Women who make a difference

17/08/2016 – Diana Bonar, Project Coordinator at Fight for Peace’s Rio Academy, was one of 17 women from around the world chosen to participate in the US State Department’s Global Sports Mentoring Program, which aims to encourage the empowering of women through sport.

Here Diana explains her role at Fight for Peace:

“I currently work at Fight for Peace, an international NGO which has gained a number of awards for its work in communities with high levels of crime and violence. Fight for Peace developed the Five Pillars Methodology which combines boxing & martial arts with education and personal development to help young people living in violent communities realise their potential. My job is to pass on this methodology to our partner organisations across Brazil and Latin America. I develop tools and resources designed to help the learning and development of these NGOs which have different organisational origins and operate in different environments.

As such, I give support to the Directors of 16 Fight for Peace Alumni organisations so that they are able to adapt our methodology to their realities, while I also contribute to the development of a national network of organisations. Having identified the areas which can most benefit from our methodology in each NGO, the next step is to find partners who can fund the projects.

I am also responsible for training staff at Fight for Peace, ensuring that our values and our mission are fully understood and present in all areas of our work. As part of this, I organise specific training sessions to strengthen the team. This year for example we are organising a workshop on the question of gender and violence against women.

I am professionally trained in Conflict Mediation and Non-Violent Communication (NVC). NVC teaches us that we are all naturally compassionate and that violent strategies – whether they are verbal or physical – are learned behaviours that are reinforced by our environments. People who utilise NVC gain greater authenticity in their communication and enhance their ability to understand, connect and resolve conflicts. The NVC community is active in 65 countries around the world.  

Understanding how NVC could further strengthen what Fight for Peace was already doing, I saw the importance of introducing it to the organisation. To date, around 100 members of Fight for Peace staff in Rio de Janeiro and in London have been trained in this area and a group has been organised to keep NVC active. Owing to the recent success, we are looking at the possibility of implementing NVC projects in other regions, preferably where crime and violence is a daily reality such as in South Africa and Jamaica where we are setting up Safer Community Incubators (involving local actors in different sectors forming a collective approach to the prevention of youth violence).”