EIRENE is a vibrant and active association. Only one thing stays the same: EIRENE has been working for peace through nonviolence since 1957. The historic peace churches - together with the International Fellowship of Reconciliation - founded EIRENE as a vehicle for international nonviolent service for peace.
EIRENE was founded in Chicago in the USA, but the focus soon shifted to Europe. The first two volunteers were a Dutchman and a Frenchman, both of whom already began their service in 1957. Their goal was to serve the Algerian population, who were suffering as a result of France’s colonial war - a sign of peace and reconciliation. Germany soon became a focus of EIRENE’s work: as the country in which volunteers from countries which had been at war with Germany wanted to undertake service for peace; and as the country which was to become a source of service for peace.
EIRENE is now a registered association with more than 260 members from a variety of countries, of various ages, and with a variety of outlooks. The international office has been in Neuwied am Rhein since 1976.
EIRENE is on the way to becoming an anti-racist organisation, which relies on members and employed staff who, starting from a variety of viewpoints: develop visions of people living together nonviolently; work together to bring about personal, conceptual, and structural change; and overcome all forms of discrimination through nonviolence.