Bongale women learn to read and write near Monkoto, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2013, Cody Pope Bongale women learn to read and write near Monkoto, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2013, Cody Pope

Principled leadership

Trustworks’ engagement is based on principled leadership, and its philosophy of respectful and honest collaboration, inclusivity and diversity; at the heart of this approach is the notion of accountability – for our partners and ourselves.


We recognise that those closest to the conflict know best what is really driving the conflict, the impact the conflict is having on everyday life and how to resolve it. This means that we are there to support their efforts, rather than to put ourselves in the centre.


We recognize that relationships are at the heart of our work to help resolve conflicts; the experiences, perceptions and feelings of all actors have value. This means that we must seek to reach out to and connect with all without judgements, including opposing parties, in order to understand each whilst continuing to work for the benefit - and in the service - of all.


We recognise that while courage manifests in different ways, at the core of the courageous heart lies an understanding that even where you feel fear, you stand up and do what you think is right. This means that we, both as individuals and as an organization, strive to come up with radical ideas to challenge ingrained ways of thinking that resist change both within our organization and with our partners.


We recognize the importance of remaining curious and open - both within our team and with our partners - to new ways of engaging and being in the world. This means that we listen deeply and responsibly to our partners and take paths that may go against conventional wisdom or take us outside our comfort zone.

Conscious fallibility

We recognize that we are fallible and that we may make mistakes and be wrong. In being conscious of our fallibility, we see an opportunity to keep challenging underlying assumptions in our work through internal reflection and external exploration. This helps us to grow, course correct and to imagine even more what is possible.

Intentional in impact

We recognize the need for our partners to identify the sustainable outcomes they wish to bring about. This means that we work with our partners to support them to both choose an outcome and to bring about that outcome.

Transforming power

We recognize the importance of seeing and grappling meaningfully with formal and informal, explicit and implicit power dynamics in all our work internally and externally: there may be hierarchy in tasks but not in relationships. We are committed to evoking transformation within the individual, in our teams and amongst those we are there to serve.