Nonviolent Peaceforce creates Unarmed Civian Peacekeepers who apply proven nonviolent strategies to protect human rights, deter violence and help create safe spaces for local people to carry out their work. Peacekeepers are trained women and men from 25 countries who live in villages where there is serious violent conflict. They talk with all the armed parties; they are always unarmed; they are always non partisan in the armed struggle. NP works to create lasting alternatives to war and to establish conditions in which permanent peace can take root.
In Sudan Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) created school peace committees. A school was so wracked by fighting, students stopped attending. NP helped develop a Peace Committee and the school has re-opened. Nonviolent Peaceforce also helped people avoid violence after cattle were stolen.
In Sri-Lanka Nonviolent Peaceforce protected children and prevented disappearances. NP worked with mothers who learned how to negotiate the return of their children who were taken to become child soldiers.
In the Philippines, NP facilitated dialogue between Catholics and Muslims. Dialogues have helped local leaders to deescalate tension and create solutions.
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Now there is a direct way that individuals can get involved in Nonviolent Peaceforce. The first annual Pedal for Peace will be held Saturday July 23 at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. Funds raised will help provide satellite phones, motorcycles, and uniforms for Nonviolent Peaceforce’s unarmed civilian peacekeepers in Sri Lanka, Mindanao Philippines, and South Sudan.
Support the work of Nonviolent Peaceforce by riding your bike 8, 20 or 40 miles. All funds raised will support Nonviolent Peaceforce frontline staff. After the ride, there will be live music by Inukshuk Pass, lunch (order yours ahead) and speakers. Speakers will include founder Mel Duncan, and returned peacekeeper, Ann Frisch (Guatemala 2007).
The bike route is along the beautiful trails in Minneapolis, including Minnehaha Parkway and the West River Parkway. For more information, go to www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/pedalforpeace.