What distinguishes our work
As far as we are aware there is no other pair with a comparable history to Jo and Pat working together in this way in the UK or who are travelling outside their home country to other areas of conflict. What distinguishes their work and the impact they have is their particular story, the unique relationship that they have developed, their capacity to share that with others and testimonial evidence of what they have achieved.
Jo and Pat talk frankly and movingly about the discoveries and challenges they face in working together in a way that breaks down their audience’s conventional judgmental assumptions. This opens up to all who hear them the scope to re-examine beliefs, grasp the potential for empathy, understanding and forgiveness and take action for reconciliation even in the most extreme circumstances.
This work is particularly needed, as violent conflicts tend to arise within countries and communities as much as between them.
Neighbours find themselves of the opposite side of the divide, and where the solutions are most effectively found not by politicians, but by ordinary people discovering ways to overcome history and make peace.
We are passionate about this work because Jo has lived with the effects of terrorism since 1984 and is committed to learning about conflict and how it can be resolved. Jo’s ongoing dialogue with Pat Magee is unique in the world in that they have worked closely for 13 years. They are still learning from their talks and they openly share their journey with other in a way that connects others to their own conflict. Pat Magee is passionate about it as he lives with the legacy of using violence and now wishes for all people to have non-violent options to resolve conflict.
There is a growth of peacebuilding and conflict transformation projects around the world, which are effective and making a positive impact. Our work, however, is novel in that it touches people in an emotional and experiential way, as the listeners know it comes from personal experience. And we will always work alongside grassroots projects working non-violently.
On all missions, participants in workshops and talks will be asked for feedback about what they valued, what they have learnt and what changes or action they will take as a result. This will be used both to provide information on what improvements could be made to the services delivered and also provide material for local dissemination via press releases, social media etc for which partner organisations will take main responsibility.
We will support local organisations to evaluate the impact of our work on the perceptions of the people they work with and the actions they take. This will inform our work as well as providing material for local campaigning at policy/ political level, including campaigning for more resources to be used for reconciliation.
The difference that our work makes is:
- at grassroots level, people caught up in the seeming hopelessness of the conflict/ post conflict situation gain empathy, understanding and hope that supports them to take action towards reconciliation
- by demonstrating what can be achieved through reconciliation, make a stronger case to policy makers to devote more resources to it
- inspiring a wide range of people to take more action to promote non-violent and empathy based approaches to situations of conflict