Music by Nimo Patel
This week Nonviolence Radio revisits a 2018 interview with Yasmin Maydhane and Carmen Lauzon from Nonviolent Peaceforce, an organization dedicated to effective nonviolent conflict resolution. Yasmin and Carmen talk about their work doing unarmed civilian protection in South Sudan and the Philippines, respectively. They share inspiring stories about the power of entering into dangerous conflict areas unarmed, but committed to helping communities entrenched in violence to uncover their own solutions, based on their own wisdom and traditions. Nonviolent Peaceforce sees unarmed civilian protection as a way to allow conflict ridden communities to regain the knowledge and power that they’ve always had, and to use it to bring about and sustain peace.
The entire UCP principle is about resiliency. It’s about enhancing community or in-house protection strategies, monitoring strategies, general life stock. Like how have you always taken care of your community? And how do we use that and make it better? We are not the ones who suggest how to improve these things. We let the community tell us how they want to improve things. And we do that with them because we live with them. I mean we live in the same places that they do. We eat the same food that they do.
We are with them 24/7 which means we get to see if they don’t like something or they want something changed, we also at times can see why they want that. If we agree or don’t agree, either way, that decision is not ours. The decision is the community’s. The whole point of UCP is to engage with the community so that we, as humanitarian workers, U.N. agencies, you know, are no longer needed. The community is self-sufficient so as to be able to take care of themselves. And they are.
Transcript is archived at Waging Nonviolence