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PeaceGeeks Jordan team member named a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellow!

Our Meshkat Community Digital Engagement Officer Tasneem was recently accepted as a candidate for the 2019 United Nations Alliance of Civilization Fellowship Program! The UNAOC was formed in 2005 for the purposes of exploring the roots of polarization between contemporary societies and cultures, and to recommend a practical vision and strategy for actionable approaches to this issue. The UNAOC identifies four priority areas of action: education, youth, migration, and media. The Alliance’s activities are build around these key themes.

The goal of the annual fellowship program is to “foster intercultural understanding by engaging with young civil society leaders from Europe, North America, the Middle East, ad North Africa.” The program takes place over a two week period of extensive travel, and fellows are provided with comprehension tools to help them “understand the plurality and the complexity of their surroundings,” and to “get an extensive grasp of their host country’s culture, politics, society, religion, and media.” As part of the program, Tasneem will travel from Amman, Jordan, to the United States, Germany, and Spain in October! The UNAOC fellowship aims to challenge perceptions and deconstruct stereotypes, empowering participants to become better “equipped to position themselves as informed stakeholders and develop cross-cultural partnerships while bridging divides between people from different faiths and cultures.” The fellowship program addresses issues related to Intercultural Dialogue, and this year, the thematic focus centers around the role of women in peacemaking and conflict prevention. This theme aligns closely with the UNAOC mandate and priorities as well as the UN Global Agenda.

We are prouder of Tasneem than words can express! Our summer intern Kate Morford, based in our Vancouver office, chatted with Tasneem in Jordan over the interwebz and asked her a few questions about her big news.

Tasneem is from Zarqa, a region slightly east of the Jordanian capital of Amman. Prior to joining the PeaceGeeks team as a Digital Engagement Officer for the Meshkat Program last year, Tasneem worked with a community-based organization called Qaf. Qaf is a non-profit organization, and the name in Arabic is an acronym of three words which translate to “leadership, excellence, and intellect.” Qaf’s projects focus on promoting a culture of dialogue and acceptance of the “other” among youth, and on channeling the energy of youth toward voluntary and community work. Qaf hosts book and film discussions, convening public dialogues and lectures, and conducting workshops. Qaf has worked with over 1,500 youth since its inception in 2017. Qaf joined Meshkat’s National Alliance in 2018, and Tasneem joined the PeaceGeeks team! Tasneem believes the intersection of art, technology, and peacebuilding is the space in which sustainable and positive social change occurs. At PeaceGeeks, Tasneem manages the digital content of the Meshkat project in Jordan, facilitating website and social media content and engagement with the online communities. Tasneem also lends a hand across all of our Meshkat initiatives, including the Peace Awards, the Artists-in-Residence program, and capacity-building workshops.

Tasneem is most looking forward to meeting new people and having her perceptions and perspectives challenged by her travel and interaction with communities in regions of the world she hasn’t yet explored. One of her goals going into the program is to write about her experiences and especially the people and communities she encounters. She is most looking forward to exploring Berlin, Germany.

“Women make up half of the world’s population,” Tasneem reflects. “It’s insane that half of the people across the planet do not have half the say when it comes to peacemaking. Women have a major and essential role to play, and they can only do so if they are empowered to contribute. Women know the meaning of loss, grief, pain, and love, and the effects of conflicts on their lives. Women have demonstrated how powerfully they can advocate for peace and social justice. The women’s peace movement in Liberia in the early 2000s played an enormous role in ending 14 years of civil war that claimed the lives of 250,000 Liberians. Those women were armed with only their faith and white t-shirts, but they were instrumental in the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president of a country on the African continent." 

Please join us in giving Tasneem a heartfelt congratulations! We're so thrilled for her and we can't wait to follow her along her UNAOC journey in the autumn! 

Find out more about PeaceGeeks' Meshkat Community Program in Jordan here


This article was written by PeaceGeeks staff member Lauren Hyde.

May 7, 2019

PEACETALKS #35: Women's Human Rights at Risk

Guest Speaker:
Mar 2, 2017
6:00 7:30PM
HiVE Vancouver

In light of recent women's marches and events, PeaceGeeks in partnership with Amnesty International would like to present PeaceTalk #35: Women's Human Rights at Risk.

This talk aims to uncover how women and girls around the world are disproportionately impacted by mega-projects and resource extraction. Too often, the economic development model adopted by government violates Indigenous land rights, threatens Indigenous cultures, and heightens the risk that Indigenous women and girls will experience violence.

This event is moderated by Alexandra Harrison-Catchpole, member of Amnesty International Canada's National Board of Directors and former Amnesty International fieldworker in Vancouver. Alex holds an MA ('13) in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, currently studies law, and brings a background of research and involvement in grassroots activism and intersections between feminist and labour organizations.

In the lead up to International Women's Day, panel members will speak to the challenges and offer some ways forward. Panelist bios coming soon!

PeaceGeeks would like to extend a big thank you to Lush for making this event possible.

Thank You To:
Partnership With:
Feb 16, 2017
Category: PeaceTalks
Time 2:
6 PM

Young Women Entrepreneurs Kenya

Crisis Overview

Women were the disproportionate victims of Kenya’s post-election violence in 2008. Sexual violence was acute, with an estimated 40,000 sexual and gender-based attacks. Women today struggle to heal from the violence during and after the conflict, particularly in Nakuru county where violence was most severe. Their struggle is both caused by and intensified by entrenched gender inequality in the region. Economically, women, who perform the vast majority of agricultural labour, are disproportionately poor and vulnerable. Women receive less education than men, have limited property rights, and are at extremely higher risk of obtaining HIV/AIDS.

What They Do

Founded in Nakuru county in response to Kenya’s 2008 violence, Young Women Entrepreneurs Kenya (YWEK) aims to restore the dignity of women by empowering them to become self-reliant and participate in the national development process. The organization’s goal is to empower women to be physically and mentally healthy, to be involved in leadership and civil society, and to become economically independent and secure. To do so, YWEK offers programs which provide young mothers, sex workers, and vulnerable youth with health services, skills training, networking opportunities, and entrepreneurial support.

Our Impact

PeaceGeeks helped YWEK launch their first website in February 2014, as well as train their team to manage the site over the long-term. We were also able to work with YWEK to develop a new logo and communications material, such as letterhead and business cards, that reflect their values. These helped develop their confidence as a presentable, professional organization. With their new logo and website, YWEK was able to effectively broadcast their message to the public, and help more people in their community.

The most crucial thing PeaceGeeks has done is to help us develop a website. Thanks to PeaceGeeks, we will not need an expert to update the contents of the web as they have made it easy by training us on how to update and upload content. 

Deliverables Summary
  • Website deployment
  • Hosting
  • Training
  • Newsletter
  • Social media training
  • Logo design
  • Branding guidelines
  • Business cards
  • Letterhead

PeaceGeeks Contributors

Renee Black - Project Manager - Lan Yan - Graphic Designer

Young Women Entrepreneurs Kenya Contributors

Bruno Owiti - Project Officer

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

Crisis Overview

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security addresses the “disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women,” and calls for women’s active participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding. Women and girls are exposed to heightened risk both during and after conflict, such as violence, including sexual violence, trafficking, lack of essential services such as healthcare, displacement, and the loss of livelihood, which reinforce prior discrimination, such as unequal access to property rights, or education. But women are not just victims. They are important members of civil society and opposition groups, and their participation in conflict resolution is essential for an equitable and comprehensive solution.

What They Do

The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) is a coalition of women’s groups and civil society organizations from around the world, particularly from conflict-affected areas, who are actively involved in realizing the Security Council resolutions on women, peace, and security. Their mission is to bridge the gap between policy discussions and implementation. GNWP engages in capacity building, public advocacy, research and monitoring, and the strengthening of institutions. In other words, they aim to amplify the voice of women’s groups, hold nations accountable for human rights, and demonstrate the impact of female participation in post-conflict resolution.

Our Impact

PeaceGeeks’ partnership with GNWP yielded a new website capable of connecting members, enhancing the organization’s message, appealing to visitors, and attracting new members, partners, and donors. GNWP are better able to feature information about their member organizations, many of whom have no web presence at all. Their new site has also allowed them to improve their recruitment process. The entire team at GNWP has been trained on website management, so everyone can manage and update the site with recent news, negotiations, resources, and innovative research.

A dynamic and interactive website is enabling the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders to showcase the work of the network, including the various joint programs we carry with our members at national and regional level. It is also allowing the coordinating team to share with its members and partners information on the continuing advocacy work on women peace and security that the network undertakes at global level in New York.

Helena Gronberg, Co-Founder/ Program Manager
Deliverables Summary
  • Branding
  • Logo design
  • Website hosting and deployment

PeaceGeeks Contributors

Magdi Rizkallah - Projects Director - Lan Yan - Graphic Designer - Ron Boaz - Projects Manager

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders Contributors

Helena Gronberg - Program Officer - Eleonore Veillet Chowdhury - Program Officer -  Subashini Perumal - Intern - Lea Valenti 

Young Women Entrepreneurs Kenya

Bruno Winston Owiti is my name. I am a certified Public Accountant in Kenya, and one of the Programs Manager at Young Women Entrepreneurs Kenya (YWEK) where I have worked since its inception in 2009. YWEK is a non-profit organization that engages young Kenyan women, their dependants and social networks to address various socio-economic, political and health issues affecting the society. Such issues include, TB, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Enterprise development, gender-based violence, leadership and governance. YWEK accomplishes this through conducting training, outreach, focused group discussions, informative and interactive forums, consultancy and research, table banking, small business formation and management, formal group formation and management.

Communication is essential in every sector of our lives. If you cannot communicate well what you do and have achieved overtime is like a blind person trying to figure out where he or she is. As YWEK since inception in 2009 to date, we have been grappling with how we could amplify the voices of the young mothers and youth headed households we serve. Getting more people to be in touch with what we do has been the major challenge. Laura Lee May, researcher from University of British Columbia introduced us to PeaceGeeks, who offered to help us overcome our twin challenge of amplifying the voices of the young women and youth headed household by undertaking to do several crucial things to help us become visible.

PeaceGeeks has helped us with the basic needs of every organization - creating a logo and brand to give It a professional look, developing letterhead and business cards, creating new email accounts and creating a website. Now, it is very easy for me to represent the organization since I can easily share my contacts with people via business cards and also write correspondence to other organizations without fear of being ridiculed or YWEK documents being tossed aside.

The most crucial thing PeaceGeeks has done is to help us develop a website for Young women Entrepreneurs Kenya. Soon everybody will know about YWEK. I ask myself what more can I ask for? Thanks to PeaceGeeks, we will not need an expert to update the contents of the web as they have made it easy by training me on how to update and upload content onto the web. I have since trained other key staff in YWEK on how its done.

Thanks for providing YWEK with the Website, renewing our domain, designing our business cards, logo and letterhead, designing our site, and providing training and professional advice on project impact communication. This would have cost us more than US Dollar 2000, which YWEK does not have.

Thanks most especially Renee and Lan for your efforts daily to put us on the global map.

By Bruno Owiti

Jul 9, 2014
Category: Testimonial

PeaceTalk #14: Betrayed

Guest Speaker:
Patricia Leidl
Nov 13, 2013
6:00 - 7:30PM
Lost & Found Cafe

The talk will examine to what degree that US, Coalition partners and donors have betrayed Afghan women by opening talks with the Taliban, which continues to enjoy close ties with Al Qaeda and extremist funders in Saudi Arabia. It will examine the overturning of laws designed to protect women, the several high-profile killings of women's rights activists and the complete lack of female representation in the various donor and peace conferences. The talk will also explore more generally the relationship between gender inequality and state and non-state armed violence and what needs to be done to 'securitize' the issue of gender inequality which remains THE most robust predictor of state and non-state armed conflict.

Speaker Bio

Patricia Leidl is an International Communications Advisor who specializes in crisis communications, conflict and gender. A former crime reporter (and illustrator) with various Canadian newspapers, Leidl was also Editorial Director of the University of British Columbia-based Human Security Report (2002-2005) and from 2005 to 2008, Managing Editor of the New York-based United Nations Population Fund State of World Population Report and Senior Media Advisor for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). From 2008 to 2009, she was Chief of Advocacy and Communications for the HIV/AIDS Department at the World Health Organization. Africa, For more than 25 year, she has written about gender, war, HIV, maternal mortality and infectious diseases and her work continues to taker her all over the world. Her articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, World Politics Review and the British Medical Journal. She holds a diploma in journalism, graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and holds a Masters of Graduate Liberal Studies from Simon Fraser University. Current clients include various United Nations agencies, USAID and a host of other international NGOs including the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, The Safe Water Network, Doctors of the World, The Small Arms Survey and The Global Health Council. Her latest book, The Hillary Doctrine: American Foreign Policy and why sex matters is co-authored with leading conflict researcher Valerie M. Hudson and will be published by New York-based Columbia University Press this spring. She currently resides in Vancouver.

Thank You To:
Oct 23, 2013
Category: PeaceTalks
Time 2:
6 PM

Great Conversations At Miss Representation Screening

On Monday December 5th, Peace Geeks co-hosted two sold-out screening of the documentary film Miss Representation, which discusses the misrepresentation of women in the media and the corresponding link to the under-representation of women as leaders in public and private organizations and institutions. The first screening was followed by a panel discussion facilitated by YWCA Executive Director Janet Austin, and featuring Pamela Martin, Kirk Lapointe, Amy Chan and Carolyn Jack. The second screening was followed by an audience discussion about the key issues raised in the film and focused on actions individuals can take today to start shifting attitudes. Peace Geeks introduced the Ushahidi-based site called which allows individuals to report on actions they are taking promote change.

Nov 13, 2012
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