About us

Épiceries (grocer’s, in French) is not a grocery store chain, nor a showcase for fair trade!

Epiceries is the first NGO which offers popular education training in diversity and cultural rights.

We train women and men of goodwill through concrete approaches in order to give shape to cultural rights and be artisans of peace.

Talking Stick

The basis of our trainings: learning how to democratically talk to each other by using the talking stick. The stick clearly gives more clout to the most vulnerable people. Fighting for peace is something we learn, we practice, we share.

What we want to support those people, alone or in groups, whose fundamental rights are being violated, towards the recognition of the violations and discriminations they face; to allow each person who has received our training to become a trainer her/himself, so that we can multiply our approaches in an effective way; to build a network made of people of goodwill who are fully trained in cultural diversity and cultural rights, who commit themselves to the promotion of peace in their own living environment.

Popular education is our main focus

Our trainings are especially designed for the development of peace reflexes. They rely on the repetition and ritualization of all gestures and attitudes favoring appeasement and integrating ancestral practices as the talking stick or the talking circle, without neglecting social networks and other communication technologies.

Talking circle

Our lively and interactive trainings include the use of images, music, movies, role-plays, readings. They are given by a network of trainers who are specialized in peace education, ritualization, symbolic work, psycho-physical approaches and cultural mediation.

Our volunteers for peace are required to follow regular ongoing training. We conceive our procedures with the Épiceries-SVP team in DRC, Épiceries-SOFEMA in Niger, our research team in Costa Rica, and also in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Institute for Ethics and Human Rights (IIEDH), at Fribourg University, Switzerland.

Épiceries headquarters is located in Fribourg, Switzerland. The NGO was created in 1994 after some heartwarming encounters in Africa, before experiencing a great growth. We support different projects in Niger through our member organization Épiceries-SOFEMA, as well as others in DR Congo through our member Épiceries-SVP. We are also engaged in some projects active in Switzerland, Costa Rica, Quebec and others with some Tibetan communities, especially located in Nepal.

Épiceries is signatory to the Fribourg Declaration, member of the NGOs platform about diversity and cultural rights as well as the Observatory for Cultural Rights’ social network. The NGO is also a member of HumanRights Switzerland as well as the UNESCO Club of Fribourg, for which it is at the head of the working group of cultural mediation.

Counting on 200 active members in Africa and Central America, as well as about 50 more in Europe and Canada, Épiceries’ vision and commitments are enriched by the skills and know-how of Southern states… Something quite unusual!