There are approximately 1.5 billion people currently living in countries where violence is endemic and over 60 million have been forcibly displaced by war. The images on social media, newspapers and the evening news show thousands of people fleeing their homes in search of safety and security.
They are primarily civilians — people wanting to work, go to school, grow crops, take care of their families and live their lives in peace. But violent conflict has turned their worlds upside down, threatening their existence and way of life.
Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is a nonprofit organization that enters some of the most conflicted regions in the world to provide protection to civilians using unarmed and nonviolent strategies.
Recognizing NP’s accomplishments in the field, the organization was recently nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee, recipients of the Nobel Prize in 1946.
Nonviolent Peaceforce’s largest number of protection workers are located in South Sudan, a country that has been embroiled in a civil war since 2013. During this time, gender-based violence has increased dramatically. Domestic violence, rape, and keeping girls out of school are commonplace. In response, a group of local women approached NP staff about creating peacekeeping teams to educate women and girls, provide protection to those being assaulted and work to prevent further incidents of violence. NP worked to help organize the teams and provide ongoing training in conflict analysis, mediation, negotiation, and violence against women.
There are now 22 Women Peacekeeping Teams made up of 1,000 women. They help shelter victims of domestic violence, negotiate for peace with armed cattle ranchers, and intervene when young boys are being recruited into armed groups. “The women start to see themselves as having a role in peace and security, and through their actions they make themselves and their communities safer,” says Tiffany Easthom, former country director for South Sudan program and current executive director. Through a grant from the Dutch government, Nonviolent Peaceforce is expanding its work and within three years will have doubled the number of teams — creating a groundswell of women empowered to bring peace and security to their communities and providing a foundation for the next generation to ensure safety for all.
Learn how dozens of Peacekeeping Teams made up of thousands of civilians help shelter victims of domestic violence, negotiate for peace, and intervene when young boys are being recruited into armed groups.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a methodology used by Nonviolent Peaceforce. It can be used when building teams and coalitions, inviting bi-partisan dialog, and crafting legislative campaigns to attract voters or politicians with differing perspectives. NVC can also be used in families, businesses or friendships.
NVC is commonly used to increase effectiveness in relationships. This presentation will give an overview of techniques more likely to result in curiosity, understanding and identification of common values and joint actions. The ultimate goal is to work together and building coalitions – rather than embrace conversational habits that may unnecessarily amplify unwanted conflict.
A workshop teaching the skills of nonviolent communication NVC) will be conducted at the home of Walter Davis in Tuscany Hills in Lake Elsinore on Sunday 24 September 2017 from 1 PM to 5 PM. This workshop will be facilitated by John Michno. Refreshments will be served. A $25 donation is requested. No one will be turned away. The workshop will be followed by a discussion of the topics and how they could be used locally. In addition, we will be discussing starting a local chapter of Nonviolent Peaceforce. Call Walter Davis 760.917-1251 for more information and to RSVP.