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May 11, 2012 | bpfna
Allison Paksoy, information manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baptist Peace Fellowship’s board of directors approve funding for projects in Sudan, the Philippines and Latin America
May 5, 2012 - Charlotte, N.C. – The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America’s (BPFNA) board of directors approved funding for Conflict Transformation trainings in Sudan/South Sudan and the Philippines, as well as funding to assist with the creation of a Baptist Peace Fellowship of Latin America and the Caribbean. Funding for the Conflict Transformation projects will come from the Gavel Memorial World Peace Fund, a fund earmarked for conflict transformation trainings across the globe. Partial funding for the new Baptist Peace Fellowship will also come from the Gavel funds, with the rest to be determined.
Conflict Transformation Training
Approved by the BPFNA’s World Peace Networks (WPN) committee, the Conflict Transformation sessions will teach ways in which people respond to conflict as well as skills for dealing with conflict effectively.
“Conflict Transformation trainings are a major part of the BPFNA mission,” said Operations Coordinator Evelyn Hanneman. “Helping people understand that conflict offers an opportunity for growth and to discover their conflict styles, and then to teach them ways to deal with conflict does more than offer a temporary solution; it gets to the root of the problem. For example, following a training in Kenya for young refugees from Sudan, one participant shared that he had intended to kill someone who had dishonored his family. Now he was going to talk with that person and find a peaceful resolution.”
South Sudan: The BPFNA has a long-standing commitment to Conflict Transformation training in this region. This has enabled us to build strong and trustworthy relationships among people and groups in the area, as well as create a community of trainers who are dedicated to creating peace in this climate of conflict. The continued funding will assist in strengthening these bonds, and further the BPFNA’s mission of peacemaking.
The Philippines: The BPFNA was instrumental in creating the Asia Pacific Baptist Peace Network in 1996 and has continued to dedicate much work to this region, such as in Nagaland, Thailand and Burma. The approved funding will go toward Conflict Transformation trainings in the Philippines, as the country is currently in the midst of a civil war.
Baptist Peace Fellowship of Latin America and the Caribbean
The Local Peace Networks (LPN) committee approved funding to assist with the founding of a Baptist Peace Fellowship of Latin America and the Caribbean, a proposal from former BPFNA board member, Edgar Palacios. The creation of this Fellowship would draw together peace-focused Latin American and Caribbean churches to support one another to effectively understand and respond to the challenges of peace in every country in the region. Further funding will be needed for this project – please let us know if you or your church would be interested in becoming a part of the birth of this initiative for peace.
“The significance of peacemakers gathering in regional groups cannot be overemphasized,” stated BPFNA Program Coordinator LeDayne McLeese Polaski. “Such meetings provide opportunities for networking, training, theological formation, resource sharing, empowerment, and the all-important building of relationships. Those who assemble assist one another to address issues (conflicts, violence, injustice, human rights, ecumenical and interfaith relationships) more effectively within their immediate contexts. This work is absolutely crucial in building a culture of peace.”
The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America works toward gathering, equipping and mobilizing Baptists to build a culture of peace rooted in justice. The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America celebrates and supports the peacemaking work done by Baptist churches in Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico by raising the visibility of these efforts through our publications and web site, by bringing peacemakers together in regional and international gatherings, and by providing resources, including printed and audio-visual resources, speakers and training. The BPFNA also actively connects with peacemakers from other traditions, faith-based and secular, to build alliances and work together toward our common goal of a more just and peaceful world.