Ambassador: Rahama Nantoumé , Mali
Think Peace is a Malian NGO that works to improve peace and governance in the country through youth engagement. Think Peace has positively impacted the lives of 20,000 people since being founded three years ago. In 2017 Think Peace expanded to the neighbouring countries of Niger and Burkina Faso to further strengthen their work in countering violent extremism and promoting peace.
The organisation undertakes research and advocacy to fully understand the situational context before implementing programmes. This research is also used to formulate policy recommendations which are submitted to national decision makers. Think Peace also conducts capacity building and community support projects, to encourage local communities to take ownership of their own prevention and peace building programmes. The ARC project, which stands for Addressing the Root causes of Conflict, is a campaign that encourages young people to advocate for the prevention of violent extremism in the Sahel region. Rahama runs the project for preventing radicalisation and violent extremism in prisons across Mali. In conjunction with the National Direction of Penitentiary Administration and Supervised Education, Rahama and her team train prison guards and social workers on how to detect signs of radicalisation and how to prevent the rise of violent extremism in the prison. Over 280 prison workers have been trained through this scheme. As part of this project, Rahama also launched a commission on deradicalisation and the reintegration of prison inmates back into society in a peaceful way.
Think Peace also runs a project to improve relations between the security forces and the local communities in southern Mali, near the borders with Niger and Burkina Faso. One project initiated was an agricultural cooperative, where the community was given $5,000 to create a sustainable project and enable young people to be self-sufficient. These kinds of initiatives reduce the risk of being recruited by extremist groups working near the southern borders.