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South Pacific Women Challenge Abuses

In Olga Hamadi’s line of work as a human rights lawyer in West Papua, death threats are common. Violence and human rights violations are plentiful and sorely overlooked, Hamadi said, and police and military personnel who victimize her clients often turn the blame on her. While there are many lawyers in West Papua – one of two Indonesian provinces on the Southwest Pacific isla ...More

Koila Costello-Olsson and Queenie Thompson

Harsh beatings, not just sunny beaches, for many in South Pacific

Sun, unblemished beaches, friendly islanders who like to dance in grass skirts, slow pace of life. A great place to be a tourist. These images dominate the Western media in reference to the South Pacific. “At once a sanctuary and playground, our magical resort [in Fiji] offers blissful reverie to those who seek intimate peace and quiet, or spirited adventure for thrill seekers,” read ...More

Carlos Martinez-Garcia

Mexican Pastor Lobbies for Religious Tolerance

“In order to survive we have to do a lot of things,” explains Carlos Martinez-Garcia, as he responds to a reporter’s question by listing the various hats he wears: human rights activist, Anabaptist pastor, sociologist, journalist, author of ten books. Martinez-Garcia directs Mennonite theological education in Mexico, a program partly supported by ...More

Maxim Kumeh

Anonymous Donor Enables Liberian to Enhance His Organizational Leadership

Liberia is country of complexity and turmoil in which 85 percent of the population of 3.7 million people live under the international poverty line. Colonized in 1820 by freed blacks from the United States, Liberia has suffered two back-to-back civil wars that have left the country politically unstable and economically bereft. It is in this context that Maxim Kumeh has devoted his life’ ...More

somali_women_web

USAID-Supported Somali Women Gain Peacebuilding Skills

It’s a diverse group of five women. Among their many roles and areas of expertise, one can find law, information technology, business administration, political advocacy, rehabilitating youth with the UNDP, and a graduate degree in gender and development. In common are their Somali ethnicity, Muslim faith, and burning desire to prepare themselves and nurture other women for playing major roles ...More

Steven-Hikizimana

On Finding Peace Through Working at Forgiveness

Steven Hakizimana was 8 when his parents and siblings were murdered before his eyes during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. For the next nine years Hakizimana struggled both to simply survive and to understand the atrocities wreaked on himself and his country. Hakizimana came to feel that in order for healing to occur, reconciliation between his Tutsi group and the Hutus – both being respons ...More

Summer Peacebuilding Institute Session II

Genocide Survivor Teaches Trauma Healing at Summer Peacebuilding Institute

Jean Claude Nkundwa came to the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University with a desire to help his country address its history of violence. Most people in the United States, when they hear about Tutsis and Hutus, think about the genocide in Rwanda, but genocide also occurred in neighboring Burundi and greatly impacted Jean ...More

el-dik_emil_web

SPI Alumni Help With Syrian Refugee Crisis

Syrians are flooding into neighboring Jordan at the rate of more than 1,000 per night, seeking refuge from a brutal civil war. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has taken steps to supplement its material aid (food, diapers, blankets, school kits, hygiene kits, etc.) with trainings aimed at easing growing tensions, understanding the impact of trauma, and ...More

somaliland

EMU Peace Profs Go to Women in Somaliland

Six of the women who planned to study at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in the summer of 2012 in the brand-new Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program were unable to enter the United States. So program director Janice Jenner and professors ...More

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New Somalia President Studied Peace at EMU

The new president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, deepened his understanding of building peace in traumatized societies in three classes taken at the 2001 Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) held at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). “We wish the best for you as you work to secure the peace, promote stability, and restore prosperity to the ...More