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Passion, commitment, endless energy - these are some of the words that best describe Kai Brand-Jacobsen and I am glad that PATRIR was nominated for this prize. You well deserve it!
Congratulations to the entire team. You are truly an example for others.
Ana Dima, UNDP Romania
MESSAGE FROM Frode Restad,
Mediator and Former Director of the Norwegian Peace Council
I have known PATRIR and their dedicated staff since 2003, both as a participant in courses and trainings and as a colleague on projects. My impression has always been that PATRIR is a point of reference for the development and implementation of nonviolent methods and ideology in Europe. I have personally benefitted tremendously from the demanding standards set by their staff, and from the openness and kindness with which PATRIR engages with other actors in the field. Constantly seeking to advance the ideas of peacebuilding and nonviolent conflict transformation, and constantly sharing and promoting best practices and ideas for the betterment of all mankind. I am convinced that PATRIR is well deserving of this prize and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Former Director of the Norwegian Peace Council
MESSAGE FROM Paulin Regnard
Former UNMIS Civil Affairs Officer
I strongly hope PATRIR is going to win this well-deserved prize. As a former trainee (may 2009) I feel that I can testify to PATRIR's professionalism and hospitality. My best wishes to Kai and his great team!
It has been a great honor for me to be a part of PATRIR for the past five months. I am a volunteer at PATRIR, involved in a great project, Palying a Leading Role. It has a great team, who are dedicated for their work.
I fully spport PATRIR's nomination for the Peace Prize.
For Consideration by the International Awards Committee
PATRIR was established on March 8th 2001. The date was chosen specifically to honour and celebrate International Women’s Day and to ensure from the beginning the Institute’s strong commitment to core values and principles, including the key role of women as Peacebuilders and the need to overcome all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. From the start, PATRIR was a voluntary initiative – built from citizens and community-members making the choice to become actively engaged to address issues in our community, nationally and internationally. Even to this day – after 10 years – PATRIR is fundamentally based on this choice: and upon people working together to find practical, creative and effective ways to address the challenges facing us.
Because of the scale of our international engagement it is often easy to forget that PATRIR is a small, locally rooted community-based organisation. As the Romanian Peace Institute we are mandated to work in Romania to address conflicts in Romania and to help build infrastructure and capabilities for peace and conflict transformation locally and nationally. When working abroad, we do so only at the invitation of our partners – be they governments, local communities, civil society organisations, UN Agencies, or other national and international organisations. Our aim here is to assist in strengthening effective capabilities for peace, to support the development of locally- and nationally-owned peace processes which meet the needs and respect the dignity of all actors and parties involved, and to build standing, sustainable infrastructure for peacebuilding and violence prevention. We are motivated in this by Gandhi’s statement and the belief that ‘peace is best built by local people in their own communities.’ The same way we have invested for decades and centuries in the development of medical capabilities, military capabilities, and capabilities in almost every other field of human activity, PATRIR – together with many others around the world – works to do the same with our capacities to address conflicts effectively through peaceful means.
In doing this, we are part of a global field. For all of us at PATRIR, this is one of our greatest inspirations. Today, peacebuilding is not the result or domain of any single individual or organisation. Instead, important contributions are being made by an incredibly broad and diverse array of actors, from concerned citizens to governments, local initiatives to international organisations, artists, students, researchers, journalists, veterans, community and religious leaders, decision-makers, women and men, youth and elders, and people of all cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds – motivated by a common dedication: to alleviate and prevent the harm and suffering caused by violence, to enable and assist communities to address conflicts healthily and constructively, and to improve well-being. Everyone at PATRIR draws inspiration from this legacy and shared contribution, and works every day – with integrity, honesty and commitment – to make this visible and support this work further.
On our 10th Anniversary Year, all of us at PATRIR wish to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary achievements and contributions being made by the tens and tens of thousands of people involved in peacebuilding, peacekeeping, peacemaking and prevention world-wide. While the challenges facing us in this work are significant, it is important also to recognize what has been achieved, and to make visible positive developments and what can be done by each and all of us to improve the quality, impact and effectiveness of peacebuilding.
We also feel it is important to recognize the contributions being made by each of this year’s nominees and finalists for the World Vision Peace Prize. All of these organisations work in their own ways to help build peace, transform conflicts, and work for a better world. All of them provide inspiration to people in their communities and internationally. Being nominated together with them is an honour. As PATRIR, we would like to celebrate and thank the staff, volunteers, supporters, members and partners of each of these organisations, and hope we will have the opportunity to work together with you in our common efforts.
We would also like to thank World Vision globally for their work to make the efforts of local Peacebuilders and peace organisations more visible, and to express our deep thanks to World Vision Romania: you have been a wonderful partner of PATRIR for years, and remain so to this day. We see the contributions you are making in Romania and internationally, and we are honoured to work together with you. Thank you for having nominated PATRIR for this year’s World Vision International Peace Prize. This recognition of the work of the Institute and of all of those who have been involved in it from the beginning has meant a lot to us, and we are deeply appreciative.
As one of the original founders of PATRIR and in my final year as President of PATRIR – though I hope to remain as a staff and colleague for many years to come! – I have had the opportunity to witness, take part in, and reflect upon the journey of PATRIR from its founding to today. Many people have been part of this. People from all across Romania, and all around the world. Today, as in all points in PATRIR’s journey, the core work of the Institute is carried out by an exceptionally young team. Our core staff in Cluj-Kolozsvar-Klausenburg are almost always in their early 20s to mid- to late- 30s, with many younger volunteers and interns from university and schools as well! They work daily, often learning as we go, because they – we – are motivated by the knowledge that we can make a difference, and that it is up to us to do so. We work in peacebuilding, not just out of a sense of ‘responsibility’ but out of a passionate dedication and joy: out of a love for what is beautiful in the world, out of breathtaking wonder at the richness and diversity of our cultures and peoples, and from the motivation to help build peace which makes a difference in each person’s life. We work with international organisations to local communities, with governments to armed opposition movements. We work with children in schools to child soldiers around the world. We work, live, celebrate, discover, struggle, wrestle, make mistakes, and try to learn from them, because we know that peace is possible, that there are more effective ways of addressing conflicts, and that violence must end. To all of my colleagues, to all of my friends, today and throughout the years at PATRIR – thank you, for all that you have done, and all that you are doing.
It is an honour to be a part of this team. It’s an honour to be a part of this field. I believe PATRIR’s dedication, integrity, joy, and constant work for the past 10 years make it well-deserving of this wonderful peace prize.
With appreciation and sincere thanks.
Dear PATRIR team,
As representative of World Vision Romania and as supporter, collaborator and long time friend of the PATRIR team, I would like to thank you and celebrate you for the wonderful work that you are doing.
You give hope, inspiration and motivation to people worldwide. And most of all, you fight for what many of us just dream of: a better world, a beautiful world, a peaceful world!
Wishing you all the best of luck!
International Programs Manager
World Vision Romania