Friday, April 8, 2016

Empower Women and Girls Globally


1.    make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

synonyms: authorize, entitle, permit, allow, license, sanction, warrant, commission, delegate
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On the final day of this year's Commission on the Status of Women, I chose to sit in on a session entitled "Empower Women and Girls Globally." From the title itself, there was little to predict in terms of sub-focalizations, however I can honestly say that it may have been one of the more meaningful presentations I attended.

Unfortunately, with a bus to catch back to campus, I was unable to stay for the entirety of the session, but what I was able to witness has left a lasting impression.

Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence

Although locally-based, the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence representative raised her voice on behalf of all those affected by acts of gender violence. Between 2001 and 2012, New York City alone reported 864 domestic violence homicides of which 4 out of 5 victims were women. Other forms of abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional or financial in nature largely go unreported. Statistics like this should render us speechless, but in this and many regions of the world, desensitization is far too common. What was previously infuriating has become the norm, and this must stop.

But how?

While the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence frequently finds themselves at the front line of gender violence responders, they and some of the other NGOs leading the session are heavily involved in advocacy campaigns designed to empower women and girls at all walks of life. Here are a few key take-aways:

  • It is never too early to teach a girl that she, as a person, holds intrinsic value.
  • It is never too late to teach a woman that she, as a person, is capable of great feats regardless of the challenges she has faced and others that have torn her down. 
  • To be feminist is to support other women; time spend devaluing another person is time wasted.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

From the Eyes of a Youth Representative

What is a youth representative?

Nine years ago, Lehigh University established the world’s first United Nations NGO Youth Representative program. In this capacity, students are able to serve as the voice of NGOs at the United Nations with a particular emphasis on those that are unable to procure consistent representation otherwise. The benefit is mutual, allowing students the opportunity to engage in meaningful work outside of the classroom and ensuring that NGOs, both large and small, have the ability to actively participate in United Nations functions. This model has since been adopted by the UN’s Department of Public Information, resulting in an overall increase in youth participation in the UN NGO community.

What do we do?

                As a youth representative, it is our mission to understand and act upon the mission of our organization. From attending briefings and conferences to assisting in long-term strategic planning, we keep ourselves incredibly busy, and this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was no exception.
                For the first time ever, two youth panels, both organized by Lehigh University youth representatives, were selected to give presentations on the last day of the CSW. Of course, we were thrilled and honored for this opportunity, but what is even more exciting is the thought that this could potentially set a precedent for youth participation at future conferences and UN functions.

What did we learn?

                Without getting into the nitty-gritty details of the presentations themselves, I thought it might perhaps be more valuable to share the end result of this opportunity. In observing my fellow classmates present on behalf of their NGOs, my eyes were opened to both the challenges and benefits of serving as a youth representatives. To keep it simple, consider the following Lessons Learned:

·         Flexible identities: When speaking on behalf of your NGO, you must be ready and willing to commit to that identity. While you may also be a Lehigh University student, your composure and professionalism reflect directly upon the organization you represent.

·         Honesty: However, at the end of the day, we are, first and foremost, students. We are neither founders nor full-time staff members of our NGO, so if a tough question is sent in our direction, it is perfectly okay (and expected!) that we reply with honesty: “I’m not sure I know the answer to your question, but I can find out for you. After the session, we can exchange cards.”

·         Responsibility: If possible, we should make the effort to connect with our NGOs in-person. Whether that is applying for grant funding to observe on-the-ground initiatives or availing ourselves to the availability of our NGO founders and staff members when they do have the means to visit UN Headquarters in NYC, it is our responsibility to strive for first-hand, direct interactions.

How may I obtain a Youth Representative?

                For more information about Lehigh University’s Youth Representative program or to express interest in engaging Lehigh students at the United Nations on your NGO’s behalf, please contact the Director of the Lehigh-United Nations Partnership, Dr. Bill Hunter (
Lehigh Home 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Experience the CSW with me!

To mix it up, I decided to create a vlog (video + blog) showcasing the Lehigh's presence during the last day of the CSW- enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Dialogue of Empowered Disabled Women: impairment does not make us disabled but rather the accessibility of society

Of the many CSW sessions I observed, I found the Dialogue of Survivors in a Disabling Environment powerful, disturbing, yet inspiring. The panel was moderated by Eleanor Lisney, a founding member of the Sisters of Frida. The Sisters of Frida is an experimental collaborative group that allows disabled women a space to share experiences, provide mutual support, and foster relationships with different networks.

Speakers at this panel included Alexia Manombe-Ncube, the Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs in the office of Vice President, Namibia. She described the obstacles of growing up with disabilities in a village in rural Namibia where she was never taken seriously, viewed as an object to be swept aside because of her limitations, and how she personally experience intense gender-specific turmoil at an early age. Another speaker, who was extremely passionate, was Lucia Bellini. Lucia is an advocate for disabled women and domestic violence. She believes that disabled women deserve the right to make choices and that societally constructed limitation toward disabled women internalize a negative view of each individual which oppress disabled women both physically and emotionally. The third speaker was Suzannah Phillips, a legal advisor to Women Enabled International. She passionately stated that the rights of persons with disabilities is a human right and that the UN must promote policies that reflect these specific need. Also, that the UN must provide accessible information to women with disabilities avoiding complex jargon because it further limits their individual circumstances. Lastly, Michelle Baharier, the final speaker, founded a disabled lead arts organisation that promotes a different perspective of disabled women within mainstream society. Being a disabled activist artist, she discussed the victimization of disabled women in psychiatric wards and how forced medication can cause long-lasting emotional and physical abuse.

A few of the main points touched on during the panel discussion had to do with identity and empowerment. For example, Michelle professed the need for women to accept their disabilities and work together to support one another. Lucia Bellini explained how disabled women still see themselves as sexual beings. As a result, they oftentimes fall victim to sexual violence because they rely so much on their partners because they view themselves as unworthy of finding someone else. Another notion of identity discussed had to do with intersectionality. Eleanor, in response to a question asked by an audience member, described the concept of intersectionality and how overlapping identities can cause gender/racial-specific obstacles. These tragic yet empowering stories described by these women left a lasting impression on my overall experience of CSW and my perspective of women empowerment as a whole.    

Monday, March 28, 2016

Les enfants de la rue ont une famille.

 La question des enfants de la rue n’est pas un phénomène nouveau particulièrement en Afrique. Cette question a fait l’objet de nombreuse discussions de la par des hommes politiques et des intellectuels africains sans véritablement avoir un impact sur le terrain. Est-ce a cause de la définition qui est associée a ce phénomène (voire UNESCO) ? Est-ce due au manque d’engagement des acteurs politiques et sociaux ? Pour l’organisation Save the Child Initiative Nigeria et selon ses représentants : « les enfants dit de la rue ont une famille, et il est de notre responsabilité entant qu’adultes d’assurer a chacun de ses enfants la possibilité de s’épanouir dans leur environnement familiale. »
La 60e session de la Commission de la Condition de la Femme, a été le lieu de rappeler aux pays africains et la communauté internationale l’impérative qui est celle de la protection de l’enfance. En  partenariat avec des associations de femmes, des ONG pour la protection de l’enfance et le gouvernement. Save the Child Initiative Nigeria a inscrit sa stratégie sous le model économique de la sous-région. En effet, pour circonscrire le problème des enfants dit de la rue et facilite le retour de ces derniers dans leur famille respective. Elle a établie des connections dans l’ensemble de 15 Etats constituant la Communauté Economique Des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO).
La présentation faite par l’organisation Save the Child Initiative Nigeria a montrée qu’une action collective était nécessaire et que les bénéfices de ces actions sont non seulement visibles, mais souhaitables dans la mesure où elles bénéficient à l’enfant, la famille et a l’Etat. Plus de 500 enfants durant la période 2014-2015 ont été réuni avec leurs parents. Un suivit psychologique est donné a l’enfant et aux parents, de même que réinsertion dans le système scolaire. Pour les plus âgés, des formations sont offertes pour faciliter leur intégration dans le marché du travail.
Il est certes vrai que beaucoup reste a faire, et les obstacles tel que la langue (la CEDEAO regroupe des pays dont langue administrative est celui hérité de la colonisation) et les guerres inter-ethniques ne facilitent pas les actions qui sont faites a l’endroit des enfants. Mais une pareille initiative a le mérite de prévenir l’ébranlement des familles. Pour cela, il est important que chacun s’investisse. Les enfants dit de la rue ont une famille, si l’un d’eux était le votre souhaiteriez-vous le (la) revoir ?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Femmes de réconfort : Une approche historique conflictuelle.

C’est dans un ambiance plutôt tendue que la fort délégation japonaise composée de représentants d’associations de femmes, d’intellectuels et d’amis du japon que s’est ouverte la session portant sur la problématique des « Femmes de réconfort ou Comfort Women». Un problème exploitation des femmes coréennes a des fins sexuelles durant la deuxième guerre mondiale par l’armée japonaise qui oppose aujourd'hui la Corée du sud au Japon.

Tour a tour, les orateurs, ont exprimé leur vive condamnation devant ce qu’ils désignent comme étant « une campagne internationale de diffamation » qui porterait atteinte a la femme, l’armée et a la nation japonaise toute entière. Parmi les exemples cités, on peut noter la résolution passée par le parlement canadien en 2007 contre l’armée japonaise en relation avec l’esclave sexuelle. L’introduction en 2013, dans certains manuels scolaire au Canada des actes de violence commis par l’armée japonaise. Enfin, la construction par des militants activistes à Séoul, au Canada et aux Etats-Unis de monuments a l’honneur des femmes coréennes victimes de la guerre contre le japon.

Si le japon a depuis exprimé ses regrets par l’intermédiaire de son Premier Ministre Mr Shinzo Abe pour les faits occasionnés a la Corée durant la guerre et payée la somme de 8.3 million de dollars de réparations. Et que les deux parties ont convenu de ne pas critiquer les uns les autres sur cette question dans la communauté internationale. Qu’est-ce qui peut bien justifier cette attaque contre le japon? 

Comme certains intervenants l’on si bien rappelé, le japon n’est pas le seul pays qui en temps de guerre comme en temps de paix s’est vue commettre des actes répréhensibles sur les femmes et les enfants. Récemment, des témoignages de violes contre des mineures (filles et garçons) en Centre Afrique ont été portés à l’attention du publique. Ses actes ont été commis par certains casques bleus des Nations-Unies, ceux-là même qui ont pour mission d’assurer la paix. Pourquoi ne sont-ils pas persécutés soit par les Nations-Unies soit par leur pays respectifs ou simplement par le pays dans lequel ses actions ont eu lieu ? Mais comme De Louis Dumur disait, je cite : « Une injustice dont nous profitons s'appelle la chance ; une injustice dont un autre profite s'appelle un scandale. » 

        Pour en savoir plus sur l’origine de la controverse vous pouvez visiter les liens ci-dessous:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Edutainment Change Agent in Mozambique

Where does a media push fit in to educate and move people's opinions on domestic violence? According to the moderators at "Beyond Struggles and Inequalities: The Resistances and Alternatives of Women and Girls", it belongs in Mozambique as part of an overall effort to eradicate domestic violence against women through policy and personal change. N'weti, a Mozambican non-for-profit, launched a multimedia edutainment campaign entitled "Say NO to Domestic Violence" and shared their efforts at the 2016 Commission on the Status of Women.

Prior to 2009, domestic violence in Mozambique was not an actual crime, and by many measures, was an acceptable form of marital interaction. Through a concerted effort to sway public and government opinion on the subject, Law 29/2009 was officially put on the books and not only is domestic violence now a crime, but the state was made responsible for protecting women and holding perpetrators accountable.

Though the law has now been on the books for seven years, it had been an ongoing struggle to keep the thought of passing such a relevant issue. The challenge to lawmakers has been advocated for since about 1993, and N'weti's media run including television, radio, public debates and online outreach was instrumental in creating an understanding of how the tradition and potential law against it was viewed.

As part of a larger overall strategy for women's rights which included gender economics, violence, political representation/participation, and reproductive empowerment, N'weti brought the issue to the forefront and challenged assumptions based on narratives from many past generations. Though there are remaining obstacles to overcome, the efforts in this case support the strength of large-scale multimedia outreach as a tool to change the path of women's and human rights.

Disabled Women versus Women with Disabilities - is there a difference?

Yes, there is a difference. The panelists from A Dialogue: Survivors in a Disabling Environment: What Does Empowerment of Disabled Women Mean Globally?, which was sponsored by Sisters of Frida CIC, National Alliance of Women Organizations (NAWO), and Women Enabled International Inc, clarified for for all of us listening. 

We are not disabled by our impairments, rather, we are disabled by our societies, due to exclusion and lack of accessibility provided by them. The difference between “disabled women” and “women with disabilities” is stark in light of this. 

The societal barriers to disabled women are many. From childhood, it is largely taught that having a disability is negative, a lifelong limitation. With this mindset, many disabled women enter adulthood with a negative view of themselves, which can lead to abusive and violent relationships that are difficult to break away from. Concerning mental disabilities, many women in psychiatric institutions are not afforded basic rights when it comes to medication, as complete compliance is required. Those who request a change to medication are often labelled as angry, and in turn their medication is increased, leaving them powerless. 

How can societies empower disabled women? The panelists described that independent living is a strong form of empowerment. This does not necessarily mean living alone in literal terms, rather independent living is having the power and control to do things in life that you prefer. There are policies in place, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which serve to support and protect disabled people at the policy level. In order to make these policies accessible, organizations such as Women Enabled International Inc work to translate these policies to local governments and civil society in order to uphold them. Another panelist described that peer services at the local level, which are led by disabled women who serve disabled women, are important for support and local empowerment. Sisters of Frida CIC is an organization which aims to create networks of disabled women to share experiences and build a collective voice. 

To learn more about the members of the panel - their experiences and positions in their local contexts - please click here.

Friday, March 25, 2016

In Concert with Women's Resilient Voices

In most workshops, there is the standard podium or table, the PowerPoint, the attendees sitting in chairs, hearing, learning, making sense of some important topic.

Not so much at the Young Women's Resilient Voices for Empowerment Through Performance parallel session at the 2016 Commission on the Status of Women. This was a fully engaged gathering of complete participatory theatre. A program conceived and designed by Dr. Beth Osnes, Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Chelsea Hackett, PhD student in Educational Theatre at NYU and the Starfish School in Solola, Guatemala, now directed by Vilma Saloj, "Her Infinite Impact" is a 12-session introduction to expanding vocal range and efficacy through exercises, games and theatre activities. 

The session involved voice and body warm-ups, group imagery creation and partner discussions which culminated in the entire group of about 16 and then smaller groups of approximately four each contributing to the expression of what it means to empower women and how that would look as a statue-like representation. Commentary was then offered on the perceptions that each presentation elicited within each participant.

Developed as a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project, the program itself is now mainly used in Guatemala at the Starfish School. Its larger purpose, however, is adaptation to any group that wants to physically empower womens' voices through the creation of strong, stable and secure manifestations of the environment needed to do so and ultimately to transfer that to the women themselves.

In the near future, the program will be introduced in Tanzania, New York City and Boulder, Colorado, and it is working to develop opportunities for women to advocate in communities through their vocal and civic strength.

Women opposing Islamic Extremism: The need for change and support

This panel discussion was hosted by the Women’s Freedom Forum a women’s rights education organization affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. This organization aims to raise issues relating to women’s equality, human rights, and empowerment. They believe in the need to uplift women in the middle east through legitimizing their voices and shared experiences.

In the first half of the panel discussion two women discussed their understanding of women living in societies oppressed by Islamic extremism. The first speaker was Antonia Felix, a political biographer for 25 years. She described stories of Islamic extremism in which women still endure disturbing consequences for their actions such as stoning, acid, and female genital mutilation. In order overcome such helplessness and brutality, she believes that it is important to incorporate women in the peacemaking process, provide women with an optional view of Islam, enforce laws that oppose violence against women, encourage women to join police forces and enact change themselves, and, lastly, use social media to gather support.

The second speaker named Fran Belisle, a former diplomat at the U.S. embassies in Algiers, Ankara and Canada, as well as an expert relating to military, international issues, politics and law, discussed women empowerment under Islamic extremism by describing a close friend who risks her life working with the United States in Algeria. Being a career women, a mother, and a practicing Muslim, her friend illustrates a clear example of women empowerment in the face of Islamic extremism.

While the first section of the panel was helpful in setting the overall landscape of women experiencing Islamic fundamentalism, the following discussion provided a powerful example of the frustration and passion of actual women experiencing this issue. For example, a major frustration talked about in detail involved how to combat fundamentalism in locations with a less functional government. The speakers explained that once empowered women are involved in their respective societies there is a faster transition toward stabilizations. Once women are empowered, the government begins to stabilize. However, this is not necessarily a short-term solution because women are not protected by law. In order produce change, mothers must speak to their children about opposing fundamentalist groups, and women must work together and share their concerns during times of need. Another example of the frustration felt by women under Islamic fundamentalism involved religion and interpretation based on context. As one audience member expressed, Islam does not promote violence but does not necessarily advocate gender equality. Therefore, women must provide an education for their children that encourages gender cohesion and resistance against fundamentalist groups.  

This discussion truly provided a face to the immense frustrations felt by women who have experienced the oppressive nature of Islamic fundamentalism. There need for feasible solutions and support is undeniable.

Grassroots Initiatives and the Empowerment of Women

The session began with the description of a grassroots survey implemented by the Grassroots Taskforce of the NGO Committee on Social Development. It was circulated in Spring of 2015 and its main objective was to learn more about community-based economic initiatives on a global scale. The survey received 70 responses from 26 countries. The topics measured included factors contributing to the effectiveness of projects, the sustainability of projects, the project’s impact on individuals, and the project’s impact on the community. Certain findings I found interesting included how most of the respondents claimed that their projects were sustainable. They discussed that variables outside the project’s control, mainly environmentally based, imposed on the believed sustainability of their projects. I was also fascinated by how the survey claimed that the effectiveness of projects related specifically to highly, participatory group approaches, projects that relied on monitoring and evaluation, and projects that understood local conditions and thus implemented feasible initiatives.

The second portion of the session consisted of four female lead NGOs who described economic initiatives in four different contexts. The first NGO was run by the Daughters of Charity located in the Fiji Islands who recycled trash into trinkets and goods such as purses and bracelets. Their aim is to empower women through developing skills and providing economic empowerment. The second NGO located in Albania and implemented by the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation. Their goal is to limit human trafficking through vocational training and youth development. By using youth projects, this NGO promotes self-understanding of young women to where they become self-aware and, through vocational training, become economically resilient and empowered. The third NGO, situated in a highly impoverished section of  Zimbabwe, is run by DOMCPP (Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme). Using economic support, they purchased a grinding mill for the community that developed a sort of trickle down effect empowering women and men alike. Lastly, the final NGO located in India and called the Social Impact of the Economic Empowerment of Women in Kodaikanal, India. Using self-help groups to rally and connect women, they promote change within their patriarchal society through protesting capacity building.

Each group maintained that economic empowerment is key to reducing the multi-burden women in developing countries experience. Through economic resiliency, women and mothers can produce societal change by educating boys and girls at a young age regarding gender equality, help women reach new levels in their respecting government, reduce religious extremism by teaching a positive interpretation of scripture, help to foster family/ parenting-friendly spaces, will promote cohesion among genders, and develop expanded and reliant communities that help one another in times of need. In the end, I found all panelists inspiring by their dedication within their particular contexts, as well as their determination to promote gender empowerment around the world.

Depriving women ownership of their bodies: Revenge Porn a Global Issue

The first CSW session I experienced discussed eliminating cyber violence against women and the challenges on revenge porn and legal action. The session was conducted by the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation (TWRF) and included 5 speakers who touched on different examples of revenge porn and the complexity of the phenomenon as a whole. For example, all speakers expressed the need to changed the name of revenge porn to non-consensual porn because such porn is not always out of spite but rather motivated by other social needs such as entertaining friends, hacking, etc. 

Carry Goldberg, a well-established lawyer in New York City, grounded the victimization of women by non-consensual porn through a story of an English professor who was filmed unknowingly performing sexual acts by her ex-boyfriend. After she decided to end the relationship, she was threatened to have the footage released unless she complied to his demands. In response to being blackmailed, she sought assistance from police officials but discovered that they were unable to do anything in response. As a result, the footage was auctioned off to a random stranger for 5.00$ and she was deprived of her privacy and body. All speakers explained that revenge porn can cause emotional and psychological harm because victims are not only abused by their offender, which most of the time is a close partner, but also by those who consume this form of pornography and the websites that make it accessible.

Another example, which focused on revenge porn in Taiwan, proved that this phenomenon to a global issue. The speakers explained that in Taiwan there are no strict criminal laws to oppose revenge porn. Because revenge porn can cause intense community backlash and foster an unfriendly cultural atmosphere, society flips the blame onto the victim instead of the perpetrators. To combat victimization of women by cyber violence, methods must incorporate strict laws to protect the victim’s privacy, promote awareness and understanding of victims and their community, as well as work closely with law-enforcement officials to bring greater consequences to the perpetrators

Furthermore, Chang Kai-Chiang, a spokesman from TWRF, stated the need for a stronger globally interconnected community. A highly collaborative NGO network could help to further collect data of shared stories from those victimized by cyber violence, urge governments to take a stronger stand on non-consensual porn, and act as a body to monitor, report, and follow-up on revenge porn cases. In order to combat cyber violence in the form of non-consensual porn, we must provide physical and emotional assistance to victims, continuously spread awareness within both the local, national, and global communities, and truly empathize with victims not strictly through a gendered lens but at human level.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Are we not human too?"

Image retrieved from UCP case study report
Working together for their community to promote peace, the women in South Sudan are helping to combat domestic violence and creating a safe environment for women to simply live their lives as normally as possible during a time of conflict.
The CSW60 session on Women Peacekeeping Teams using Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) in South Sudan, focused on building well-trained, large-scale professional forces. Wearing pink shirts, these teams live in communities where people are directly affected and are made up of women from the community that are non-partisan and are there to protect civilians. These teams are proving that the presence of well trained unarmed civilians on the ground works, but it takes time. These efforts are linked to sustainable development goal #16, Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies, specifically protecting women and girls from violence in South Sudan.
Mel Duncan, Director of Advocacy and Outreach for the Nonviolent Peace force introduced the efforts and colleagues who are on the ground as international peacekeepers, and shared their experiences. A case study in Bentiu, South Sudan provides specific background and methods for protecting civilians.
The population has risen more than tenfold in South Sudan, with severe overcrowding, clan conflict, political divides and frequent flooding have led to an overall increase of violence. Women and girls forced to leave the camp are at extremely high risk of sexual violence outside the camp. Civilians are not safe, and rape has become, as described by the community as ‘just a normal thing’ for women caught in the conflict in South Sudan. Many say ‘If you run, they will kill you’, ‘We thought women and children would be safe but we were very wrong. Can we do anything?’
There is a proactive presence in direct protection, prevention and response. Peacekeepers patrol frequently and engage the community. Women’s peacekeeping teams in South Sudan aid in protective accompaniments and support to women and girls that are survivors of sexual violence. Thousands of women and girls are supported during firewood patrols, traveling together is a necessary need when leaving the camps for firewood and other materials. This has been in response to extreme levels of sexual violence and requests for women’s protection.
It is a women’s own initiative, made up of mothers, sisters, and daughters. The groups are formed by engaging the local community, specifically women, encouraging community development, and most importantly building relationships with all sides involved in the conflict. Teams are made up of representatives of the host community, international peacekeepers, and a few men (that do not hold leadership positions). They are dealing with issues such as sexual violence, education for girls, protection in the community, forced marriages, and revenge killing.
The methods used are direct protection, construction and execution of pathways, finding additional ways to motivate, and most importantly being there on day to day basis. The woman in Southern Unity, a team in Juba South Sudan, put in place in 2013, called out ‘Are we not human too?’ After begging and pleading for 6 months for the international community to respond, they became a model of what unarmed nonviolent peacekeeping can look like, and is now being implemented in various areas of conflict around the world. South Sudan is continuing to prove that, well-trained, unarmed peace forces can work. It is cost effective and currently with 50 nongovernmental organizations in 35 countries, it is creating a positive message, capacity building and a sustainable method to peacekeeping.