Some of our Nonviolent Peaceforce supporters who wrote in!
I can't remember a time when I didn't see the futility of war. Maybe this realization came from hearing about PTSD in vets returning from war zones. Maybe it was imagining the terror of having been on the frontlines in Vietnam; knowing that I would never have been able to recover from such a nightmare. It has seemed blatantly obvious to me forever, that there are no winners in war, if the winners are returning home damaged for life, and "spreading' the effects of that trauma to their loved ones, generation after generation. There has got to be a better way to work through our disagreements. A way that results in betterment for all parties involved. So, I guess I have come to nonviolence simply because the alternative does not work, it only produces more suffering.
- Mary, Minnesota, United States
I had a very deep Catholic education as a child, and attended St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco and also The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. At Notre Dame I became interested in non-violence as a vital part of my spiritual journey, through the professors and mentors I met there which included such wonderful people like Rev. Don McNeil, founder of The Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns, and also the famous Mennonite professor, John Howard Yoder, who was teaching at Notre Dame at the time and I took his course on non-violence. Upon graduation I spent a year as a volunteer with the Claretian Volunteers, the first four months in Guatemala from August through December of 1983, during the years of the civil war there. One day on a visit to Coban in the mountains, I took a walk through the countryside and discovered entire villages occupied by "Civilian Defense Forces", locals who had been forced by the Guatemalan military to bear weapons in defense against guerrilla incursions. The atmosphere was tense, but as I walked fearlessly and I was not armed, I was not harmed. It was an experience I have never forgotten. In later years as I attended meditation courses at The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, I met Michael Nagler and became involved in the earliest organization of what has become today The Metter Center for Nonviolence.
- Angelo, Netherlands
I am a South African who was born in an apartheid South Africa. In the 80's I witnessed the violence which to me was not necessary. Black people in townships were set against their fellow brothers who were residing in the hostels. We could not even understand that kind of violence. There were different messages that were sent to various so that they can continue with the violence.It was said is IFP against ANC, on the other hand some believed township residents do not want Zulus in the hostels whereas in some quarters others were told it is Xhosas against Zulus. I started believing in non violence because violence does not bring solutions, but pain, death and suffering. People died for nothing. I started reading Mahatma Ghandhi's writings on peace and believed that 'There is no way to peace, peace is the only way'.
- Lufuno, South Africa
Reading Buddhist literature in the 1960s clinched it. But since my 1940s-50s childhood attendance at a Unitarian church , I'd had the example of vegetarian pacifists Albert Schweitzer and Mohandas Gandhi always in mind.
- Daniel, Florida, United States
Living in two countries, El Salvador and Liberia, that were in the throes of civil war. All the destruction, death, poverty and pain the citizens endured. El salvador today is considered the most dangerous country in the world not in a civil war; Liberia, after years of civil war, has still not recovered - questionable government practices (where did all the newly printed money go? Reconstruction, housing, water, food, champions? The few have hurt so many. El Salvador had the largest contingent of UN police and military at the time. Liberia had ECOMOG , West African peace keepers. I asked one of my U of Liberia students why they chanted Thank God for ECOMOG, and one replied "at least they're not killing us. Kathleen List, Member NVP, Midland Chapter.
- Kathleen, Michigan, United States
When I read Satyagraha by Mohamad's Gandhi.
Mel, I don't know that I can say that I "believe in the power of non-violence." However, I am trying to be more awake and aware of those places where I turn to violence against others and against myself. I am working at seeing Source in each person...Source with a variety of 'wrappings,' some of which are peaceful and some harmful. If we can live in the world as our authentic selves, Source with Source, we will be Peace.
- Gary, Minnesota, United States
I have always believed in non-violence, and my story is about how I was able to confirm this approach to conflict. When we invaded Iraq, looking for 'weapons of mass destruction', a few of us (mostly Unitarian Universalists) began a weekly protest/vigil in front of a local Post Office. The first year was hard, as people mostly disagreed with our position and weren't shy about letting us know it. By year two, we had new people join us, and the Post Master began to be pleasant. Then we got both honks of support as well as honks of disagreement. Then we had veterans and active military support us. Our government's position gradually changed, and we finally decided we could end our weekly vigils.
- Chartis, Massachusetts, United States
Whatever you do yo always have to talk and negotiate to sort it out. Start with the negotiation, it would save a lot of pain on both sides.
- Ann, United States
It's hard to identify the source of a root structure, but I'd say it's mostly from questioning everything in a search for truth. One of the aspects was the belief that our government is inefficient, and so the opposite of the things that it does - endless wars, mass incarceration - are probably better choices. I arrived at the peace movement via libertarian thought, but my years serving in the State Legislature (as a Democrat) required that I listen to different perspectives and question my viewpoints. Another key was understanding that economic force is a form of violence; saying relationships rooted in the free market are inherently voluntary doesn't make it so. Financial compulsion can be force. I began studying Gandhi in depth several years ago, and was struck by how many of the things he talked about and positions he held were similar to my own. Most importantly, questioning everything, searching for truth, be excellent to each other, be self-reliant, and don't drink alcohol. So what can be done? Without going into historical cycles, America is about to take a political shift for the next generation. Frankly, there's a real chance that Donald Trump's election was already it, and that we're screwed. But as Alinsky wrote, "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative," and I've developed one, with Gandhi's lessons of truth and nonviolence as the main axis. Can you imagine millions of Americans taking back the power under a Gandhian umbrella of political ideas, one that covers the marginalized middle in this country? I built a lot of these coalitions in the legislature. Can you help me connect with like-minded people? There's a 24-hour, water only, fast for peace on the 15th of each month; everyone working on the project participates to the best of their physical abilities. The website is fastforpeace.org - my number is on the top of the front page if you'd like to talk more. Yours in peace,
- Brian, United States
I would hear news of terror almost everyday. "Bomb balsts, people dying, fighting with each other". People killing their own people. The travel would be the most scary situations; no one knew whether they would reach safely to their destinations or not. Everyday would be the day of fear "fear of not being alive". Thousand of Nepalese went through these traumas dor a decade. With no end to war and one taking the revenge with the another. And finally a day came which brought a gentle breeze of "Peace" throughout the country. Guns were laid down and hands were shaken. People started talking and discussing about their problems. And solutions started coming up. The years of fighting and killings brought nothing but a simple "dialogue" prospered everything. Peace was there and we felt it. The power of guns thus seemed useless with the power of talks - the ultimate power of "Nonviolence". It was possible and it is possible.
- Niwash, South Korea
Two seminars by Fr. Emmanuel Charles "Charlie" McCarthy, Catholic priest and apostle of non-violence.
- Ben, United States
Dear Sir, Thanks a million for giving me the opportunity of expressing how much i feel nonviolence approach to anything is always the answer. I am originally from Sierra Leone, once a war torn country affected by civil war between the rebels and the government. Children were used unknowingly by politicians fight against a country they were born.We saw so many atrocities they committed. However, after the peace and reconciliation movement children were reintegrated back into socirty to start a brand new life.By then i was working for the Centre gor the creation of youth activities. When we had a change of government and all the peace talks, life became normal and everyone was happy doing what they wanted to do. So in a nut shell nonviolence is the best way ever to sort out issues. Take into consideration countries like Syria, Iraq ,Sudan and so many more.Theyve been fighting for decades and still fighting. Nonviolence will be the way forward to sort out the world's issues. That's my take on this Sir. Hope you hear from you soon. Kind Regards,
- Patrick, United Kingdom
I'm 69 so I don't remember exactly but long ago I read about Gandhi and MLK and I admired them and their message. Peace and nonviolence just made sense to me. Being able to belong to the NP chapter here in Midland, MI seems like an awesome thing to belong to. It makes me believe that we all can do a little something toward peace. I love the people I've met though NP and Mel I think you need to start your biography. This was facsinating to hear you too admire Thich Naht Hahn and your early call to peace. I hope you can soon visit us in Michigan as I haven't yet met you but am hoping to. In NP I see hope for the future of mankind.
- Elaine, Michigan, United States
It was NP itself that inspired my belief in nonviolence. Out of the blue I received a small booklet about the life of Gandhi and a description of Nonviolent Peaceforce. I was awed by your courage and eager to support you.
- Stewart, Oregon, United States
I grew up in a church and community that taught non-violence as a way of life. I was taught that it was the way of life of a Christ follower. In more recent years I have become more convinced of a non-violent way of life. I have observed the damage violence does not only to the victims but to the perpetrators. Many who serve in the military struggle with mental health issues as a result of observing the devastation violence has wrought and violence they participated in. I have also observed that hatred toward others can destroy those who hate as much or more than it destroys those who are hated.
- Harry, Pennsylvania, United States
My high school English teacher, Ed "Red" Smith, a Catholic, socialist, pacifist, 70 years ago. His reading list was everything interesting that had been published in the last fifty years.
- Bruce, Massachusetts, United States
My sense of the sanctity of all life has made me a believer in nonviolence. That has only increased as I've grown older. My Christian faith underscores those beliefs and my understanding of the toll that violence takes on both perpetrators and victims reinforces that stance. I have been helped by the writings of Desmond Tutu and the experience of having a sister-church in Soweto before the end of Apartheid. I am moved by the injustices that I am sure break the heart of God just as they break my own. Sincerely
- Marcia, Pennsylvania, United States
I watched and listened to MLK and I read biographies of Ghandi. Mother Theresa,and others practicing non-violence. I appreciated the results as the actions and results were consistant with my Christian understanding of how to treat ' our neighbors'.
- Sarah, Pennsylvania, United States
I am a longtime friend of David Hartsough and we both were active in AFSC. I have been active in 350Marin. I know your leaders.
- Paul, California, United States
The long recurring experience of conflicts in my Country, since in Sudan and South Sudan have made me believe that the power nonviolence is the only way to strengthen and restore hope and stability to the affected. The power of nonviolence is seen in profession as a Social Worker in empowering, rehabilitating and restoring peace as a Social Worker.
- Andrew, Uganda
My nature started out being non violent. Then as the smallest kid in my class till eleventh grade, I really had no option to become violent. I became a Christian at a young age and found if I prayed the situation would work out. When I heard of others like MLK and Ghandi, I automatically saw them as very good and successful. Ghandi is probably the non Christian that I admire most. So I probably was made that way and kept finding that it was the best method.
- Roger, South Dakota, United States
Author Jane Roberts' "Seth" said in his books that violence is never justified. Apart from that, it is easy to see that violence tends to cycle. Break the cycle.
- Mark, Wisconsin, United States
My Dad was a Methodist Minister. He concluded there must be Nonviolence as a way of life, as well as a strategy in confronting disagreement and opposition. I grew up knowing that perhaps the most basic teaching of Jesus is the need for nonviolence in relationships and attitudes. I grew up seeing the strength and evidence of this through people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Loren, Massachusetts, United States
The day I learnt that nonviolence is more effective than violent means (e.g. insurgency) in achieving rights and peace I started to believe on the power of nonviolence.
- Qamar, United States
I served for 21 months as a peacekeeper in South Sudan. It was here that the term "violence breeds violence" was just about as accurate as could be within the tribal communities with who I had the pleasure of living and working. Such beautiful and amazing people, but whose children knew nothing but violence from their parents and elders, their honest held belief that if you did not retaliate with violence then this was weakness! We began to explore non-violent options in the schools and with the community and it was here that I saw glimmers of hope and some of the tribal members realising that perhaps there were other methods of dealing with issues in a non-violent way. We started with teachers and the removal of whips and canes.......they began to see the benefits. I began to see alternative methods of dealing with student issues. Seeds were being sown and it was good.
- Jacqueline, United Kingdom
South Sudan started fighting with Sudan since before I was born, both sides have lost many lives during civil war but all end in vain. However in 1997, South Sudan leaders have changed their minds and designed nonviolent strategies to end the longer civil war whereas they have had raised their voices to the world/International communities by claiming their own independence or to have a separate country, many people from South Sudan thought that it wouldn't be easy to get independence from Sudan through peaceful engagement at that time, fortunately, in 2005 comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) was officially signed by two parties, NCP-North Sudan and SPLM-South Sudan in present of international communities in Kenya-Naivasha, yet some people were still doubtful that independent wouldn't be achieved through peace talk. Surprisingly on July 9, 2011, South Sudan has successfully got it's independent from Northern Sudan.This was one of the nonviolent meant that made me started believing in nonviolence power. (B) At the very time when NP came to Waat in 2012, I got trained on NP's principles and methodologies for carrying out UCP activities, a lot of violence arisen in my own area, I myself was witnessed those violent within my own community, as I have shared some of my succesful stories with NP in the past, I worked hard to bring people together and contributed to ease tensions among the community members through involvement of different stakeholders included religious and community leaders in local peace dialogue to end violence conflict which were actually resulted peacefully. All these went well because of UCP methodologies that i have learned from NP's work. This made me believes more in the power of nonviolence. (C) When I was baptized in 1993 as a Christian, I started practicing bible reading and learning new songs of God from other fellow believers who had already gained enough experiences before me, I was working as a member of Sunday school and later appointed as a general secretary after a year, I started developing good spirit and built mutual relationship with my fellow believers. In 2000, I went to Khartoum (North Sudan) for study where I used to attend Sunday service/prayer in a state called Omdurman, I have had learned that nonviolence is all about being harmless to yourself or others, the way we loves ourselves as colleagues, we had to discuss things on the table for better understanding and realization of our mistakes, in 2006 I came back to South Sudan-Waat, the church congregation selected me for scholarship a biblical study for 8 months in Lokichioggio-Kenya Country, through bible study, I have gained knowledge (I was specially inspired by the following words from the bible: peace, mercy, love, kindness/forgiveness and ten commandments, in which I developed fear of God and respect towards other people, then after I returned from Kenya country to Waat-South Sudan, I was officially appointed as Chairperson for presbyterian church's choirs. I worked with different youths who came from various clans living in different places/villages that affected by inter-clan conflicts. I have learned that when we were in the church we had to interact with each others and forgets our differences to put only words of God in our minds. This was only path that worked out to unite conflicting youths in the past. The methods used were words from the bible and prayer to bring together the community members into church whereby people repented their sins and confessed to God, this way at least helps to control violence among people. The bible is filled with the verses that can bring peace in middle of struggles, worries and fear though it works mostly for those who believe in God. For example you can read from the following verses: 1- Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 2- James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. 3- Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Through all mixed materials experiences, made me started believing in the power of nonviolence.
- Lony, South Sudan
Ray Magee was my pastor when I was a teenager, back in the 1950’s. He taught me about Gandhi and non-violence—influenced me for life.
"Dear Mel Duncan, ""What changed the direction of your beliefs? Was it a mentor? A good book or podcast? An experience?"" This is a question that touched me. Nonviolence, I came across from experience. I am a Ghanaian and lived in Bimbilla in the northern region of Ghana. Between 1981, 1994 and 1995 we had terrible ethnic conflicts between Nanumbas and Komkonbas and both parties lost lives and property, it was at this point that I went into advocacy to preach peace. When I became a lawyer in 2015, I decided to preach peace in a small way by introducing Alternative Dispute Resolution to parties in dispute and to preach peace to them. Mr. Mel Duncan, would be grateful if you could invite me to come and deliver a paper on one of your peace council initiatives to deliver a paper peace in any war torn area and also include me in your foundation to assist your foundation in spreading peace in the world. I am a Phd holder and a trained lawyer as well as a Mediator. I have also attended courses in Canada in Conflict resolution and Peace building. Hoping to read from you soon and favourably."
I started believing in the power of nonviolence as an 11 year old girl watching in TV the pictures from Prague in August 1968 together with my father. My father explained me, that the people in Prague could resist to the Sowjet militäry for several weeks not although, but because they stayed nonviolent. Best wishes,
In 2004, I was among the first civilian police officers to be deployed in Liberia well before disarmament had commenced. It was a non-armed mission and we had to quickly adjust to coexistence, collocation and rely on preaching the gospel of peace for a prosperous futuristic Liberia to all parties in order to gain their confidence and cooperation. Incidences of verbal abuse towards us were not limited and a lot of patience and restraint was required in order to accomplish the initial settling among locals without jeopardizing relations and confidence with the armed elements. Almost 6 months down the line did wevrealise the fruits of our efforts as both parties cane to accept our role as a conduit to there long lasting peace and nation building.
Experience from the WW2 when we in Norway used civilian disobedience against the Germans with small means as : wearing a red hat, the same provoking pin on your jacket, turning your back to German soldiers, refuse to sit next to them on busses, trains etc. Very efficient and cost nothing ! Later - the many non-violent courses with different approach and teori, but always useful to learn. Good Luck - this work is so important !
- Trine, Norway
I was born a very sick child (asthma, excema, and something that demanded surgery on my throat. That was my beginning hope and wish for non-violence. Although a Unitarian, I lived in a Jewish community where friends meant there was no prejudice. I was interested in music (a non-violent activity) and I greatly admired jazz musicians. My favorite band was Duke Ellington followed by Count Basie and Benny Goodman (a Jewish musician who had many black performers in his band). So I was never a racist. Non-violence was my way of life greatly supported by where I lived and people I admired (and enhanced by my painful, sick childhood).
- Richard, Minnesota, United States
I did not love the home I grew up in, but one of the few nice things I can say is that it was one that believed in and practiced nonviolence, in a community that did the same. My grandfather is a WWII veteran and my father was an active member of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance and still belongs to the War Tax Resisters League. I have always believed in the power and superiority of nonviolence, and I knew in my heart that it was the only thing that worked - but I believed I was alone, and that I would not live to see the day when I could back up my belief with evidence. Meeting Mel in 2015 and seeing his presentation on NP was one of the most beautiful moments of my life: not only did my values match the facts but people were doing it, and it was saving lives, and had been tested and had been succeeding throughout my life. I cannot conclude this without saying that it was Anne Moore who invited me to that presentation and who I subsequently came to call a friend and a colleague when she persiaded me to help start the Pioneer Valley chapter of NP in western Massachusetts.
- Jasper, Massachusetts, United States
I was attending a Quaker meeting in Santa Cruz, CA in 2007. We helped to organize a non-violent protest that many University of California in Santa Cruz students joined. We were arrested and sent to jail in Santa Cruz. The students were ardently non-violent. We all appreciated how effective it is. One of the memorable events is that all of us women were placed in a room with other females and assigned to beds that were being used by the other inmates. The idea was, we think, to annoy them. Instead, when they found out why we were there, they were very supportive and seemed glad to be part of our effort.
- Judith, California, United States
At age 7, I learned a phrase, "Love your enemies." It seemed correct, even though He-Man and the Masters of the Universe disagreed. As I grew up, "love your enemies" clashed with what tv, movies, books, school, and religion said. There was "us and them." In my 30s, I read Leo Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of God is Within You." Mr. Tolstoy explained that we can live by nonviolence, and our excuses for violence are empty. Amazed, I sought details from books, videos, and websites. I watched lectures by Michael Nagler of Metta Center for Nonviolence. I consciously practiced nonviolence. Soon I was resolving conflicts with myself, family, coworkers, and strangers on Chicago's streets. Nonviolence worked in countless situations. Finally, I learned of Unarmed Civilian Protection. My inner child realized "love your enemies" applied even in deadly conflicts. Peace was possible through peaceful means. Now I'm in the Chicago chapter of Nonviolent Peaceforce, promoting unarmed protection wherever I go, to help free others from "us-them" thinking as I was freed.
- Charles, Illinois
dislike war and peace is the priority
- Jimma, United States
Let's say, it is still a great hope, the ultimate hope.
- Wallace, Illinois, United States
I AM SORRY AND I FORGIVE YOU - My name is Aye and I am a Secondary School Mathematics Teacher from the Northwest Region of Cameroon. I graduated from the Higher Teacher Training College, Bambili and was posted to a small village called Beba in the Northwest Region. It was in March 2013. One evening in early 2016, some of the students were playing football and one of them kicked it and it touched a man who was passing. The man was in his early thirties. He became very angry and took the ball, even though the student had not done it deliberately. One of my colleagues went to the scene and tried to resolve the matter peacefully, but the man said that he would rather come to school the next day and see the Principal about it. He said that my colleague and the student had insulted him. He took the ball home. The following day, he did as he had said. Unfortunately for him, the Principal was not present. So, he went and stood by the door of the classroom where my colleague was having a class and started ranting at him. I was in the staff room when I heard his voice. I immediately went and asked him to come to the staff room so that we could resolve the matter amicably. He did. My colleague also followed. When the Discipline Master (DM) came to the staff room and I told him what was going on, he asked the man to calm down. The man told us that he wanted to beat the student who had kicked the ball. When the DM told him that it was not the best way to go about it, he started ranting again. All the students got angry and seized him. They were very angry that he had not only interrupted their lesson but was also disrespecting their teacher. But some of the students had personal issues with him and so took advantage of the situation to get back at him. We asked the students to calm down but for the first time they did not listen to us. Anger had already colonised them. They took him out and started pulling him around. Students from other classes also joined in. The whole school suddenly descended into chaos. As we were frantically thinking of what to do, an idea came to my mind. I proposed to the DM that he should ask the man to apologise. He did and without hesitation, the man told the students that he was sorry. The students were happy to hear it. A tensed atmosphere suddenly became very calm. He also gave back the ball and the students went back to their respective classes. But before going, they warned him never to try that again. For the first time in my life, I experienced the power of "I am sorry". It was a wonderful experience. Truly, violence does not solve any problem; it rather creates more problems. We should always do our best to avoid it. We should strive to be slow to anger. We should always give tolerance a chance. * There is a socio-political crisis now in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon. It started in late 2016 by the English-speaking lawyers and teachers. These lawyers and teachers were respectively asking for adjustments in the judicial system and educational system. It has now resulted to an armed conflict with the leaders asking for independence. They want the two English-speaking regions to separate from Cameroon. Dialogue is a very good way forward but we need to first realise that all of us have lead this country down in one way or the other. We need to be sorry for giving self-centredness too much space. We need to take responsibility for our mistakes. We need "I am sorry and I forgive you" to be able to move forward. I pray that the people of Yemen and Syria and Libya and Somalia and the Central African Republic and South Sudan and the Farmers and Herders in Nigeria Middle Belt should also realise this. If we give "I am sorry and I forgive you" a chance in our respective niches, the world will be a better place. **
- Aye, Cameroon
I am a 76-year-old female who is the on-site Assistant Manager of a 55+ mobile home park with 85 lots and about 120 residents. When another woman became incensed about the measurement of her lot, I used deep centering within myself to listen for understanding. This comforted her and she commented later that she could feel the respect I had for her. I also gave her a Thank You card telling her that I appreciated the fine care she shows on her lot. We have a happy, comfortable relationship now. I am very strongly encouraged in my ability to do my job because of using deeply peaceful, honestly friendly responses.
- Jean, Washington, United States
My family taught me, and hearing Bayard Rustin when I was a teenager solidified my belief.
- Clarkson, Pennsylvania, United States
WHEN I FIRST LEARNED ABOUT GANDHI AND HIS WORK SINCE ,I WAS A TEENAGER, I ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT VIOLENCE ONLY CAUSES MORE SUSPICION, BITTERNESS, HATRED, AND VIOLENCE. I HAVE SPENT MOST OF MY LIFE WRITING, SPEAKING, AGAINST VIOLENCE. I WAS FORTUNATE TO WIN THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. PEACEMAKER AWARD FOR PUTTING TOGETHER A VIDEO CALLED: "FIGHTING FAIR, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. FOR KIDS" FOR THE GRACE CONTRINO ABRAMS PEACE EDUCATION FOUNDATION IN MIAMI. I WAS LATER HONORED TO MEET MS. KING AND ROSA PARKS. I WAS A 6th Grade TEACHER AND EACH YEAR TAUGHT THE STUDENTS ABOUT DR. KING AND HOW TO MEDIATE DISPUTES. I hear from some of my students today and they have told me that they use mediation in their homes with their children. With the Grace Abrams Peace Education Foundation, we put together a video called: "Fighting Fair: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for kids"which won many awards. I'd like to be kept in touch with your project. I am now 90 years old and still believe in teaching students, parents and any one who deals with children how to use the power of nonviolence.
- Fran, United States
Why I Joined Nonviolent Peaceforce: I dream of a world that no longer uses guns to resolve their differences but uses the proven methods of Nonviolence Peaceforce which the United Nations has endorsed as the new tool (not guns) that should be endorsed and utilized. I dream of a world where our future generations look back and shake their heads as they learn of the history of the world when people resorted to bombs and weapons to resolve disputes between people, ethnic groups, borders, countries, political factions and religious differences. "Can you believe what people used to do to each other back in 2019?" they would say. "How did they not realize that weapons were never going to settle disputes and how sad it is to read how so many civilians were caught in the middle and killed because of it." What if we as the leader of one of the greatest countries on this earth were to provide nonviolent assistance in the form of conflict resolution and restorative practices to countries instead. It is time for a paradigm shift. As I grow older and think of what type of world I will be leaving to my grandchildren, great grandchildren and the generations to follow, I hope that although I may not see it in my lifetime, the need for armed conflict is replaced with conflict resolutions, restorative justice practices will become more accepted, and our future generations will be reading in their history books and saying, "but look what they finally realized and did!"
- Judy, Michigan, United States
My husband and I ended up in South Africa after our honeymoon of traveling through East and Central Africa for 6 months in 1974. It was the height of apartheid in South Africa, and we were appalled at the daily mistreatment of the vast majority of the population, the policies that kept black education far inferior, and the regular police raids and brutality. I became committed to nonviolent practices to counter this unconscionable violence, and ended up leading an organization that was working to bridge differences and work towards building a post apartheid society. I remain a committed peacebuilder to this day.
- Kimberly, Maryland, United States
Having been taught and began to practice empathy and having come to believe that we are all one!
I received an epiphany in 1977, a vision; 'as one chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needed to be communicated from the spirit realm to African people of the world', similar in reference to the book of Jeremiah 1:4-9; It was then that I became aware of the importance of non-violence. Please google Bridgetown, Barbados City of Peace to see the proposal I am making to contribute to a peaceful world.
- Buddy, Barbados
have worked in the forces for more than 12 years including the military operation in Somalia and Northern frontier districts of Kenya and UN Peace keeping in south Sudan. This gave me the insights of understanding the consequences of violence , being an armed officer I realized force and violence may only lead to short term solutions that recurs, I came up with an idea of building bridges, the initiative that brought together all the tribes in conflict and maintained peace among them a thing that has worked perfectly. Therefore I strongly believe in the power of nonviolence.
- Silas, United States
The book "Is There No Other Way" by Michael Nagler as well as basic Christian principles for humane living.
- Peter and Betty, California, United States
I have loathed violence all my life. Some hero's of mine whose examples give me hope for a much more peaceful, non-violent world are: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Albert Schweitzer, Confucius, Desmond T. Doss, and Eugene V. Debbs.
- Philip, California, United States
bearing in mind that Kenya experienced violence,i was very concerned now that am a medic and we felt the effect. i therefore started thinking on how we can curb such violence
- Francis, Kenya
Violence in the home especially against women and children, and a legacy of world wars made me start believing in Buddhism. The practice of non-violence has radically changed my life. I apply it to the way I talk to and treat myself and others (including animals and the planet) in my sphere of influence. It has softened me and helped me be a much more compassionate person. I believe it is vital and the one practice that might just save the human race from creating its own demise.
- Maggie, United States
I worked in Darfur, Sudan on land, natural resource management(LNRM) and peace building project for FAO, UN. What touched me most was the pain of violent conflicts induced displacement of populations, vulnerability women and children faced on a daily basis. Using different nonviolence approaches i saw the power in solving some of the deeply rooted resource conflicts that emerge with simple triggers such as politics. I am too interested in working with nonviolence peace force particularly on women issues given the chance. I believe i can make a huge difference in promoting nonviolence initiatives using conflict prevention , reconciliation and peace building.
- Ogola, United States
Reading about Mahatma Gandhi
- Olek, United States
I live in Iraq and for 40 years I lived in continued violence started from school to university to civil Kurdish war to military service to ISIL. After advocation for the promotion of the universal declaration of Human Rights in Iraq for more than 10 years, I started to believe that changing the situation in Iraq need change in the mind of the people and education about HR and UNDHR. Now I'm s strong believer of nonviolence methods to change our life to better life.
- Issa, United States
I am an Iranian author. I have a friend who passed some courses in non-violent action in Einstein institute by Dr. Jean Sharp. He introduced this concept to me and asked me to translate the book of "from dictatorship to democracy" into Persian. I translated this book and published it on my weblog. After that I interested in this concept and wrote 2 books: "the root of violence and the nonviolent ways to encounter it" and "the leadership of nonviolent actions". After that I read a lot of books in this filed, such as "the god domain is within you" . So, now I think that nonviolent actions can be more effective than military actions. I am ready to go anywhere in the world to teach this concept, and also I would learn more from others who know this concept better than me.
- Parmis, Iran
My story started from the war we experienced in Northern Uganda. I was born and grew up in Northern Uganda at the peak of the war and saw the wrath of war and studied to become a social worker in the region that needed my support. Today I and other friends designed a peace education programs in schools and it has reduced and in some instance eliminated strikes in schools. This we are doing concurrently with sponsorship of vulnerable children from the region. Today from this approach I am a big inspiration to youth in the region and offering counseling and mentor ship to hundreds of them and over 75 of them have attained university graduation through our program with tens in university now. Now using a nonviolent approach we are supporting mediation in the rampant land related violence in our region. Thank you.
- Anthony, Uganda
1st March 2014, was my 21st birthday and would have been my first day with NP but fall on a weekend. I joined NP South Sudan-Waat when I was exactly 21 years old. At this age, I could barely form a realistic opinion of my own let alone believing in something. I was young and still open to wide choices of what life could offer. Living a carefree life, I remember, I was not occupied by anything yet but my Christian faith, believe in education and playing football. Then comes the chance to join NP. I never dream of working for NP. Somehow, my subconscious mind tells me, NP's work is best suited for adults. Not just adults but experienced adults to emphasize! But I had other strong motivation to join NP; their salary policy. NP was the only organisation paying in US dollars in my State. At the time, when SSP was rapidly losing value early into the crisis. After going through all the recruitment process, I emerged the successful candidate. For the first three months, I went through what I termed a civil war with myself. My first perception was that my age is too young for my job. Imagine meeting high profile opposition government officers and traditional leadership's high structures among others. To start with, what do I train church leaders who are more than twice my age? I mean in a way, they are more experienced, mature and knowledgeable than I am. Am I not going to embarrass the entire NP field team? My first day with NP was bright, the morning briefing was fantastic. After my induction, I was asked 'What inspires you this morning?' 'My past' was my quick answer. This later proven significant, and turned out to keep me strong for a long time. It always allows me to pick myself up when I feel low. To be honest, I was given full support to feel relax and confident, but I need true assurance from my own self. My own internal strength, to rely on. I knew I have to read and understand UCP material to compensate what I falsely believe is my weakness; my age. I don't want my age to be any reason for my little UCP understanding. I explained that to my Team Leader and gave me the UCP manual. I read this alongside with a novel called The Power of Positive Thinking by Vincent Pearl It was painful learning process that resulted into an overhaul change in attitude, mind set and freeing myself from perpetual beliefs. I'm not dismissing them entirely but I feel not bound by them, Sometimes, I feel much worse than I started. Maybe because I wanted to look like a UCP star too quickly? Or maybe wanting to learn a lot of concepts in a short time? It was painful, partly because I was not aware of it. I knew if have to be any different from the way I am, I have to internalize and embody the guiding principles of UCP. I had constant and intense conflict trying remain non-partisan to my community's political and social ambitions and ideologies that are in conflict with UCP principles and values. The concept of nonviolence was completely new thing, not only to me but also to my community. My community is the heart of infamous White Army. They are well known for violence. White Army is a generation that have earned lots of reputation for winning many wars against their neighbours and sometimes against government. They are generally loose structure, unruly and cruel even to themselves. Talking about domestic violence is laughable thing to them, let alone cattle raiding at large stage. The community is also ravaged by inter-clan violence. Of about 200 clans, in Greater Akobo, Jonglei state, South Sudan, I think there's less than 20 clans without conflict with another. This is even a generous mention. I don't know a single one without a conflict, I just feel there should be one. To the community, it's a bad mention to have no enemy. You ought to have conflict to look like a warrior and enhance your name among the many clans in the region. It beats all the logics. So notorious! They are, however, proud of it. They placed so much significant in it. It was rule of the strong, not a rule of law. I will leave you to imagine, how it gets down to how they treat their wives and other family members. On one fateful day, a drunk young man shoot his own brother, just on a petty issue. The following day, when he was sober, committed suicide. I think guilt overwhelmed him. None can take back what violence has caused to the family. It was a terrifying experience. This is just an overview of where I belong and had worked for 2 years before I re-joined NP in the country office in Juba, South Sudan. Despite leaving this place when I was only 8 years old for studies in Kenya, I'm not completely different from them. Moreover, I'm expected to be part of it. Now, you can feel how painful my transformation is. Some relatives start to comment that education reproduced a different version of me. That I'm completely a different version of my father and what's expected of me. They feel embarrassed and ashamed of me when I strongly denounce violence in their faces. They started leaving me out in their community affairs. Sometimes, some of them feel bitter. But they know their limits. I know mine. We are aware of the consequences of violence actions. We keep our limits; the limit that we can never resort to violence whatsoever. But I made clear that I don't compromise or negotiate basic and essential rights. I cancelled a marriage process of my sister, who feel it was imposed by our dad on him. My dad, wants my sister to get marriage, and in turn, I will use the dowry to marry. My culture dictates that the eldest brother's consent matters in marriage arrangement of her sisters. I used this opportunity to say no. it was a huge massive outcry from the entitled relatives. They know they are going to miss their entitlements. I didn't care at all. And I was not ready to negotiate or compromise. We trudged on until we all successfully learned to respect basics rights and individuals' opinions across our family. My experience with NP reflected so much outside my work. The transformation in me and what I emits to the relatives and friends was tremendous, it was not a smooth process though. Two years with NP, I confidently feel a strong member of NP. I could then be entrusted to lead field programmes and make programming decisions with ease in my field location. Work-wise, I was good from the start, but I felt culturally overloaded, and could not approach situations with open minds. I was not willing to give up some of my cultural beliefs and practice as my international friends try to do. But slowly, I got out of it. I completely feel a new man now, something I doubt if any other organization will do to me. Now I have something to belief in; that's nonviolence, I also practice integrity, active listening and more courage among others.
- Teny, South Sudan
As an Afghan woman and as a person who belong to a war-torn country and a generation of wartime, I grew up seeing violence around me. It was horrible time in my country, while the rebel groups mujahidin (the Islamic extremist groups) were fighting against communist regime who reigned the country at that time. As a kid I enrolled in school, frightened each minute of day from being targeted by mujahidin’s missiles or to be attacked at night as a girl who enrolls in school as “some of my friends has been killed because of their enrolment to the schools”. There was violence everywhere. You could hear from media and from the people who was talking about different violence actions. I grew up as a sad and terrified kid that still has the effect on me. I always thought, why we can not have a peaceful life. I used to hear news on the radio (mostly BBC Persian), the only item which could connect me to the world. Hearing about different types of argumentation about peace and conflict. I wanted to hear about something different, without a clear notion in my small mind, I longed after a resolution that nobody could be killed. I was asking my father, if there is any such kind of resolving to these kind of conflicts.Then he shared me a story about Pacha Khan, the Pashtun’s tribal hero. And I started to read about the characters who tried to solve problem in a peaceful way. My father then talked a lot about Pacha khan (Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan)as Pashtun hero who tried to encourage Pashtun to obtain your aim from Pakistani government in a peaceful way with Non-violence action. Pacha khan lived in Pakistan’ which I then found out that he was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. By then the non-violence discourse became as a more rational and humanly reality phenomena in my mind, which I thought that can be more world-wide conventional option, which invites a my little heart toward prosperity, where my spirit wanted to be connected in. Then I read about Gandhi, a real hero for humanity, how he struggled peacefully against colonialism and its savage discourses. So Non-violent discourse is a heavenly propose for humanity in this modern world after human beings long historical violent live, when they were obliged to save their sovereignty. After long time living in different countries experiencing different norms and values, I am living in Sweden now. I got my second bachelor and both of my masters (I am studying the second year of my second master)here where I learned a lot how to be tolerated. Not to use unfair words against the people who do not believe in your argument. Being respectful and tolerant, makes a person more humanly, reliable and more credible. Furthermore, as an Afghan woman, who grew up to experience extreme inequality between different genders, in a highly traditional and patriarchal society where you can experience misogynist points against women in every single act within existed norms, I tried to have my own agency, however it is invisible as an individual, but still as a sense of obligation and solidarity I felt to have least of it. When Taliban came on power I was living abroad, but I went to Afghanistan for a short visit. I saw a true violence there. Women were scared to go outside home alone. And the girls-schools were banned. As a woman it is painful, to see the horribly marginalisation of women in this modern world, where girls in other countries enjoy the flourish of technology and modernity, where my friends in my homelands were prisoned in their home. The sad side of this story was, that most of families were inspired of extremist ideology imposed by Taliban. These norms are unfortunately still living there in Afghanistan in many places. We know that women’s sexuality has historically been subjected to control by men who wanted reign women by denying their rights to decide over their own bodies, using bio-power try to make woman remains as a silent creature, still use them as their properties. I think resistance in the form of non-violence strategy work even in such circumstances, to resist the power imposing on women. It could not be such a useful back in the long history, because there was not such technological link between people. Now social media and the internet makes people powerful, and non-violent resistance and their agency have much more power than using violence. Because civil society and modern world will support when you were violently targeted.
- Maliha, Sweden
I took the Pa Christi Vow of NONVIOLENCE in August, 1995, with a small group of Pax Christi Twin Cities members. I think some films at St. Martin's Table got me started thinking of the power of nonviolence. Also my dear, departed friend, Mary Eoloff. And the work of the nonviolent peace force re-enforces my conviction.
- Florence, United States
I believed that nonviolence prolong lives of the people and bring sustainable development to the Country And i also encouraged people to take nonviolence as the way lives rather than a choices to avoid conflict.
Ed Flowers and Gloria Joyce brought Michael Nagler to St. David's Church in San Diego in 2005 to speak about Nonviolent Peaceforce and his book "The Search for a Nonviolent Future". After reading and being inspired by the book and learning what NP was accomplishing in Sri Lanka, we formed a local chapter of Nonviolent Peaceforce to inform others through speakers and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution workshops. I believe we all can contribute to a community of nonviolence by practicing it in our homes, workplace, schools, communities and by supporting Nonviolent Peaceforce to implement Unarmed Civilian Protection in areas of conflict throughout the world. I applaud NP for what it has accomplished in just 20 years and especially for their work in forming and training women peacekeeper teams in the Philippines, South Sudan and Myanmar. My friends, please share anything you have done to to create a community on nonviolence.
- Deborah, United States
My Luo custom.
- Oyet, South Sudan
I was flabbergasted when I read strong data backed researches that proved that violence to keep violence in check, begets more violence, and how war against terrorism only creates more terrorists whereas nonviolence nipped the issue in the bud. It solved the issue comfortably by targeting the root of the problem. Nonviolence isn't a flimsy idealistic notion. It is the most robust conflict resolution method known to mankind!
- Pragya, United States
- Andre, United States
An passion for history has proven to me that violence is never the answer. Reading about the war after war across continents and time has shown me that we are stuck in a vicious cycle in which millions of people have lost their lives for no reason. I want our generation to escape this cycle through education. I believe that instead of fighting, we need to educate people, particularly young people, about the importance of nonviolence. We need to help them to understand how to solve conflicts peacefully. This is particularly relevant in the face of climate change, an increasingly visible threat against which we cannot bear arms or detonate nuclear weapons. After all, in the words of Gandhi, "If you want to change the world, you must start with the children."
- Boroka, Scotland
My meeting with non violence personnel David Grant at the world rangers congress held in 2016 in Colorado, USA . However ,i was particularly influence greatly by Prof.Ann. I now strongly believe that nonviolence strategies can create the desired peace between Cattle Keepers and Park Rangers in Nigeria. I am working toward achieving that.
- Mohammed, Nigeria
My background as the daughter of the survivor from Genocide who learnt to see power in faith and forgiving. I have been part of several movements for nonviolence including the CNI the Catholic Nonviolent Initiative. Violence breeds only violence
During WWII I had Quaker cousins who ran a shelter in the Midwest for Japanese displaced from the west coast. My non-Quaker family, in turn, took in their 2 year old son while the cousins were organizing this endeavor. Later, when i was in college I visited this family for one or two Thanksgivings. Art Brinton, my cousin's husband was the embodiment of nonviolence, soft spoken, yet firm in his beliefs. He taught at a Quaker school for many years and I m sure influenced his students as he influenced me.
- Frances, United States
I experienced conflict at early childhood and witnessed my parents being assaulted . This motivated me to engage in peaceful resolution of conflicts. In furthering this feeling I then took up studies in Peace, Leadership and Conflict Resolution at post graduate level to help me understand a little more on the causes and implications of conflict to individuals, communities, nations and the world.
I have been working for prisons for now thirty years. During my tour of duty I spend fifteen years dealing with victims of crime doing restorative justice as victim-offender mediator where I learnt of reality of pain inflicted by violence. I was working with sexual and gender based violence victims. I am currently working with prison gangsters who happened to resort to violence as reaction or aftermath of violence they experienced. I have learnt during the past years that perpetrators of violence have experienced violence and violence seem to beget violence. Most of violent criminals and juvenile delinquents were in one way or another victimised in their early years. My interest is to work towards breaking the cycle of violence in society. I have since joined Alternatives to Violence Project and currently working with Purpose Driven Church Africa Peace Plan Initiative doing community education (social mobilization and awareness creation). I also enrolled for Masters Degree in Peacebuilding as to gain some skills in conflict transformation.
- Akim, United States
Basharat Iqbal President Christian Democratic voice Pakistan I am intended this project.
- Iqbal, United States
I'm old enough to remember when war was all the rage and every monarch, or anyone else who could, had one. It seems so obvious to me that violence begets violence yet the pull of the power of competition seems to continue to hold sway over certain of mainly men still. We don't cull populations by millions per conflict now but millions of lives are destroyed with intrastate conflict and displacement so we haven't made much headway in terms of civilization. The UN's Decade of the Culture of Peace was onto something because it was outside party politics and the politician/ceo cabal. If they did it again with women in charge of training we might get somewhere.
- Janet, United States
I have been a supporter almost from the beginning. I have known Mel for 50 years and I know how devoted he is to this work. I also read the information that has been provided to me about the work this organization engages in and I am amazed at what has been accomplish over many years of hard work and dedication.
- Lynn, United States
When I met and married my husband, who had just returned from serving in Vietnam as a combat infantryman. After he had been home for a while , he began to experience symptoms of depression and PTSD. After joining a women's support group for partners of Vietnam vets, I slowly began to learn how the mental, emotional and spiritual scars of war take a huge, permanent toll on soldiers, their families, and civilians alike. My husband is 70% disabled with PTSD and depression. Endless war and violence only cause more suffering and do not solve the deep-rooted problems. They just intensify and escalate the situation. I am deeply influenced by Thich Nhat Hanh , Gandhi and MLK, Jr. In today's world with weapons of mass destruction, war is NOT the answer. We are all part of the human family. Nonviolent Peace Force has the right approach by working with all local groups and training and equipping them to practice nonviolent conflict resolution. Keep up your vital, inspiring work.
- Karen, United States
My ideas about war started to change when I became more informed about the U.S. policies in Central America in the 1980s. In spite of the billions of U.S. dollars sent to El Salvador in military aid, neither side was "winning." Over 75,000 people were killed and communities devastated. We see the impact of those policies at our southern borders today. War hurts and traumatizes families and communities for generations. Spending time in Nicaragua and El Salvador changed me. I saw firsthand the devastation of war and the suffering it brought. I have been opposed to military intervention ever since.
- Marna, United States
The violence and threats that I experienced as a child made me distrust violence from early on. It repulsed me and I understood, even then, nothing of real value could come from it. Later, when I attended university, I had the good fortune of meeting a professor who viewed nonviolence from the perspective of a faith but also from that of a science and this cemented my interest in nonviolence. Studying & practicing nonviolence gives me a way to express how life for everyone could be improved if we focused on removing what is harmful in our thoughts, words, and deeds and developing patience with ourselves and others while we try to carry out this worthwhile goal.
- Gilda, United States
power of nonviolence made me to believe in simply because of it strength to change the growing culture of violence within our communities, which brought a lot of human suffering in every corner of our villages and country at large. it is also powerful for the inculcation of peaceful coexistence between/among the people in order to realize their full human potentials, in which is free from any threats of violence.
When life brings you to a lot of tracks and you begin to see what is going on around you and you feel the suffering of people, in all its details, then you feel like a human being. When you speak in a language that is not your language and immerses you in love .to start by learning a new language and laughing your new friends around you, then you will start enjoying the beauty of life When it was difficult for refugees, fleeing from the war and seeking love in new countries, to make them forget the pain, then you find that the border wires are in front of them to prevent them from crossing, then we have to cross those wires to be part of their suffering It is not necessary to be black to live the suffering of blacks or whites to live the suffering of whites, it is enough to have a heart to be both. I was trying to find a new place behind the border. I noticed that this organization on the ground was working among the homeless from their homes. Yes, the pictures that I used to see were beautiful.Their work, yes they simulated humans to live safely, it was NP Org. Six years of humanitarian work in Turkey with refugees, Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians. After a period of reflection and ultimately made to work in this organization, to be a new story I wish to be a beautiful story in my life. We, as human beings, must be party to the removal of those delusional borderlines between nations that have caused human suffering. We must have been partners in making love stories between humanity. Yes, I saw myself and I saw that building peace is building love between humans and NP will be what I am looking for.
- Hamid, United States
being around so much violence. made me see that it has no power but being non violence is the most powerful thing in the world to have.
- Richard, United States
Peace is important in our life to have a true happiness. Without peace nothing can be achieved as a person and community at large. This made me more interested in participating in anything that will bring happiness to me and my community in general by way of peace.
- Musa, United States
I witnessed the killing of people including women and children during post-election violence in 2007/2008 in Kenya. More than 1300 people were massacred by opposing sides supporting different politicians. After former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan intervened and engaged the fighting groups through dialogue, peace prevailed up to today in my country Kenya. That is why I strongly believe in non-violence when engaging controversial issues in our day to day lives.
- Ken, Kenya
When my seven years with the US Navy came to a close in 1967 I began to see the correctness of the slogan: Military solutions are problems. Eventually I joined FOR, wrote letters and flew from Oregon to DC to protest invasions and war in general. Then I heard Ken explain that there is something to be done actively in zones of conflict to meet hate and fear with intention to not harm. That there are trainings to help ordinary people put aside reactions of fear and power. At that time NP was working in Sri Lanka and I had lived in Sri Lanka as a teen-ager so I was hooked. Here was something that might help since fear, pride and power did not seem to be making things better. Seems we need even more of the non-violence awareness nowadays, though.
- Bruce, United States
Hi, I believe the power of nonviolent.Since 1972. The conflict was started between chieniit and chiebanak, the conflicted was caused by chieniit among themselves after short times the conflict involved, chiebanak. Both two communities were relatives then chiebanak took side; they were sided with Gaatnyabang Liep from chieniit section.They fought with chiebanak and killed one man from chieniit,then two people were wounded from chieniit. Six people were wounded from chiebanak .Then the conflict between two communities developed; they always keep revenge killing every year. When the community elders and chief realized, that the conflict, was escalated they tried to find, out some strategies to be used for solving the problem. One of the strategy they used, was community dialogue, they called the community elders, chief and local authority. The community took responsibility worked on the peace reconciliation by compensated the dead people with cows. Then the situation calmed down when they had used community dialogue between two communities. On 22nd /December 2005.The conflict was resumed again by chieniit , they killed one person from chiebanak after 33 years. Due to revenge killing started again by chieniit, it brought the tension of all people to restarted conflict. In the year 2006 chiebanak , went to the community of chieniit and took revenge killing which was resulted to killed, Two men.In the years 2008 chieniit went to chiebanak and took revenge , killed two men .Then the revenge killing kept on repeating between the two communities until 2009 .By then the two communities were called by Nyirol commissioner Hon ;William kuol Chuol .They were called back for reconciliation and accepted the reconciliation, after some months with in the year of 2009.One person from chieniit went and took a revenge killing from Chiebanak .The action from that one person , lost a lot of lives between two communities. In the year 2010 when Kuach Duoth came to power as the commissioner of Nyirol . The guy tried to call them for reconciliation, but unfortunately, the two communities refused. In the year 2015 when Wany Juet Jock Came to power as the commissioner of Nyirol . He called both two communities to have peace and reconciliation. The two communities accepted to reconcile each other until 2018. Within 2018, the guy from chiebanak took revenge again killed one person from chieniit. In The year 2019. The two communities have decided to formed committees , who can bring the two communities together , for the post reconciliation; the committees included some local authority, women group, chief, community elders, commissioner , youth leaders from different communities with in greater Nyirol .The committee invited N P team in lankien field site to participate in the community dialogue . Moral things I was among the team which was participated in that community dialogue, and that was the last times for two communities ended their conflict up to date they are working together ,sharing things as one family, forget about the past and turned into new page that was the times I believe nonviolence is more powerful than anything.
- Wiliam, United States
Over the years, as a child, before South Sudan gain independence from Sudan and after 2013 crisis I had witness the impact of violent conflict on communities in South Sudanese. Children and women suffered [still suffering] tremendously. Their sufferings can only stop when there is total peace, which can be achieved through non violence means-dialogue (negotiations) and peace education as the only means to resolve differences. Thank you.
- Akuecbeny, South Sudan
When i was in 5th grade i had a young teacher who we all loved because of his kindness and his penchant for having a party to celebrate every birthday and special event . 5th grade changed my life, not because of the parties but because he read to us every day from a book of his choosing. One of the books he chose was John Hersey's Hiroshima. Hearing this book read aloud was a profoundly moving experience for me and forced me to question everything i had thought I knew about our country, about war and about peace. I began by talking to my grandmother, who was raised a Quaker. I knew that she would be honest with me and she reminded me about turning the other cheek, an oft repeated lesson in our home. I began to read voraciously, about the history of our nation and discovered to my horror that it was a history of war and colonization. This was not what we were taught, this was not what i had believed to be true. I knew that from that moment on I must choose the way of peace, and speak out against war and violence. I began to organize resistance to the war in Viet Nam when i was 15 and went on to work as an organizer 40 years on peace and justice issues. At 66 I still walk this path and have worked hard to teach my 18 children to choose this path also.
- Rebecca, United States
Ministry to Congolese Children Fleeing Violence Leads to Healing Refugee children in Uganda are hearing the Gospel through a project aimed at healing after trauma. Tears stream down the faces of Congolese refugee students as they share war stories of losing their parents, homes, and belongings--everything they had. "There is a problem on my heart," Destiny, a second grader, said. "I lost my mother, father, and sister. After that, the people I lived with tortured me. When I remember it, I feel very hurt." Destiny's story is, unfortunately, typical among the students here at Good Hope School, located in the Kyaka II refugee settlement in western Uganda. But Joachim, one of the school's teachers, says Destiny's ability to talk about her experiences "is a sign of healing." The children are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo to escape devastating violence from rebel uprisings and military unrest. After reaching Uganda, they were placed in the Kyaka II settlement camp, joining tens of thousands of other displaced people. In the settlement, simply surviving is the top priority. There is little time or energy to focus on emotional needs. But that is now changing. Augustine's involvement through Samaritan's Purse's trauma healing project, is mobilizing community leaders, like Joachim, to lead trauma-healing sessions. For the first time, the refugees are learning how to grieve and process their stories. This year, the project's goal is to reach 7,000 refugees and members of the host community. Joachim takes groups of 20 students each week through the trauma-healing sessions. "We go through 10 topics," Joachim said. "They learn that they are important to God, how sin enters the world, and why bad things happen. During the second lesson, they learn to take their pain to the Cross. There is a lot of crying and pain, and the teachers comfort them. We also do follow-ups at their homes. Children write their laments. They ask, 'Why did God let my family die? Why am I a refugee?'" By the end of the week, Joachim says, their sorrows begin to heal as they learn about forgiveness and about God's love for them. "We are seeing change," Joachim said. "Before, they didn't even cry. Now, they participate in class, smile, and laugh." Joachim's words are confirmed as a group of kids gather in the school's courtyard and sing: "Hallelujah, Jesus' love is bubbling over! Hallelujah, Jesus' love is bubbling over!" Please pray for these refugee children and our Trauma Healing Project team as they help the kids heal and share the hope found only in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Okello, Uganda
I was taught nonviolence through my church, but it was in 7th grade that I internalized it through a situation in which a bully threatened to beat me up, and I stood up to him nonviolently and he didn't know what to do -- I'd "broken the script" of violence and he was thrown off, and instead of physical violence, he ended up calling me names and leaving the scene.
- Mark, United States