PAX works on peace in the Netherlands too. Together with local organisations and passionate volunteers, PAX works on obtaining an inclusive society, and a society based on solidarity. Also, we get Dutch citizens involved in our international work in conflict areas, via campaigns
In recent years, Dutch society has become more polarised: the division between groups has become more prevalent. PAX believes it is important to work on a peaceful and inclusive society, in the Netherlands as well, along with involved citizens and partners. The knowledge that PAX acquires and applies in other parts of the world also holds significant added value for the Netherlands. For example, about the way conflicts evolve and how to help limit tension in society. But also, for instance, about how citizens can join forces and raise political awareness to work on social change in a constructive and non-violent way.
PAX's targets for its work in the Netherlands are:
1. Strengthen the solidarity between citizens with different cultural and religious backgrounds.
2. Uncover and point out exclusion mechanisms in the Netherlands which could form a breeding ground for dissatisfaction, division and conflict. This should, eventually, help limit the problem.
For this, PAX works with involved citizens who have organised themselves into Embassies for Peace or as a Walk of Peace group. We also have the 'Story of a Refugee' project, which gives faces to the refugees from Syria and contributes to a mutual understanding between Syrian and Dutch youth.
Campaigns in the Netherlands
PAX does national and international lobbying to tackle the causes of violent conflicts and injustice and to start the process of permanent change. By taking part in our campaigns, Dutch citizens can apply pressure and exercise influence on politics and trade and industry, and show solidarity with the peace activism in conflict situations. This way, everyone can contribute to the protection of civilians and the ambitions for peace and justice in conflict situations.
Since 1966, PAX has been organising the national Peace Week [link vredesweek.nl] each year, which links up with the International Day of Peace on 21 September. During the Peace Week, citizens, philosophical organisations and socio-cultural organisations organise hundreds of activities throughout the country, and tens of thousands of people take part. Through our work, we get people moving for peace, and we invite them to take part in the movement for an inclusive, peaceful society. The message: everyone can contribute to peace.