Learning how to better rebuild societies damaged by war is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. Doing so with a good heart and a focus on the inherent dignity of our fellow man is the best place to start. The vision for Business on the Frontlines is to become the foremost forum for all organizations, no matter how diverse, to work together to rebuild societies after war and help prevent their reversion to conflict.

BOTFL examines the impact of business in post-conflict settings. Not limited to multi-disciplinary course work in the classroom, graduate students and faculty from across the University of Notre Dame work directly on business and peace-related projects with partners in the field, primarily international humanitarian organizations. Many BOTFL projects focus on agriculture, infrastructure and mining, as these economic sectors can frequently absorb large numbers of unskilled young men after conflict. Our projects have also extended to micro-finance, youth unemployment, post-civil war reconciliation, business incubators, health and nutrition, human trafficking, child prostitution, and disaster preparedness. Since 2008, BOTFL teams have worked on nearly thirty such projects in nearly twenty countries including: Bosnia, Lebanon, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Senegal, Lesotho, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Cambodia, Mindanao in the Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, and Sri Lanka. By the estimates of one of our partners, thousands of young men now have livelihoods that would not have had opportunities had it not been for our work in the field. 

The challenge may be great; the road to travel may be far. Nevertheless, never underestimate the human dignity associated with a good day’s work, particularly for those who have come through conflict.

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