Tagged Peace

Scroll down for a list of all articles about Canadian Friends Service Committee’s peace work.

CFSC’s work recognizes that peace is a process that plays out at multiple levels: inner peace, interpersonal peace, and structural peace. Each of these impacts the others in complex and ever changing ways. So peace is not a static situation without conflict, it is a dynamic system. Our newsletter Quaker Concern comes out three times a year sharing stories from our peace work and how we’re making a difference.

Our work focuses on the grassroots and building the conditions for peace in Canada and several other countries. A story will help illustrate this work.

A Congolese woman looks out of her hotel window to see a group in the street starting a loud protest, while a large number of soldiers advances on them.

Instead of staying inside and watching, she walks out into the street, alone. She places herself right in the middle of the street, between the two sides.

From behind her come the angry shouts of the mass of townspeople. In front, she sees the well-armed soldiers drawing ever closer.

With calm perseverance and fearlessness, the woman begins to talk to both sides. She listens carefully, and reminds them of their real interests in this situation. Will they hear?

Things are tense and violence seems likely as insults are hurled back and forth between the townspeople and soldiers. But with time, the situation cools.

Both groups start to understand that their interests can be served without violence. Eventually, incredibly, the townspeople and the soldiers disperse.

This is a true story. It is one of an endless number of examples of nonviolence in support of peace.

Did you know that skills like these exist and are used every day around the world? How many violent situations are avoided (and don’t become news)? How would you react in a conflict situation that you saw escalating?

We share stories, analysis, and tips for success in Quaker Concern articles and through our book Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division.

The messy work of seeking justice

The Messy Work of Seeking Justice

Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people’s opinions may contain for you. Avoid hurtful criticism and provocative language. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue. Think it possible that you may be mistaken.—Canadian Yearly Meeting, Advices and Queries #17…

Hate Is on the Rise. How We Respond Matters

Lately I’ve been researching and reflecting on the causes of hatred, and how to turn the tide in Canada and more broadly. What I’ve found in my research is that a lot can be done, but sadly, there are no easy answers. There are many different paths into a life of hate, and many factors…

Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division by Matthew Legge, Canadian Friends Service Committee

CFSC Launches Are We Done Fighting?

I recently had the chance to chat with Canadian Friends Service Committee’s peace program coordinator Matt Legge about the new book he’s written for CFSC.   Keira: What is Are We Done Fighting? Matt: It’s a book that collects and shares a lot of surprising stories and research directly relevant to many different problems in…

My Visit to Kinshasa, DR Congo

I flew into Kinshasa with Leon, a Congolese trainer in the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). While waiting for two hours for my luggage, I was thrilled to have a young man ask if I was Bertha. It was Johnny, from Kinshasa Monthly Meeting’s Project Muinda, which CFSC has supported for two decades. We finally…

Canadians write in support of conscientious objectors to the Iraq war

Conscientious Objection to Military Service

The Religious Society of Friends has always believed that anyone can discover the deep spiritual certainty that we each have the Light or ‘that of God’ within. Experiencing this, even seasoned soldiers might suddenly find it impossible to kill another person. Of course there are other reasons one might object to military service – such…

Will Canada create an Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security?

An Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security?

Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, recently introduced a Private Members’ Motion (M-163) seeking to establish an Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security. This concept of women, peace, and security has been advanced by the international community since 2000 (PDF), but it seems Canada is starting to take it more seriously, with a…

Quaker perspectives on synthetic biology, biodiversity, technology, and mass extinction

A Quaker Perspective: Technology, Synthetic Biology, and Extinction

Industrial technologies have extended across the earth and provided benefits like food, clean water, sanitation, and housing to billions of people. However, with increased consumption of resources and the social changes that technologies and capital-driven economies have brought, they have also disrupted ecosystems and human communities.1 In fact, the global, ecological impact of humans and…

Detaining Dreams - No Way to Treat a Child

No Way to Treat a Child

I’ve learned a great deal from Friends about discussing difficult issues and searching together for unity in the Spirit. Without having to agree, we can find ways to hold a broader perspective and come to experience a deeper truth. Every area that CFSC works on is controversial, and many will passionately disagree with our views…

My Summer with CFSC

Each summer CFSC seeks a young Friend or young person interested in Quakerism and social justice to work as a Program Assistant (PA), supporting both CFSC’s various program committees and its general administrative operations. This summer I was honoured to take the PA position, have the opportunity to work on so many issues close to…

Friends Women's Association works at the grassroots for peace in Burundi

Working for Peace in Burundi

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It was devastated by many years of civil conflicts and wars following its independence from Belgium in 1962. The breakdown of economic, social, and cultural structures led to a deterioration of women’s condition. The worst example is Kamenge, a slum in the northern part of…