The Movement for Non-Violence Begins With Me comprises diverse individuals and groups in Trinidad, some of whom began meeting in April 2016 to discuss a response to the violence pervading our society. Guided largely by teachings of the US-based group Pace e Bene*, delivered locally by Franciscan nun Sr Julie Peters and her team from the Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development, we came to accept that "Non-Violence Begins With Me". Our aim is to popularise that message and to reduce the violence in our country – one person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time.
The Movement is not-for-profit, non-denominational and apolitical, and our membership is growing. Living Water Community (LWC) last year began the series of public talks at its Centre in Port of Spain which were broadcast on Trinity TV. Speakers addressed the issue of creating a culture of non-violence and, at the end, many persons took a pledge to live non-violent lives. (See sample pledge attached)
Private individuals, like Candice Clarke-Salloum and Susan Morgan, were captivated by the teachings on non-violence publicised by LWC and subsequently joined LWC Director Rhonda Maingot and Assistant Director Rosemary Scott as core members of the Movement.
In January 2017, membership began to broaden. Companions of the Transfigured Christ (CTC) was inspired to meet with LWC to discuss the violence in T&T and later became a core member of the Movement. Others were invited to join the Movement and accepted – like Junior Achievement Executive Director J Errol Lewis, media personality/social activist Errol Fabien and Families in Action. Next came open meetings on Monday evenings to which any concerned person or group was welcome.
Out of those discussions and meetings has come the Movement's first major public initiative, 40 Hours of Prayer/40 Days of Action. Prayer is being offered by various faith groups from 6pm March 3 to 10am March 5, while the Days of Action are focused on raising the level of awareness of the violence in ourselves and educating the public about how to live non-violent lives. There are many activities organised by the Movement and other groups during the 40 days. (Check attached calendar)
Feel free to contact us for further information and updates.
*N.B. Pace e Bene's Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and the epidemic of violence. For more, visit http://www.paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/