Dedicated to helping others
Tiffany is the Country Director for Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) in South Sudan and has grown the organization from one small field office to a number of offices across five states. With support from UNICEF and UNHCR, the program reaches out to children affected by armed conflict, women affected by gender-based violence, refugees and internally displaced people fleeing renewed fighting, as well as to those fleeing violence related to the Lord’s Resistance Army in the border areas.
“Every day I have the honour of working with incredibly committed and courageous people from all over the world,” says Tiffany. “Working together, we can help civilians affected by violent conflict.”
New approach to unarmed civilian peacekeeping
NP’s approach to unarmed civilian peacekeeping relies on dialogue with the armed actors themselves, to help them behave in ways that will reduce violence and protect civilians. This approach depends on building relationships of mutual trust and understanding that preclude the kinds of ‘naming and shaming’ that other forms of civilian peacekeeping may have used in the past.
Tiffany has also run field projects for NP in Sri Lanka and for Peace Brigades International in Indonesia.
Randy Janzen, Peace Studies faculty at Selkirk College, has recently spearheaded an international collaboration on applied research for unarmed civilian peacekeeping. Recent studies have attested to the benefits of utilizing specially trained peacekeepers whose influence does not come from weapons or the threat of violence, but rather from moral persuasion, relationship building and nonviolent conflict resolution. “The key difference in civilian peacekeeping is its ability to break the cycle of violence and allow democratic participation in disputes, rather than relying on military solutions,” says Janzen.
The concept of unarmed civilian peacekeeping is relatively new, so many are unfamiliar with it. The Mir Centre recently initiated a nation-wide survey to determine Canadian opinions on the topic, as policy change typically relies on the backing of popular support. Janzen will be presenting the study results at the annual Peace and Justice Studies Association conference in Waterloo, Ontario in October.
Tiffany’s lecture will be held at the Mir Centre for Peace, at Selkirk’s Castlegar Campus on Saturday, September 21, at 7:00 pm.
Tickets will be available at the door. The cost is $16 for adults, $13 for students and seniors.