Quaker Conversations #3, Series 2
How important is the inner work for peace?
When it comes to working for peace, the challenges are many and the task can seem overwhelming. Many organisations and individuals are becoming more aware of the challenges for the people delivering peace and humanitarian work. The personal toll can be huge, leading to burn out, mental illness and trauma. How do we, as a community of Friends dedicated to peace, support those on the ground? How do we uphold their work and support them to do the inner work necessary to sustain themselves and the causes they work for?
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Daniel Nteziyaremye: I have been a Rwandan peace practitioner for 19 years now, and this has been my passion since I was very young. I am a member of Quaker community in Rwanda, married and a father to three kids. My passion and work experience has been and is in peace since I was at high school, and my peacebuilding work experience focused on training, empowering, initiating and coordinating different peace practitioners networks and programs.
I am currently Turning The Tide’s (TTT) Rwanda program National field coordinator, a social justice and peacebuilding program that equips and supports communities in addressing underlying causes of violence and injustice. Together with my team, we supports grassroots community groups to overcome violence with nonviolent means. I am a Healing companion and facilitator and I serve as a board member of Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC). I also serve as an Africa Great Lakes Initiation (AGLI) working group member. I am a Transformative mediation facilitator and today I support Friends Peace House (FPH) in the implementation of mediation project in prisons in Rwanda and coordinate the network of FPH mediators.
Together with my team we are empowering women and youth to be the solutions to their own communities. They are key drivers of change and transformation in Rwanda. They are powerful allies because they are a tremendous source of creativity.
Tanya Hubbard: I am a grassroots peace practitioner with 17 years of experience of training, empowering and collaborating with people to transform conflict, (re)build positive relationships and support communities to identify their own solutions. My commitment to contributing to a more peaceful world underpins all of the work I have done in China, Lebanon, Thailand, Uganda, inner city London and, from 2013 until now, in the conflict areas and IDP camps of Myanmar.
I work at the intersection of peace-building, psycho-social support and well-being: to me they are inextricably intertwined. How can we truly hear each other if our bodies are full of tension and stress? How can I be well if I am disconnected from the people around me? How can we truly serve our communities if we do not see and understand them in all their human complexity? What tools can we use to make space for and honour that complexity, in our projects, in our interactions with each other?
Using art and play-based facilitation tools that seek to engage with the wisdom contained at every level of the human – the head, heart and body- I seek to support individuals and groups to find answers to these questions. I work as a consultant with international and grassroots humanitarian, development and social justice organisations, and propose my own training courses at PracticalPeace.
I am also a yoga teacher and permaculture gardener, and run a retreat centre in southern France for people working or volunteering in humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and social justice movements anywhere in the world : RootsRetreats.