What we do
Our Approach

Leaving No One Behind - a bottom-up approach to peacebuilding and conflict resolution

We conduct radicalization prevention programs towards individuals and areas with a high risk of radicalization, as well as deradicalization and reintegration programs towards individuals affiliated with violent extremist organizations (VEOs), widely mentioned as terrorist groups. By tackling violent extremism from the bottom-up, we aim to resolve terrorism and unending conflicts.

Conventionally, armed conflicts have mainly been resolved through peace treaties, done through dialogues between people and parties. However, for conflicts caused by VEOs - accounting for approximately 44% of armed conflicts worldwide today - it is significantly difficult to engage in communication with them. Thus, the international society is in heavy search of innovative approaches to resolve such conflicts.

Through providing and creating a path to deradicalization and reintegration for persecutors of armed conflicts (e.g., violent extremists, gang members, etc.) we aim to encourage them to defect and break free from their current environment. Furthermore, by preventing vulnerable individuals from joining VEOs, we establish a positive virtuous cycle towards conflict resolution.

No one is born a so-called terrorist, and we have learned from history that armed forces alone do not help end terrorism. This is why we use peaceful methods such as workshops, skill training programs, and counseling sessions to deradicalize and reintegrate individuals.

Where we operate

We take action in areas where issues of conflict and violent extremism are most severe, especially where little focus is paid.

Currently, we have been conducting our operations in Somalia, Kenya, Indonesia, and Yemen. We have carried out projects in Nigeria and China (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous District) as well.

Rather than implementing a standardized program, we arrange the contents according to the situation of each country and region. In addition, we carefully assess each individual's situation and provide a range of individual follow-up activities.

In addition to radicalization prevention projects towards regions and individuals with a high risk of radicalization, we conduct deradicalization and reintegration projects towards individuals who have already radicalized. The main targets are incarcerated former VEO members and those who have been released from prison recently. By providing psychological, financial, and social support towards such individuals with high demands to be supported, we facilitate their reintegration and prevent re-radicalization. We also aim to enhance defection from VEOs by developing an environment where radicalized individuals can return to society.

  • De-Radicalization

    We provide support to individuals so that they can break away from violent extremist ideologies and highly illegal actions. We aim to change the individuals’ held belief of taking violent and illegal measures to achieve religious, political goals while accepting and analyzing how they came to hold their beliefs. Furthermore, we aim to break off individuals from extremist activities and their belonging organization itself.

  • Re-insertion & Re-integration

    We provide support to individuals so that they can make a livelihood in local communities and confront the realities surrounding them. More specifically, we assist in their income generation, build contacts with local communities, and strengthen their mindset to overcome severe situations often occurring after release. In contrast to conventional approaches conducted in a corrective and rehabilitative manner, we value an interactive and communicative approach, which stands on the same eye level as them.

Built from our experience in the field, we have developed the RPA model, an innovative three-step framework to effectively deradicalize and reintegrate former VEO members. The three steps, ‘Redefine, Prepare, Action’ reflects our approach and goal to resolving terrorism and armed conflict. Instead of a one-sided approach forcing the individual to be reformed and re-educated, we change their mindsets and actions through coming face-to-face with each of them, engaging in meaningful conversation.

The RPA model

  • Much to our effort, the RPA model was selected for one of the most innovative projects in resolving worldwide issues at the Paris Peace Forum (PPF) 2020. Led by the French President Emmanuel Macron, stakeholders including theUN Secretary General, heads of states, and experts from various fields participate in the PPF, and aim to introduce and debate solutions to worldwide issues. The RPA model was proudly selected as the first innovative project from Japan.
  • De-radicalization
    High expectation management session

    The risk of re-radicalization could increase when individuals face the reality that things are not working as well as they had expected. During this session, we discuss possible obstacles and seek solutions together to minimize the risk of the individuals’ re-radicalization in advance.

  • De-radicalization
    Interactive session towards reconciliation

    There are many cases where ex-terrorists and gang members do not recognize how the community think of them, and vice versa. This has the potential to create an emotional distance between the two actors. To solve this, we invite leaders of the community, and host an interactive session so that both our participants and community leaders are able to deepen their mutual understanding of present conditions.

  • Social Reintegration
    Skill training/ Life skill training

    To achieve the individuals’ financial and social independence, we provide training for skill sets locally in demand (e.g., phone repairing, welding, tailoring, etc.) and give support in finding employment. In addition, we emphasize training real-life skills where we provide access to information and help them build relationships with others, preparing them for the harsh realities ahead. We also provide basic education in prisons, to enhance deradicalization and reintegration.

  • Social Reintegration
    Long-Term Counselling

    To promote reintegration, we continue supporting individuals after they complete our programs. Upon their release from prison, we provide them with reinsertion money of $500 and the necessary tools to support their smooth reintegration. In the long-term, we provide counseling and conduct monitoring to them regularly.

You guys gave me hope.
You are ones that changed me.

ー Ex Somali Gang Member / Abdifatar

Born in 1991, Kismayo, a southern city in Somalia, Abdifatar fled to Kenya as a child when the civil war in Somalia intensified. As an illegal refugee, he found himself in a refugee camp in Nairobi around the Eastleight Area, where many Somalis lived. For the sake of his survival and protection of his fellow comrades, he joined a Somali gang. In 2014, Abdifatar joined our project. Although he had earned his living by dealing Marijuana before joining our project, he now concentrates on taking care of other former-gang members as well as newcomers to our projects as a staff.

  • UN-Habitat

    Hassan Abdicadir

    I really feel that Accept International is the answer to terrorism in Somalia and the rest of the world. Terrorist organizations tend to approach those who are left behind by the society. This is exactly why we have to care for those kind of people. Right now, commitment to places and people left behind from the world as well as governments is required. I hope that together with Accept International we can provide something of value.

  • Director of Tawakal Medical Clinic

    Mohammed Abdikadir

    We first started collaborating in 2013 and now I feel that the work of Accept International now plays a huge part in providing a solution for issues in Kenya and Somalia. The key to changing the radicalised youth lies in their identity and self-respect. Their idea to change the youth of Somali into young leaders is innovative and meaningful.

  • Ex Somali Gang Member

    Jenjes

    I joined the program of Accept International in the summer of 2015. Until then, I had never been paid attention by society, so I remember well how it came as a surprised to me that they accepted us without any prejudice. It was a meaningful time for me. Holding my certificate of completion, I did my best to find a job. Now, I work strenuously in a job with electronic equipments from morning to night.

I can easily imagine how I could be portrayed by the community.
Still, I want to start building my life again.

Ex-combatant of the Islamic militant group, Al-Shabaab/Abdi

Abdi was born in 1996, Baidoa, a city in the southwestern Bay region of Somalia. When his family members were killed at a young age, he started to live with his uncle. He was invited by a recruiter to join Al-Shabaab at a nearby mosque and at the same time felt peer pressure to join by his friends. As a result, he became a member of Al-Shabaab. Although he spent one year at a training camp of Al-Shabaab, he made a decision to leave Al-Shabaab with his friends. He is currently taking part in our rehabilitation program.

Your power is needed for stopping terrorism
and terminating a conflict.