Dialogue is our path to understanding
Peace and Understanding
The Hague Peace projects is a concerted effort to encourage dialogue and provide a platform for the human relations and rights that grow from it.
Dialogue is how we learn and gain appreciation of other perspectives. It is our route to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. We are committed to make room for dialogue in a well-informed and inclusive civil society, so that real non-violent, political, social, and environmental transformation can be achieved.
We benefit from the knowledge our diversity brings
Together we are wiser. Dialogue deepens our insight into cultural and social constructs, and broadens our understanding of humanity and truth. It empowers us to advance and change for the better.
How did we start?
The Hague Peace Projects was founded in 2014 by four human rights professionals who were worried by a quick succession of new conflicts that were emerging globally: Syria, Yemen, Central African Republic, Ukraine, and Libya. At the same time, many unsolved conflicts continued to take the lives of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo, and many other places.
Having worked intensively with refugees and human rights defenders who had come to the Netherlands from conflict areas, we recognized them as powerful catalysts for positive change, and a rich source of knowledge and new perspectives on our own views and attitudes.
However, there was no infrastructure for these activists who had become victims of conflict and oppression to continue their work for peace, justice, and human rights. Rarely did they get involved in the established human rights and development efforts. Considering this omission as an enormous waste of wisdom and experience, we decided that a new organisation needed to be created in order to provide them the opportunity to continue their work from within their diaspora communities.
As a result, our organization has attracted hundreds of activists and volunteers to spend their energy on resolving conflicts and defending human rights worldwide. Over the years, we have seen our organisation complete many peace projects driven by a great diversity of communities.
Our journey and pursuit of peace and human rights has taught us to recognise different cultures and embrace new perspectives. It has lead us to evolve as an organisation that represents a diversity of standpoints to form the basis of peace and humanity.
Why is our work so important?
We live in a world where millions of people are experiencing war, violence, and oppression on a daily basis. One only has to think of countries like Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, and Congo to name but a few.
The destruction and pain caused by these wars is unimaginable. The grief for lost loved ones, the (inter)generational traumas, the rupture of the entire social fabric of a society, the continued mistrust between communities, poverty, corruption, and crime in post-conflict societies takes decades to heal, if it ever does.
War is the worst thing that can happen to a society. It is the end of all norms, all human security, and all human rights. We should put all of our efforts into preventing conflicts from escalating into war and to end wars as soon as possible.
People who have personally experienced war explain how horrible it is. Most will say: ‘never again’ in their attempts to remind us all of its inhumanity and cruelty – lest we forget. However, when younger generations grow up after a war, a society may lose this understanding and become vulnerable again to polarization and militaristic ideas. Today, particularly in the West, many people seem oblivious to the deeply destructive nature of war. Moreover, an acceptance that there always seems to be war somewhere in the world can encourage apathetic attitudes towards them, as if they are a law of nature. In reality, war represents a failure to learn from the past and instead repeat its mistakes until a dysfunctional peace escalates into violent conflict.
Wars are not natural occurrences. Wars are deliberate projects, planned by economic, power, and political elites that require an enormous effort from many sectors of society. Heavy industry, technological and financial institutions, media, logistics, and the state bureaucracy all have to cooperate in order to prepare and execute our wars planned by the few. This fact also gives hope. People are capable of deliberately choosing to be against war. They are indeed the only ones that can challenge decisions made by their leaders or representatives. The monstrous and costly efforts of society to sustain wars can instead be consciously redirected into creating peace, cooperation, and mutual understanding.
A sustained effort by society itself is required in order for ordinary people to ensure that their own leaders make the right decisions. For this to happen, access to accurate information is essential. Without it, we will never benefit from a clear analysis of world events and a true understanding of the nature of politics, economics, and media. As has been said so often: the first victim in any war is the truth. This makes the most important ‘weapon’ for peace builders the truth itself.
Vital to any search for truth and an understanding of the complexity of perspectives that represent our attempts in this direction, is the active engagement of all citizens in a dialogue across all sections of society: rich and poor, old and young, native and newcomer. The Hague Peace projects is a concerted effort to encourage dialogue and provide a platform for the human relations and rights that grow from it. It is our hope that through the earnest efforts of a well-informed and inclusive civil society, that real non-violent, political, social, and environmental transformation can be achieved.
The Hague Peace Projects consists of dedicated professionals from all over the world with a broad expertise in conflict prevention, peace building, and human rights.
A creative generalist with years of experience in the field. Steen has combined his Arts and Science skills to launch numerous companies and as a passionate peace and human rights actor oversees the form and function of The Hague Peace Projects.
Former Environmental Researcher at one of Nicaragua’s largest protected areas, Chale is part of #SOSNICARAGUA, a non-violent international civil ressistance movement that works towards restablishing democracy and peace in a country torn by dictatorship and violence. Chale heads the Changemakers Program at HPP to help support and sustain the good work being done by HRDs around the world.
Head of Changemakers Program
As a Solution-Focused Coach Skirmante specialises in stress management and goal attainment, and leads the Emotional Support Program at HPP.
Head Emotional Support Program
Hannibal is music manager and festival artistic director at Culture Unlimited. An accomplished musician himself, Hannibal runs international cross-over projects between the Arab world and the rest of the world.
Tayfun is a historian, specialized in the modern history of Turkey. He is active for The Hague Peace Projects as coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa work group, with a main focus on the Dutch-Armenian-Kurdish-Turkish dialogue and research projects. Tayfun writes for the paper ‘De Kanttekening’ and is a member of the New Amsterdam Council.
Valentin is a Legal Practitioner and a Human Rights Activist. He holds a Master Degree (LLM) in Business Law, a Post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice studies and a MA in Development studies with a specialization in Human Rights and Peace Studies. Currently, Valentin is a PhD candidate at International Institute of Social Studies. Valentin is an active volunteer at HPP focussing his expertise on democracy and peace-building.
Human Rights Policy Advisor
Akayezu Muhumuza Valentin
Programme counsellor for Vluchteling-Studenten UAF.
GLR Work Group
Ewing Amadi Salumu
Erick is an Industrial Engineer, passionate about data, automation of processes and continuous improvement. As a Data Science, Data Engineer and Data Analyst certification holder from Microsoft, and Tableau desktop Specialist from Tableau and AWS Cloud Practitioner from Amazon Web Services,Erick is the Tableau user group Leader for Nicaragua.
Analytics & Data Specialist
Melanie is a User Experience Researcher, a Service Designer and a Social Anthropologist. At the Hague Hacks she researches and designs help platforms and dashboards for HRDs in need.
Hague Hacks R&D
Melanie T Uy
Erik is a As peaceful revolution strategist. He is the founder of Sankara Revolutions and active in the nonviolent Ugandan liberation movement against its dictatorship since 2014.
Peaceful Revolution Strategist
Erik van der Zanden
Isabelle is a history student from Erasmus university and is project officer for the ‘Peace in Ukraine: Time to Talk’ project.
Intern Project Officer
Isabelle de Jong
Having completed her BA “International Studies”, Aida is following an inernship with us before starting her graduate degree with focus a on A.I. and its impact on society.
Intern Project Officer
Chairperson and artist, Jakob is also founder of The Hague Peace Projects.
de Jonge, Jakob Hendrik
Sylvestre has many years of experience in the field of peace and human rights, and leads the charge for relief in The Republic of the Congo.
Bwira Kyahi, Sylvestre
Margrot has been active since the beginning years The Hague Peace Projects. She is also project leader at Platform 31 and researcher at IVO.
Leegwater, Margaretha Elizabeth
Claire has many large projects at HPP and The Hague Hacks under her belt. Former founder of Xenolearn, her project management skills our now being put to good use at IamExpat.
Mirko has a BA in Business Economics and a BA in Political Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. He is the financial secretary for the Hague Peace Projects while also co-hosting dialogue events for the Kurdish and Turkish diaspora here in the Netherlands. Mirko also provides fiscal services to other companies and organizations through his own company.
Head of Finance
“Every choice we make is powerful” – Forest Steven Whitaker
With a strong academic background, Dalila is passionate about art and environmental sustainability, with expertise in Art History and Environmental Studies. Not to mention her social media and Japanese-to-English skills.
Social Media Manager
Trony helps to harness and nurture the potential of individuals, groups, and communities in Europe and Africa. She has a background in communications, international relations and business, and is a graduate of Daystar University Kenya, and Webster University Leiden.
Shucheesmita has an MA in Human Rights, Gender, and Conflict: Social Justice Perspectives from International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands, and an MA in International Relations from South Asian University, New Delhi. Her passions include migration and gender, peace-building, inter-faith dialogues, women’s empowerment and human rights. As an active participant in India-Bangladesh-Pakistan friendship dialogues and initiatives, she is one of the Women Deliver Young Leaders of 2018.
Work Group Leader Bangladesh
Nathalia is a Nicaraguan entrepreneur and human rights activist. Her objectives are to develop relationships and collaborate with international organizations and communities to support education, communication tools, and opportunities to fight poverty in Nicaragua while raising the awareness of human rights values, sustainable development goals, and democracy. She is also representative of SOSNicaragua-Holanda and an active member of SOSNicaragua-Europa.
Work Group Leader Nicaragua
Marie-Cakupewa has obtained an MSc degree in Biology from the Leiden University in The Netherlands. She is an executive secretary and coordinator for the DRCongo à la Carte (DRCC) foundation. At the HPP, Marie was active in the department of the Diaspora of the Great Lakes Region (DGLR) as researcher and gender expert. She has experience in teaching, gender and peace, conflict transformation and vocational training.
Gender Expert GLR
Shafayet is an experienced Teacher and Communication Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the professional training & content writing industry. Skilled in Lecturing, Journalism, and Business Communication he is an education professional with a Master’s Degree focused in International Relations and Global History from Erasmus University Rotterdam. His roles at HPP included workshops and content/proposal writing.
Irene is an accomplished and goal-oriented Administrative Assistant / Human Resource professional with over 10 years of rich experience in Program Coordination in the Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) industry.
As an active member of the Nicaraguan diaspora and previous consultant for the NDI, Rayid has his finger on the pulse of human rights.
Human Rights Advisor
At The Hague Peace Projects we enjoy a large and diverse community who contribute to our activities with their own specific knowledge, expertise, connections, and committment.
The following volunteers that have worked at HPP deserve a special mention:
Alena Kahle, Nina Nout, Ame Trandem, Waqaas, Katrina Burch, Daniel Melo, Jaap Wallet, Lisanne Boersma, Yousif Fasher, Ewing, Benjamin, Jean-Claude, Bruno F. Salvetti, Leslie Newhall, Theo Kauffeld, Lars Michael Stockhausen Hektoe, Claudia Rodriguez Ortiz, Guido Willem Soeteman, Anook Cléonne, Alexander Medik, Niels den Daas, Jo Kroese, Jasper Kol, Berber Hidma
Secretary: de Jonge, Jakob Hendrik
Board Member: Bwira Kyahi, Sylvestre
Treasurer: Leegwater, Margaretha Elizabeth
The Hague Peace Projects has an extensive network of friends and partnerships. These are just some of the national and international organisations that we work with:
ANBI Status (PBO)
With the ANBI (Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling) status from the Dutch government, The Hague Peace Projects is recognised as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO). This means that our organisation is committed to the public benefit and that donations made to The Hague Peace Projects are deductable from the taxable income of donators.