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Now is the time for the best in us


Dear Partners in Peacebuilding,

 

As we all know, we are now experiencing an unprecedented time filled with uncertainty as COVID-19 is rapidly spreading. Our highly interconnected world is being impacted as never before, challenging us to work together, beyond borders and our many differences, to find solutions to this health crisis. This global pandemic requires a global solution.

 
Times of crisis can seriously threaten our well-being and disrupt our everyday lives, but also call forth the innate qualities of character and creativity within our human family. I am sure we all recall natural disasters and other calamities in which ordinary people made heroic efforts with extraordinary compassion to help those in need. In such times, the best in us is evident when we face new challenges and work together, united as a human family, to forge innovative solutions. The most important resource available to us is the collective power of the human spirit; we should tap into that resource now on every level of human endeavor.
 
This pandemic poses unique challenges for us, for while we must join together in common cause, we must do so separately—with social distancing, tele-work, and home quarantines. Fortunately, we have amazing tools available to stay in touch as we keep physically apart. Already many extended families, social groups, businesses, faith communities, etc. are taking advantage of various communications platforms in new and unique ways to keep connected and help each other.
 
Government action alone cannot end the pandemic or resolve its reverberating impacts. Business and the private sector, civil society organizations, faith communities, and all of us have important contributions to make. In addition to taking all the recommended measures to keep our families and communities safe, we can all look for ways large and small to help others in this time of difficulty.
 
At Global Peace Foundation, we understand “peacebuilding” in a very broad way. It includes all efforts to reduce conflict and its causes, and to strengthen social cohesion. All of us can be “peacebuilders” every day—reducing stress, solving problems, building trust, and serving others in our communities, neighborhoods and households. 
 
As we take the necessary steps to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus outbreak, let us also seek creative ways to amplify our circles of compassion and service to others. There are many ways to do so: reach out to a neighbor who you know may need support; donate to programs providing aid to vulnerable families; find ways to encourage and support our emergency workers and caregivers who have been working long shifts during this pandemic. If your children are home from school closures, find ways to serve as a family. For example, children could make greeting cards for the elderly in the neighborhood who might not use computers regularly. Small gestures can be quite meaningful when people are isolated.
 
As seen worldwide, GPF has postponed all planned events and forums over the next several months. We will continually monitor the situation for subsequent programs, and will also remain available to support and inspire the important peacebuilding work that is happening in each of our local chapters. We are working hard to take full advantage of our online platforms to continue to strengthen our connections with each of you even during this time of physical distance. Many of our in-person meetings will be moved online, and we are collecting our online resources so you can take full advantage of the stimulating, capacity building programs that we have.
 
On behalf of our Global Peace Foundation team, best wishes to you and all our global family for health, safety and well-being.
 
Sincerely,
 
James Flynn
International President
Global Peace Foundation