Tag Archives: Peace

Rubina Bhatti Reports About Pakistan Flood

16 Sep

We are all connected.

Rubina Feroze Bhatti of Taangh Wasaib Organization in Pakistan

Rubina Feroze Bhatti of Pakistan said in her article at Peace X Peace: “We Are All In the Hole Together: A Reflection on Volunteerism”

“Pakistan is now undergoing the greatest humanitarian crisis in its history. It will take years if not generations to repair the physical, economic and emotional damage.”

“I traveled in different districts of Punjab to help flood affected people, but I found the situation in Layyah the worst. Everything is very little over here – the food, the fodder, the water and the shelter. What is more is here – the wisdom, the courage and the hope. People are surrounded by water but they know how to make a boat. I have seen people putting a charpai [bed] on drums and making a boat to rescue their beloved ones.”

A passionate volunteer told me this with shining eyes. And then he paused. He had just returned from a few days spent in District Layyah. Sitting with volunteers is a daily routine in these days. We commit, plan and act to help the unreachable people of flooded areas. These volunteers are our energy, our motivation and our courage.

He broke his silence and said, “I am so moved by the guts of flood victims of District Layyah that I want to go back to them.”

“Why?” I asked.

“To tell them We are with you. Let’s make a boat.”

On behalf of Taangh Wasaib Organization, I express my deep gratitude to our local and international volunteers who are with us during the worst time of our history. I salute you! You have been spending your days and nights with flood affected people in different districts of Punjab. My special thanks to our courageous female volunteers who have been away from their homes, walking through mud, stones and standing water to see the disaster through a gender lens and help women to the best of their abilities. The food and non-food items provided to flood victims are insufficient, but the care, respect and bond you have shared with them is beyond calculation.

Because You Are Special

We sometimes take for granted
In the rush of all we do.
And forget to say a special thanks
To volunteers like you!

So we send this note to tell you
How much all you do means.
Your gifts of time and of yourself
Are special ones indeed.

To contribute much-needed flood relief to Pakistan, please refer to these organizations:

Taangh Wasaib Organization

Aurat Foundation’s Motherland Flood Relief Campaign


Relief International

Remembering Dr. Elise Boulding: Great Mother of the Peace Movement

18 Jul

Dr. Elise Boulding, mother, peacemaker, educator, visionary, writer passed away on June 24, 2010 in Needham, Massachusetts at age 89.

Dr. Boulding, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Dartmouth College and Former Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association, dedicated her life to her family and students and to raising the next generation of peacemakers.  She also helped establish the National Peace Academy and served as the Honorary Chair of its Advisory Council.

Elise Boulding on a National Peace Academy: May 9, 2008

Elise Boulding: A Life in the Cause of Peace by Mary Lee Morrison

Her biographer, Mary Lee Morrison, founder of Pax Educare, Inc. wrote a profile on the webpage of the National Peace Academy that states:

Early perceptions of peace education were that it was education toward the abolition of war and that it was an “arm” of the peace research movement. In the years following the Second World War, and particularly in the last thirty years, new ideas have expanded the concept of peace education. Boulding’s writings and those of other feminists in the 1970s laid the groundwork for the work of later educators who embraced ideas of connectedness, caring and imaging and the importance of thinking globally and acting locally. Many of Boulding’s ideas predated contemporary thinking on the importance of ecological sustainability and the dangers inherent in “cultures of war.”

In 1979 President Jimmy Carter appointed Elise to the Congressional Commission on Proposals for a National Academy of Peace and Conflict Resolution, now known as the United States Institute of Peace. She was the sole woman appointed to the Matsunaga Commission. A look at Boulding’s role in the process leading up to the final Commission report and the subsequent founding of the United States Institute of Peace provides a fascinating look at the Commission process itself and the events leading up to it as well as a view of some of the inherent conflicts.

According to an article in the Boston Globe, she gave an interview with Alan AtKisson in 1990 called “Concentrating on Essence: From family to community to nation and biosphere, peace on our planet depends on the power of love” where she said:

“We can’t simplify the world.  There’s no wand we can wave to remove the complexities around us…So, in a profound sense, we have to take responsibility for living on the planet.”

Life of an International Woman Peacemaker:

In a 2003 interview with Julian Portilla of Beyond Intractability.org, Dr. Boulding said:

“I would say my 18 years as a full-time homemaker; peace building in the family, and raising kids to be peacemakers was a very important part of my life. I’ve always learned a lot from kids. I’ve done a lot of research on NGO’s and the role they have played on civil society; locally, nationally and internationally. I’ve studied a lot different fields, including women, fields of development, and especially the development of peace culture through history.”

Writings of Elise Boulding

Into Full Flower: Making Peace Cultures Happen by Elise Boulding and Daisaku Ikeda

  • The Underside of History: A View of Women through Time (New York: Halsted, 1976)
  • Building a Global Civic Culture: Education for an Interdependent World (New York, New York: Teachers College Press, 1988)
  • One Small Plot of Heaven: Reflections on Family Life by a Quaker Sociologist. (Philadelphia, Pendle Hill Press, 1989)
  • Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History (Syracuse, Syracuse University Press, 2000)
  • Into Full Flower: Making Peace Cultures Happen, Elise Boulding and Daisaku Ikeda (Dialogue Path Press, 2010)

Elise Boulding and the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue

Elise Boulding & Winston Langley, Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, & Dialogue, 9/20/08

Elise Boulding’s Message to Present and Future Generations

  • We have to learn citizenship in the United Nations and help develop it.
  • Go into any situation as an apprentice.
  • Remember women and children in any situation you are working for.
  • Include people of all ages in the conflict resolution process, but especially include young people.
  • Include art, music, dance, poetry and theatre in peacemaking. The human spirit needs that.
  • History books frequently emphasize “conflicts.” There are other stories that include cooperation and peacebuilding.
  • Have fun! If we get totally serious, it gets too heavy.  We have to lift our spirits.
  • Create a 200-year present envisioning process as a way to think about change.  Fred Polak believed that societies that have a positive image of the future are empowered by their own images to act creatively in the present.
  • I would advise people to spend some time doing some imagining about what kind of world they are working for. (Write it down and revisit it from time to time.)
  • There needs to be a second United Nations Assembly, a People’s Assembly made up of the 10,000 ethnic peoples that live across state boundaries.
  • Learn about the great role of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in peacemaking and creating treaties at the United Nations.

(See audio interview of Elise Boulding by Julian Portilla for detailed quotes.)

2009 Women PeaceMakers at Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice

19 Oct

Each year the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice selects four women peacemakers from around the world. The 2009 Women PeaceMakers will participate in a panel discussion where they will talk about the work they are doing in their respective countries for peace. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre located at the University of San Diego. The event is free and open to the public.

The 2009 Women PeaceMakers:

The Women PeaceMakers Program “documents the stories and best practices of international women leaders who are involved in human rights and peacemaking efforts in their home countries.”

The San Diego Community has a rare opportunity to listen to the stories of these amazing women who are building peace through their grassroots efforts. I’ve attended some of the in-depth one on one conversations with each Woman PeaceMaker in October and I hope others have a chance to be inspired by attending the upcoming event on Oct. 20th, 2009 featured in this news flash.

Here is UCTV Presentation of a panel of 2006 Women PeaceMakers at IPJ:

Women War Peace: The Politics of PeaceBuilding