Unyoke retreats

Sharing and Learning through Dialogue

Unyoke is a convening model

A purposeful way of gathering people together – devised in South Africa by Chris Spies in collaboration with Nomfundo Walaza.

Picture by: Matthew Willman


This is a process through which peacebuilders are brought together in a situation outside of their normal contexts and “unyoked from their daily stresses and constraints. Through sharing, learning, and co-creating with other peacebuilders, the Unyoke process allows peacebuilders to engage in a personal and shared journey of healing and a process of reimagining what is possible in the context in which they are trying to build peace. Central to the Unyoke approach is the principle that nobody is alone on this journey; peacebuilders accompany one another through the process.  


UF retreats offer an opportunity for peacebuilders to reflect individually and collectively on their own practice. The emphasis is on deepening each individual’s insight in her or his own practice through an open dialogue with peers; and for all present for the retreat to learn from one another. The composition of these retreats is deliberately inter-generational. The UF assumes that different generations have much to learn from one another – from the wisdom acquired through years of practice, and from the struggles and perspectives of the younger generation in a fast-changing world. It also seeks to be meaningfully inclusive of gender, racial, ethnic, and religious identities.