Integration Caravan is visiting…. Dordrecht!

The Integration Caravan, a project created and organised by our Syrian working group, is visiting Dordrecht on saterday 26th of October. This will be the 5th visit of a city in the Netherlands. Come and visit us at Scheffersplein, between 11 and 3.

We create spaces where community members just like you can meet a refugee and engage in constructive dialogue. Also we give the Dutch people an opportunity to get to know refugee ask important questions such as ‘how is it to start a new life in the Netherlands? what should the refugees learn about our country? And what do we have in common and what can we share?’

We believe that healthy communities are the ones in which its community members can talk to each other despite their different backgrounds. You can hear stories you don’t find in the news papers.

All in all it was a very successful way of talking to people you normally hardly meet and create mutual understanding. Reactions in previsous cities were truly positive. We are very motivated to take this further to Dordrecht. Check our calendar to see where we’re going next time!

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African Peace Party

Peace is more than only talking, we need to connect on different levels. For that reason we organize an African Party with food, drinks, music and of course our best dance moves!

The African Party will take place in the evening of the third day of the Conference, on the 26th of November. The Hague Peace Projects will host the second Great Lakes Conference on the 24th, 25th and 26th of November with the main theme ‘the role of media in conflict and peacebuilding’. The first day will focus on the general function of media, the second day on experiences with media in conflict or peacebuilding and the third day will connect diaspora and media.

We invite all participants and friends to join this evening at the African Party where there will be free drinks and African music. The musician Fabrice will be performing for us on his guitar and after dinner there will be a DJ.

The Party takes places from 7 PM at Paviljoensgracht 20, The Hague. We hope to see you there!

Integration Caravan on its way to Ede!

The Integration Caravan, a project created and organised by our Syrian working group, is visiting Ede on saterday 19th of October. This will be the 4th visit of a city in the Netherlands. Come and visit us at the Oude Kerkplein 2, between 11 and 4.

We create spaces where community members just like you can meet a refugee and engage in constructive dialogue. Also we give the Dutch people an opportunity to get to know refugee ask important questions such as ‘how is it to start a new life in the Netherlands? what should the refugees learn about our country? And what do we have in common and what can we share?’

We believe that healthy communities are the ones in which its community members can talk to each other despite their different backgrounds. You can hear stories you don’t find in the news papers.

All in all it was a very successful way of talking to people you normally hardly meet and create mutual understanding. Reactions in previsous cities were truly positive. We are very motivated to take this further to Ede. Check our calendar to see where we’re going next time!

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Discussion about ‘Diaspora, Dialogue and Peace’ on Afrikadag

On Saturday 5th of November The Hague Peace Projects participated in the ‘Afrika Day’ which took place at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam. Our Great Lakes Region Project held the workshop titled ‘Diaspora, dialogue and peace’. Around 40 people joined the session.

The workshop began with a short introduction on some of the issues faced by each country in the Region.

The Democratic Republic of Congo was represented by Marie-Louise Balagizi and Bejamin Kalumire. Marie-Louise talked about the importance of prioritising security which would as a consequence facilitate people’s engagement. The unsafe situation is limiting people’s possibility to change the status quo, this fosters passivity which keeps the regime in power. People need to understand that they have the power to stop it. Therefore, the mind-set needs to be changed but in order to facilitate such process the security levels have to be raised. A step in this direction is by keeping the discussion open on where the weapons are coming from. Benjamin continued on the issue of security giving his view on a non-confrontational strategy which aims at fostering dialogue between the people and the military.


img-20161105-wa0012-2Deogratias Irambona discussed the current security issue in relation to his country Burundi. He stressed the importance to stop foreign countries from supporting undemocratic regimes. As an example he mentioned that The Netherlands has been financing the security forces of Burundi for many years and that these same forces are currently involved in murders and human rights violations. In this way the Netherland is also responsible.


Rwanda was represented by Sophie Kwizera. She underlined the importance of dialogue not only about the past but also the future. She pointed out the fact that the diaspora should be more active and express their option about the issues affecting their country. She also highlighted the importance of the youth as essential element for change.

Moses Atocon from Uganda continued with a personal perspective to his country, Uganda. He talked about the harsh time he experienced growing up under Idi Amin’s regime and how such events fuelled his desire for change. This change has to be achieved through a peaceful people-led movement. This is the aim of the Kampala based NGO Activists4change, with which he is involved.

img-20161105-wa0013-2The lively discussion which followed touched upon many different issues and controversies triggered by the speakers, proving the complexity and multitude of perspectives that exist around the Great Lakes region conflict. Many causes for conflict were mentioned: weapons trade, bad leadership, Western involvement, the mining industry and the many social divisions among Africans. This should not lead to strengthen the tendency to victimization, but to an understanding that home-grown solutions are possible and that Africa needs the West as well as the West needs Africa. All-in-all it was a very fruitful exchange of views and a clear indication that more meetings and dialogue across group-boundaries are essential to make steps forward towards possible solutions. 

 

The role of media in Conflict and Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region

poster-grl-conferenceOn the 24th and 25th and 26th of November 2016, The Hague Peace Projects together with ISS is organizing a second Diaspora Conference on the Great Lakes Region with as main theme: “The role of media in conflict and peacebuilding”. We would hereby like to invite you for this event.

Order your tickets here.

The Hague Peace Projects tries to facilitate a positive environment in which dialogue among all parties is encouraged. Analyzing and discussing the conflict enables the diaspora communities to contribute to peacebuilding processes not only in their home countries, but also in their diaspora communities abroad.

Last year’s conference topic was “The root causes of conflicts in the Great Lakes Region”. It left rooms for discussion and dialogue, which is necessary in order to create unity among diaspora groups. This year’s conference will deepen the dialogue and understanding by focusing on this one specific topic.

The first day of the conference will be mainly about the function of media in the Great Lakes Region. While the second day will focus on the role of media in conflict and peacebuilding. The third and last day will be connecting the topic of media with the diaspora groups.

The schedule day 1 – Role of Media

10:00-10:30              Welcome & opening, Connie Formson (ADPC), Ewing Amadi Salumu, Jakob de Jonge (HPP)
10:30-11:00               Keynote speech 1: Media & democracy: RNW Media
11:00-11:30                Keynote speech 2: .Social media today : Sanne Kruikemeijer, assistant professor Political Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication
11:30-11:45                Coffee break
11:45-12:15                Keynote speech 3: Media in the GLR; Olivier Nyiubugara, Lecturer Journalism Erasmus University Rotterdam
12:15-13:00               Panel discussion
13:00-14:00              Lunch
14:00-15:15               Working sessions; country by country, strengths weaknesses
15:15-15:30               Coffee break
15:30-16:00              Continuation working sessions
16:00-17:00              Plenary session; reports from working sessions

The schedule day 2 – Media in Conflict & Peace

10:00-11:00              Keynote speech 1 +questions: Media & Conflict; Marie-Soleil Frère, Director Research Center in Information and Communication, Université Libre de Bruxelles
11:00-11:30               Keynote speech 2: Dirk-Jan Koch, Special Envoy Natural Resources, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11:30-11:45                Coffee break
11:45-12:00               Case speech 1: Moses Atocon, Blogger, Uganda
12:00-12:15               Case speech 2: Rwanda
12:15-12:30               Case speech 3: Burundi
12:30-12:45              Case speech 4: Marie-Louise Balagizi, DR Congo
12:45-13:45               Lunch
13:45-14:45              Panel discussion
14:45-16:00              workshops: YAGA & PAX
16:00-16:15               Coffee break
16:15-17:00                Continuation workshops 

The schedule for day 3: Diaspora and the perspectives of Media

10:00-10:15                Recap of the two days + questions/suggestions
10:15-10:45                Role of Diaspora;  Abubakar Koroma, International Organization for Migration
10:45-11:15                Diaspora & Media: Sennai Fessahaie, Eritrea diaspora
11:15-11:30                Coffee break
11:30-12:00               New Perspectives of Media; George Weiss, director Radio La Benevolencija
12:00-13:00               Panel discussion
13:00-14:00               Lunch
14:00-15:30               Afternoon program with own workshops
15:30-15:45                Coffee break
15:45-16:30                Continuation workshops
16:30-17:00                Closing words and conclusion conference
17:00-17:15                walks to HPP-office in separate groups
17:15-19:00                Dinner
19:00                           African party (at The Hague Peace Projects)

Where: International Institute of Social Sciences, The Hague
When : 24, 25 and 26 of November, 2016
Language: English

More information and the general outline of the days will follow.

Admission will be free for diaspora and students. For others the tickets are €20,- (payment at the door).Registration is required, reserve your seat here.

If you have questions, please contact us: info@thehaguepeace.org

 

DEMOCRATIC VOICES SILENCED IN TURKEY

Yesterday, the authorities in Turkey detained Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ from the Kurdish opposition (People’s Democracy Party, HDP) along with at least nine other elected MP’s from the HDP.

Turkey accuses the Kurdish representatives of being an outlet for ‘terroristic propaganda’ from the PKK. The HDP denies the accusations.

What happened yesterday is a huge escalation of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict that leads to the rise of tensions between Turks and Kurds all over the world.

As a peace organization and a platform for diversity The Hague Peace Projects strongly condemns the arrest of political representatives for which more than 6 million people voted last year. Nothing good can come out of silencing voices of people you dont agree with.

Our initiative of individual Turks, Kurds and Armenians wants a cessation to all hostilities between Turks and Kurds and that the warring sides return to the negotiation table for a political solution. This conflict has lasted too long.