4u2 - For you too - Roland Brunner
quarterly report about Dutch Civilian Peace Teams (BVTN)
the quarterly reports seem to become half yearly reports. After the previous
report (from July 2001) the Dutch BVTN has experienced some disappointments as
well as more promising events.
cooperation with a Vocational University, the first Conflict Managing Course in
November 2000 had been very successful: both participants and trainers as well
as organisers were satisfied with the way it had been worked out. We planned a
second course for November 2001, and organised broad publicity, which had been
one of the less developed aspects the first time. We announced the new course in
the Peace magazines, made a new brochure which was spread among our supporters
and among organisations who are sending out peace or development workers, and
put small advertisements in daily newspapers. Despite this publicity, only four
persons applied for the course, among whom two from the military. We decided to
cancel the course, and are now in an evaluation process about the reasons why we
cannot attract participants for this course. We made a questionnaire, to enquire
between the over 40 persons who asked for information, but who did not apply for
the course after all. We are curious about their motivation: is a continuous
four weeks too big an obstacle? Or the costs? Or the (still) unclear
perspectives for work in the field? After
evaluation of the answers, we will take the necessary steps to realise a course
in one or another way.
meantime, we are following several other ways to promote education and training
for nonviolent conflict resolution. We are in discussion with other peace
organisations, with the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry, and with several
universities about their initiatives, and look for coalitions. In this, we find
an ally in the newly founded Dutch Expert centre for Alternatives for Violence (NEAG).
part of a coalition of Dutch NGOs who are sending a peace team to Palestine, to
stay with local NGOs. The mission has three goals: to show solidarity with the
Palestinians by living among them, to influence public opinion by giving clear
and objective information through the media, and to show the governments that
the United Nations should take action in the Middle East. A team of 10
volunteers started in October and will stay for three months. They received a
training, ten days in the Netherlands and ten days in the field. Preparations
are being made for a second team, which should be trained in January, and sent
out in February 2002.
November, BVTN had another supporters day. The first, over a year ago, had been
very succesful, 80 persons showed up and were enthousiastic and supportive about
the BVTN's progress. This time, 20-30 persons visited the open day, and
participated in an interesting program where peace pioneers told about their
experiences and the military explained their motivations to invest in conflict
also preparing a two days workshop to evaluate it's work after almost 7 years of
existence, and to prepare for the future. We are convinced that education and
training for nonviolent conflict resolution and promoting civil peace services
is more necessary than ever.
Janne Poort – van Eeden.
4your questions and contacts: rbr(at)4u2.ch