We receive many more invitations that we can respond to in any given year. Twenty twenty is no exception. In so many places in the world today, people are on the streets, protesting their government’s failure to take care of basic needs, to safeguard their rights as human beings: Ecuador, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Uganda, the Philippines, Russia, South Sudan, Bolivia, Colombia. As citizens of the same planet, their pain is ours, their suffering is ours. And in a context of climate crisis and mass migration, the need to support their struggles, to assist, with respect, in civil conflict, is paramount. Read more about our plans and hopes for 2020:
In Uganda we will be working with partners, CEPAD, Community Experiments in Peace & Development. Our work together will take place in what has become the largest refugee camp in the world, Bidi Bidi, home to refugees from the DRC, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. We will be focussing on two groups: women wanting to take charge of their lives and those of their children and to make a difference in life in a refugee camp; and young men who are struggling to emerge from the experience of forced labour as child soldiers.
Ecuador is experiencing a wave of unrest sparked by new austerity measures, rising prices on staples, an end to vital subsidies. Thousands of Indigenous protesters are being met with militarised violence in the streets of the capital. Our work is with students, training young seminarians before they spread out across the country as leaders in their local communities We pay attention to religion, inviting faith traditions into the middle of trainings, exposing them as beloved and inviting its probing through the dual lenses of ‘What drives violence?’ and ‘What makes for peace?’ These new pastors will graduate with a new understanding of how to read and preach their sacred texts – in ways that do no harm, while equipping them to provide leadership in initiatives of peace.
In the Philippines, we also will be working with students, young women and men, equipping them with the tools of economic literacy—getting at the economic roots of violence—and conflict transformation to work effectively with communities in a country troubled by a leadership bent on vigilante justice as the way to solve problems of poverty- and despair-induced drug addiction and dealing. Tens of thousands have been killed by national security and paramilitary agents. With partners, we are training leaders to organise for peaceful nonviolent protest against vigilante injustice within their communities.
Jai Jagat: On the Move for Justice & Peace is a global initiative that has been years in the making. For three weeks in 2016, a group of 47 Canadian women gathered with 150 Indian women who have been using massive marches as effective tools for social and economic change in India, to learn more and to begin to raise awareness about the march and its goals. The march is already under way, beginning the first of October at Gandhi’s tomb. A procession that will involve hundreds of thousands will make its way through 14 countries, arriving one year from their departure in Geneva, the heart of the United Nations. Three of us will travel to meet the caravan in Italy in July and join the march for two weeks, supporting and learning. Jai Jagat is a powerful response to our planet’s deepening economic, social and environmental crisis and an urgent appeal for people to come together as One Planet One People.
We have been working in North East India since 2013 when we brought together 40 men from five different belligerent groups to listen to one another and to play with one another, to change their minds on the path to regional peace. Few have heard of the violence that has plagued the North East, a region dominated by ethnically-distinct tribals who are mostly Christian. The Washington Post has named the NE one of the five most under-reported war zones in the world. One participant in 2013 returned to his professorial position in Jorhat to train 16 young men in the skills of conflict transformation. Together they devised a unique project: the PeaceRiders. Mounted on bicycles they repaired, rebuilt or borrowed, the Riders travelled to ten of the most conflictive areas in the region to meet with all sectors of society to talk and train about peace. The project has been enormously successful in planting seeds of peace; it now includes nine women! This year, we will be (if all goes well) travelling to NEI to film what will become a half-hour documentary on the role of women in peace-building (indispensable!) and the strengthening of the work of the PeaceRiders.
If you would like to designate a donation to one of these projects, please go to shelburneprimrose.com/donate; scroll down to the Partera button. Click on either Donate Now or Donate Monthly. Leave a note to let us know which project; you will receive a charitable tax receipt.
Partera Local is the local echo of what we are doing elsewhere in the world. To be human is to find ourselves in conflict. With these workshops, participants have an opportunity to talk about how to effectively and skillfully deal with conflict—in our families, our workplaces, our communities; how to make our way in a changing neighbourhood and a changing world, how to organise for social change.
- Difficult Conversations: How to have the conversations we want (and need) to have
- Blind Spot: Disrupting Unconscious Bias
- Disrupting Hate: Peacemaking in a Changing Neighbourhood and a Changing World
- Educating for Peace: Nonviolence as a Life Skill
- Organising for Social Change: How to be the change we want to see in the world
- Colour-Coded: Decolonising Hearts, Minds & Spirits
- A New Lens for Reading the Bible: Do No Harm
Interested in learning more? about hosting a workshop or a series? contact us at email@example.com.
We are completely dependent on donations from individuals and organisation make this work happen. We invite you to donate in any number of ways, as regular supporter-sustainers, as learners or interns, including joining us at one of the 2020 events coming up. There’s a bit of fingers-crossed as all details are not yet finalised. But this is what we know and are planning for in 2020. Keep up to date on Facebook or our website, partera.ca
- March: MUSIC and MAGIC: an unbeatable pairing of an outstanding musician and an amazing magician, local artists both of them. Stay tuned for more details, venue, date and cost.
- May: An Old-fashioned all-ages Dinner-Dance with the renowned Campfire Poets, fancy dress, cash bar, silent auction.
- September: We Want Peace! Extravaganza concert with a former lost boy of South Sudan, now an international sensation.
- November-December: Dickens of an Evening! Twenty twenty will be our fourth season presenting this romp through Dickens’ class, A Christmas Carol. We already have three venues booked for 2020; let us know if you’d like to host this amazing event.