4u2 - For you too - Roland Brunner

CPS in Germany - We are proceeding!

(Quarterly Report by October 17, 2001)

It is high time to give an impression on how the Ziviler Friedensdienst/Civil Peace Service is developing in Germany.

Some facts for newcomers to our network – and to remind the older participants.

In 1999 the German government has set up a programm Civil Peace Services as part of development work under the roof of the respective Ministry. The forumZFD/CPS as an umbrella organisation of groups and initiatives, who are interested  in active conflict transformation, is one of eight partners carrying out the program. All of these are  engaged in training volunteers and sending them out into areas of conflict and  tension in different regions of the world..

Meanwhile up to 90 “ peace professionals” have been prepared for their  service in a 4months training program.. 18 of them have been sent out by the forumZFD into the Balkans and to Palestine. Other participants of the governmental CPS/ZFD program send their personnel in to other regions of the world. They are working there mainly in  international teams for 2 years which means that some of them will finish their term during the next months and will mostly be replaced by new peace workers.

Let me additionally to that try to give you an impression about the different fields in which the forumZFD is engaged.

·         In the field of training we are (together with four other partners) responsible for the 4-months course including the search for training staff, recruiting volunteers, administration, setting up the program and caring for the financing. (The course is  to  about 90% financed by public money – but we have to do the statement of expenses and the cashing up)

·         The priority of our work lies in the field work itself. In narrow connection with people in the area of possible service we work out the frame of a project and the conditions of working there. We then try to get the funding out of the governmental CPS program. In cooperation with partner-organisations we select the volunteers and care for their maintainance including their physical and psychological welfare. We actively accompany them in their difficult task and provide supervision and team coaching including exchange of experiences between the volunteers in a certain region.

·         Our member organisations look at us as  a lobby-organisation trying to improve general understanding of civil society for the idee of non-violent conflict transformation und to get the support of the government and other people in power. We therefore are in rather regular contact with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and that for Development Work and many other  officials. We offer CPS/ZFD as a new instrument for civilian conflict resolution and give our support to all proposals strenghthening other civilian means and methods.  This also means to give clear evidence and protest against the use of military power in cases of conflict including the Kosovo war and  the latest military reactions following the terrible terror attacks in the US. 

·         The CPS/ZFD being a rather new program for all actors involved we have to be very busy to improve its  conditions and ensure the effectiveness of our work. We therefore have to keep good contact to all our partners in the field and at home including the officials. During last weeks we have started with working out the profile of the CPS/ZFD as a special sort of service and to find out  “Terms of Reference” for evaluation.

·         To get the new approach to conflict resolution better known to the public and to widen our field of influence we try to do more inspiring public relations work. Making use of quite an amount of money from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs we are producing an exhibition in a modern style i.e. with elements inviting visitors for activities to learn about the CPS/ZFD. Besides of this we are busy in updating our printed material decribing our political idea and the practical work.

·         All of you will know how important it is to build up contacts to members and supporters of your organisation and to keep them informed so that they will go on working for the same goals and giving their money. We just now are preparing for our yearly Membership Gathering with a special highlight, an “open-door-evening” with the theme “When hatred increases more and more,,,”. We have invited two representatives of the Israel and the Palestine peace movement. Together with our peace professional working in Jerusalem we will discuss the question, if also in such hot phases of conflict as it is going on in the Near East our grassroot oriented peace work seems to be helpful.

·         But all this work could not be done if we would not  have the money! So funding is our key ressort especially as we had a big lack in our accounts at the end of last year. This gap could not totally be closed during last months but we hope to come up with minimising it to a justifyable sum with the support of our new staff. 

You will understand that all this is a tremendous lot of work for some 7 people in the board with only two full time fellow-workers in the office. But there is some good news to conclude with: The vacancy in the office (due to the end of duty of the General Secretary and too other staff members) has come to an end. We have found some very abled employees and a new General Secretary as well.  We now are  confident, that we will be able to fill the gaps that have been bad for us to accept – and to develop a more healthy and firm financial base.



4your questions and contacts: rbr(at)4u2.ch