By Derek Oakley, Project Officer for Nonviolent Peaceforce in the Middle East
“Until now I was without hope. This training has given me hope.”
Simple but powerful words from *Omar. NP has organized intensive workshops in the Middle East to identify civilian efforts to help communities feel and be safer. Theirs are the stories that the world rarely sees or hears about, civilians that dedicate their time and energy for one another. They provide services such as basic health care and crèches (day centers) for children to escape from the stresses of the war. Others provide psycho-social support and legal advice to victims of domestic violence, which often increases in times of war.
However, even for the most dedicated, this vital work can take its toll, emotionally and physically. There are many, like Omar, who have been exposed to constant insecurity and violence for half a decade. After such a long period, one’s belief in the value, worth and efficacy of peace efforts may begin to falter. Nonviolent Peaceforce provides time and space for people like Omar so he can return to his community rejuvenated and energized to carry on his vital work in the midst of war.