The pandemic is currently affecting nearly all areas of life around the globe. People who were already exposed to war and conflict before the spread of the virus are now particularly vulnerable to its effects. At the same time, the pandemic poses new challenges to our work of promoting peace and non-violent conflict transformation –challenges that we can only face together in solidarity and by supporting each other.
How does the Corona-Pandemic affect the peace work of forumZFD?
In the past week, we worked hard to guarantee the health and safety of our colleagues in all twelve country programmes. Nearly all colleagues are now working from home. All business trips and events are cancelled for the time being. We avoid personal meetings but are still in close contact with our partner organisations.
Bringing people together is one of the central elements of our peace work – to encourage trust-building dialogue, in public events or in educational seminars. That is why the restrictions of public life are especially challenging to our and our partners’ work.
It is impressive how much effort and creativity our colleagues put into coping with these restrictions. One of many examples is our Academy: Only a few days before it was supposed to start our colleagues had to cancel their Full-Time Course in Peace and Conflict Work. But instead of cancelling without replacement the team developed an online course for all participants from all over the world.
We expect this crisis to affect our future work as well. This is not only a health crisis but it will also have a huge economic, social and political impact.
In the next weeks we will do our best to keep you informed about the situation in our programme countries and how we will develop new ways and strategies of peace work together with our partners around the globe.
What can you do?
This crisis demands solidarity and cooperation from everybody. Take care of your friends and neighbours. Support local neighbourhood initiatives, for example by going grocery shopping for people who are more at risk.
Point out that the Corona-Pandemic is hitting people hard who live in areas of crises and conflicts – especially those who live on the edges of the globalised society. People who are left alone, who have no resources to protect themselves from the Corona-Virus. Withdrawing to national solutions are too short-sighted.
Social distancing helps to keep everyone safe. But while we stay at home and avoid personal contacts as much as possible, we should still open our minds and hearts to those who are most affected by this crisis.
Please help us to continue our peace work, which is now needed more than ever. Your support enables and encourages us to engage for peace in new and innovative ways, despite all restrictions currently in place. Every contribution counts!
Thank you very much for your support.