In the Netherlands, PAX works on a peaceful and inclusive society, along with involved citizens. PAX understands that true social change is only possible when people promote and support it. The network of local peace groups, the PAX Embassies for Peace, work to obtain peace and connection in Dutch society.
Embassies for Peace mostly consist out of volunteers, stemming from a church-based or other philosophical background and other social organisations or initiatives. The highlight of the work done by the Embassies for Peace is during the annual Peace Week in September, but many of them also organise activities throughout the year.
Embassies for Peace often anticipate and respond to what’s happening in their town or city. They also get the local politicians, the Council of Churches or interreligious platforms, schools and other local institutions involved. The activities may take the form of church services or interreligious celebrations, or lectures by one of the PAX speakers, a politician or scientist. Social activities are in place, aimed at enhancing the mutual understanding and acceptance of people with a different background, like meals shared with residents of asylum seekers’ centres, and peace painting with refugees from Vluchtelingenwerk. They also organise cultural activities like film showings, theatre, or live music.
Through these activities, PAX and the Embassies for Peace focus on strengthening the good relationships between people from different backgrounds, and on making the bottlenecks that people view as a threat to harmonious co-existence open for discussion.
PAX offers the Embassies for Peace various forms of support: training, inspiration, action perspectives relating to an annual theme, guest speakers (PAX employees with a specific set of expertise), promotional materials and advice.
More at www.vredesweek.nl/ambassades (in Dutch).