French
Spanish
GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

On the left below, please find an article for the Culture of Peace News Network and on the right the discussion related to this article. You are invited to read and join in the discussion by clicking on any of the questions listed here, or, if you wish, you may enter a new discussion question as described on the bottom of this page. Please take the time to check one of the boxes below as to whether this article should be given a high priority, a medium priority or no priority

Learn Write Read Home About Us Discuss Search Subscribe Contact
by program area
by region
by category
by recency
United Nations and Culture of Peace
Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
Values, Attitudes, Actions
Rules of the Game
Submit an Article
Become a CPNN Reporter


Nonviolent Peaceforce Receives Grant to Start Syria Project
an article by Mel Duncan, Nonviolent Peaceforce Director of Advocacy and Outreach

Nonviolent Peaceforce has some very exciting news to share. In December Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) received notification of a grant from the European Union to commence a project in support of people in Syria affected by the crisis. 


Syrian youth standing in the street. Photo by Mel Duncan

click on photo to enlarge

This exciting news comes to NP after almost two years of program exploration and development, training for local activists, and relationship building with Syrian civil society leaders and organizations.  The goal of the NP project is to strengthen Syrian civil society capacity to protect civilians from violence.

NP will be partnering with Madani, a Syrian civil society organization promoting a peaceful and democratic Syria and Cure Violence, a Chicago-based violence-reduction non- governmental organization.  Through this partnership we will train and support civilian protection and violence interruption programs. These programs will be locally-tailored to fit the context of up to 45 various locations. 

Working in tandem with these organizations, NP will offer intensive training for Syrian civil society organizations and leaders across the entire political spectrum.

These trainings will be followed by ongoing support and consultation with the local Syrian groups, as plans are implemented in the areas they serve.  Periodically, we will bring people together to reflect on their experience, identify lessons learned, and strengthen relationships among each other.  

Nonviolent Peaceforce believes that  a strong and active network of civil society organizations, working across political, religious, and ethnic boundaries, provides a foundation for a future pluralistic and peaceful Syria.  When appropriate and safe, we will consider sending in international unarmed civilian protectors to further this mission.

The project, scheduled to begin in April 2015, will last for three years.

While the EU project will cover operational costs, we need donations to help with the start up.  We will be sending a development team by the end of January. To help the Syria project get started right please donate to: https://nonviolentpeaceforce. thankyou4caring.org/donate.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?,

* * * * *

Latest reader comment:

We have the advantage of an independent evaluation of the Nonviolent Peaceforce initiative in the Philippines conducted by Swisspeace.  The evaluation is very favorable, although in the end, as one reads through it, gets the impression that such initiatives can help but cannot bring peace by themselves.

Here is the executive summary:

Nonviolent Peaceforce in the Philippines can look back at more than two years of unique, relevant contributions and constructive engagement in one of the most difficult, political and volatile, contexts to work in: Being the only international non-governmental organization working with and living in close proximity to the most conflict-affected population in Mindanao, NP in the Philippines was able to support and enhance local structures of cease-fire monitoring, early warning, cross-community dialogues, human rights protection, to offer civilian protection and help to reduce the high levels of community violence.

The accepted offer to NP in the Philippines in late 2009 by the conflict parties GRP and the MILF to join the International Monitoring Team1 (IMT) and its Civilian Protection Component is a direct expression and result of its successful contributions to non-violence and violence reduction of the last two years.

To keep up the important work of NP’s project in the Philippines in the years to come, it is essential to ensure that the activities and objectives of NPP are based on a strategically and conceptually sound footing. This seems even more important given that NPP is going through a remarkable consolidation and expansion phase at the time of report-writing.

The re-focus on its key mandate, strengths and strategic advantages in Mindanao gives NP the opportunity to further enhance its unique work in the area of nonviolence,  peacekeeping and peacebuilding.


This report was posted on January 16, 2015.