip is resolved through sitting down together with a go-between.

26. Don't Want to Hurt Her: a husband reflects on how important listening is to his relationship with his wife.

27. Greetings: a church greeter learns to let go of judgments.

28. The Mobile Phone: an NGO worker confronts the person who stole his phone and learns about his own reputation.

29. Invisible: an NGO worker learns to take time for the people who normally would overlook.

30. The Root of the Problem: a trainnee reflects on the need for forgiveness in Cambodian society.

31. Despite Her Anger: accepting a niece in her anger, a pastor lets go of assumptions about identity and perspectives.

32. A Land Dispute: an assistant village chief is able to think clearly about a land dispute using conflict analysis tools.

33. The School Yard: a peace builder is asked to help mediate a dispute over property boundaries.

34. What People Need Most: a pastor discovers that sometimes healing comes from being a listening presence.

35. Recognition: a husband pays attention to his wife when her attempts to tip a fruit picker don't work out.

36. Surprised that I Was Kind: a tenant/landlord argument is handled with patience and kindness.

37. More Aware, Less Tempted: a sister reflects on how being more aware of others' feelings helps her be less judgmental and more kind.

38. Putting My Foot Down: staff members take the time to hear each others' concerns, rather than aggravating their frustration.

39. I Will Stay: an aunt decides to persevere in her love and compassion for her nephew.

40. Building Understanding: a peace builder is slowly helping two work colleagues reflect on what understanding and healthy communication could mean for them.

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