Friederike Bubenzer is Senior Project Leader in the Peacebuilding Interventions Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. In this capacity she contributes to peacebuilding, social cohesion and reconciliation processes with policy makers and civil society leaders across the continent. Much of her work has been focused on community-level peacebuilding in South Sudan as well as Kenya and Uganda. Friederike leads IJRs work on the interconnectedness between mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS) and peace building. The hypothesis underlying this project is that individuals and communities are likely to continue to be caught in cycles of violent conflict unless the psychological and psycho-social impact of that conflict is acknowledged and integrated into long-term post-conflict reconstruction and social transformation efforts. IJR is in the process of using a co-creation methodology to develop an integrated approach to the fields of MHPSS and peacebuilding with partners in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Friederike is also a facilitator who has led inclusion, diversity and peacebuilding dialogue processes in a wide variety of contexts. She is the co-editor of two books: ‘These are the things that sit with us’ with Pumla Gobodo Madikizela and Marietjie Oelofsen (Jacana 2019) and ‘Hope, Pain and Patience: The Lives of Women in South Sudan’ with Orly Stern (Jacana, 2011). She is passionate about using inclusive dialogue and courageous conversations to address social justice issues in conflict-affected societies.
Ms. Bubenzer holds an MPhil in Development Studies and Social Transformation from the University of Cape Town and undergraduate degrees in International Relations from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a fellow of Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights’ Association for Historical Dialogue and Accountability and the Truth, Justice and Memory Programme of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. She is currently completing a Rotary Peace Fellowship through Chulalongkorn Peace Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.