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BPFNA Board selects projects to receive Gavel Peace Fund grants for 2016


November 10, 2015

At the October 2015 meeting, the BPFNA Board of Directors approved projects to receive Gavel Memorial World Peace Fund grants in 2016. The Gavel Fund was established by a bequest from Victor and Eileen Gavel to support peacemaking projects around the world. The Fund has been typically focused on work outside of North America, and a new Gavel Fund application process was approved in May 2015 to make it more open to partners within the continent.

Approved projects must fall under one of the following three categories:

Equipping: Work that equips individuals, regional groups, and congregations with tools for spoken witness and the hands-on work of peace rooted in justice. Examples of such work include Conflict Transformation trainings or Anti-Racism Trainings.

Mobilizing: Work that mobilizes individuals, groups, and churches to respond to pressing concerns guided by the wisdom of those whose realities are local to the concern at hand. Examples of such work include helping people attend protests against the disappearance of the 43 Mexican students from Ayotzinapa.

Gathering: Work that helps people gather regionally and internationally to mutually strengthen and support one another’s witness through community prayer, education, fellowship, and song. Gatherings are an essential part of peacemaking and of building community. Examples of this work include Friendship Tours and Interfaith Gatherings.

Approved 2016 Projects

The following projects received money from the Gavel Fund grant.

Combatting Electoral Violence through Conflict Transformation Trainings for Peaceful Elections in 2016

Group: Crossing Lines
Location: Uganda
Gavel category: Equipping and Mobilizing

This project will equip and mobilize committed leaders to support peacebuilding and conflict prevention and/or resolution to sustain the democratic transition that the country has been going through since 2006.

Scholarships for 2017 Global Baptist Peace Conference Gathering

Group: Global Baptist Peace Conference 

Location: Colombia
Gavel category: Gathering

This project will assist in providing scholarships for those interesting in attending the Global Baptist Peace Conference in Colombia in 2017.

Annual Jitokeze Friendship and Learning Tour for 2016

Group: Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika
Location: Kenya
Gavel category: Gathering

This project will bring together Jitokeze staff and representatives from Friends of Jitokeze Chapters to spend time engaging in mutual sharing, dialogue, and education about the group’s focus on globally sustainable lifestyles, justice, and peace.

Widows Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Conference

Group: Kingdom of Peace and Development (KOPAD)
Location: Kenya
Gavel category: Mobilization

Boaz Keibarak and KOPAD have been holding Conflict Transformation trainings amongst members of the warring Pokot and Turkana tribes of Kenya. However, the women of these tribes (despite experiencing trauma over losing husbands and sons and being victims of this continuous conflict) are often silenced. This project will bring together the Pokot and Turkana women for a conference focused on forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing.

Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers for Children Living in the Streets

Group: PAP-NET
Location: Zambia
Gavel category: Equipping

The city of Lusaka in Zambia has many homeless children. These are mainly AIDS orphans or victims of parental divorce. Thanks to an organization called the Children in Need Network Zambia, these children are being provided with an education, care, and psychological/social support. However, once done with school, the children typically end up back on the streets. This project will conduct four separate Conflict Transformation trainings with groups of 30 youth each between the ages of 18-25. The youth will be equipped to train other youth in these skills and to empower other homeless youth with the result of reversing cycles and outcomes.

Música y arte litúrgico en red

Group: Red Crearte
Location: Argentina
Gavel category: Equipping/Encuentro

This project will create worship resources and music from an ecumenical and Latin American perspective in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Proyecto de creación de recursos litúrgicos y musicales: 500 años Reforma protestante Desde una perspectiva latinoamericana Creación de recursos litúrgicos y musicales para acompañar la celebración de los 500 años de la Reforma protestante desde una perspectiva ecuménica y latinoamericana.

Academia de Formación Espiritual

Group: Academia de Formación Espiritual
Location: Puerto Rico
Gavel category: Equipping/Encuentro

The Academy for Spiritual Formation is an ecumenical program for anyone who would like a deeper relationship with God. The program aims to nourish and strengthen the body, mind and spirit. In 2016 the program theme will focus on Spirituality of Hope in the Midst of Crisis. Money received from the Gavel Fund will go toward scholarships for those wishing to participate in this program.

[email protected] de Mariposas Visitation Program: Recruitment and Volunteer Trainings

Group: BorderLinks
Location: Arizona USA
Gavel category: Equipping

In partnership with Miriposas Sin Fronteras, this project will recruit and train a group of volunteers to be in relationship with and visit migrants in Arizona detention centers. The goal is to help end the isolation and abuse of migrants in detention through empathy, human rights witnessing, monitoring, storytelling, education, and advocacy.

Eco-theological Initiative of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico  

Group: Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico
Location: Puerto Rico
Gavel category: Gathering

This project will raise awareness (specifically amongst church staff, members, and seminary students) about environmental responsibility with specific ideas on how it is integrated into our spiritual and holistic health.

Visitas para la formacion en la paz con justicia en una iglesia de Chiapas, Mexico

Group: Iglesia Bautista Jerusalén
Location: Mexico
Gavel category: Gathering

This project will work to train a group of indigenous leaders with the intention of leading workshops, lectures, and roundtables to awaken various groups and communities to the needs and realities of the indigenous people and to work together to achieve peace.

Iglesias por la Paz - Acompañamiento pastoral a víctimas de violencia en México a familiares de desaparecidos y/o asesinados

Group: Iglesias por la Paz
Location: Mexico
Gavel category: Equipping

This project will equip indigenous leaders (both men and women) with the training and tools to promote a culture of peace within their communities with the ultimate goals of gaining freedom, respect, and justice. These indigenous leaders will promote love, service to others, respect, tolerance, and inclusivity to propel change within their communities.

Peace & Reconciliation Project for Sierra Leonean Immigrants

Group: Together in Christ
Location: Charlotte, NC
Gavel category: Mobilizing

This project will help to create a church community for the hundreds of refugees from Sierra Leon in Charlotte. Ultimately, this will bring peace and reconciliation to many experiencing trauma and create an atmosphere of brotherly and sisterly love.

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