Nonviolent Peaceforce Receives Grant to Begin Syria Project
By Mel Duncan, Nonviolent Peaceforce Director of Advocacy and Outreach
Nonviolent Peaceforce has some very exciting news to share with our supporters. In December 2014, Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) received notification from the European Union that it would provide €2 million to commence an unarmed civilian protection project for Syria.
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.
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 locations throughout the country.
Working in tandem with these organizations, NP will offer intensive training for Syrian civil society leaders. 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 only by building a strong and active network of civil society organizations—each working across political, religious, and ethnic boundaries—can a foundation for a future pluralistic and peaceful Syria come to fruition. When appropriate and safe, we will consider sending in international unarmed civilian peacekeepers to further this mission.
While funding from the European Union will cover operational costs, Nonviolent Peaceforce will need continuing financial support to make a successful peacekeeping program for Syria possible. To help the Syria project get started on a solid foundation, please make your donation to NP today: http://nonviolentpeaceforce.org/donate ;