Building Trust in and around Europe

05 November 2019

A Human Library at the Geneva Peace Week

Human library Nov 2018


Get inspired by our “human books” who will tell their story of why and how they build trust in and around Europe! Each of them will present a different approach, from cooking to environmental cooperation and documentary film-making, across generations and countries.

Geneva Peaceweek logoBut they have one thing in common: Their important trustbuilding work helps to prevent tensions and transform conflicts within and between communities and hence contributes to building peace. Travel with us to learn from our inspiring speakers, and take the opportunity to also share your experience with regards to addressing the rising tension and polarization in and around Europe.

Where: GCSP Conference Room (Maison de la paix)

When: Tuesday 5 November, 11:15-12:30 




Christophe Girod
General Director of the Hospice général
Read More Hide More
Christophe Girod is General Director of the Hospice général since 2013. From 2005 to 2012 he worked at the Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner in Geneva, and as representative of the UN Secretary General within the Commission dealing with the case of the people who disappeared in Cyprus. From 1986 to 2004, he carried out many missions on the ground for the CICR and occupied different roles at its headquarters. Integration for refugees, by refugees: Christophe Girod and Brice Ngarambe will speak about the journey of a refugee since his arrival in Geneva, and of the integration programmes put in place by the Hospice général.
Brice Ngarambe
Project Coordinator at Hospice général
Burundi / Switzerland
Brice Ngarambe is a Burundian refugee who arrived in 2015, and who is now Project Coordinator at the Hospice général. Integration for refugees, by refugees: Brice Ngarambe and Christophe Girod will speak about the journey of a refugee since his arrival in Geneva, and of the integration programmes put in place by the Hospice général.
Muna Ismail
Programme Manager, Refugees as Re-Builders, IofC UK
United Kingdom
Read More Hide More
Dr Muna Ismail is a scientist and an environmentalist with a passion for land restoration in degraded arid ecosystems for Sustainable Livelihood development in post-conflict states. In the last 4 years she has been developing Refugees as Rebuilders™ Training for settled professional refugees from both the Horn of Africa and other conflict-affected regions. Within this training she is leading and developing Sustainable Livelihood Module for Post-Conflict countries with high population displacement. She is also working to a develop a major project on the draught-resistent Yeheb plant which is native to the Somali region and a source of food for both animals and humans.
Manuela Frésil
Independent film-maker
Read More Hide More
In 2015, Manuela Frésil met families living in the streets of Annecy. After gaining their trust, she produced the documentary film ‘The Good Wheat and the Tares’, which gives a moving insight into their lives and the difficulties they face. The documentary film follows the lives of migrant and asylum-seeking children over a year, as they move between hostel, city-centre square and the flat on loan. Their living conditions are harsh and become even more so when the Prefect decides to close the centre that lodges them. Manuela Frésil will speak together with Burim Pajazeti.
Burim Pajazeti
Lake Aid
Macedonia / France
Read More Hide More
Burim Pajazeti is one of the asylum-seeking children who features in French film-maker Manuela Frésil’s film. He was 4 years old when he arrived in France with his parents and his then 8-year-old brother. The family, which was part of the albanian minority in Macedonia, did not receive asylum and found themselves on the streets. They lived in squats, slept in a car and in abandoned houses, and for several years, the Rom accepted that they live with them. Despite this, Burim has always been to school. A year ago, his family received their papers. Burim is now 14 years old, his mother and older brother can work, cleaning offices, and the family lives in a room for four at a Red Cross center. Burim will speak together with Manuela Frésil.
Hajer Sharief
Co-founder Together We Build It & Young Leader of the Extremely Together Initiative of the Kofi Annan Foundation
Read More Hide More
Hajer Sharief is the co-founder of the “Together We Build it” NGO in Libya and an Extremely Together Young Leader of the Kofi Annan Foundation. With her organization, Hajer advocates for women’s and youth inclusion in peace in Libya. In 2013, she co-initiated the 1325 Network in Libya, a network of civil society organisations encouraging women to play an active role in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. As part of the Kofi Annan Foundation's Extremely Together initiative, she also helped design the first ever youth-led countering violent extremism toolkit. Hajer was a member of the UN Advisory Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security. She is also a UN Women Champion on Women, Peace, Security and Human Rights
Yevhen Shybalov
Ukraine project team member of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD)
Read More Hide More
Yevhen Shybalov is a former Ukrainian journalist with 15 years of experience in story writing for national media. Since 2014, Yevhen has been involved in HD’s efforts to build understanding and reduce tensions in search of a political solution to end the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. His work has focused on building trust and facilitating dialogue between relevant parties on the environmental impact of the conflict in Donbas, with a view to promoting co-operation on areas of mutual concern. Yevhen has contributed to raising issues around those concerns and facilitating unofficial talks between experts, in the hope that ecological issues will become an essential part of any future peaceful settlement.

related stories

Human Library, Week against Racism

Human Library: Face to face against racism in Vevey and Montreux

For the 2019 European Action Week against Racism, IofC facilitated two human libraries in Montreux and Vevey, offering face-to-face interactions on the links between discrimination, immigration and un...

A Human Library

All societies’ origins from ‘there and here’ discussed at special day in Geneva

An adage that some people ignore these days is that mobility has shaped each human society, and a recent meeting of the Maison Internationale des Associations in Geneva focused on this. Many colours a...