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“Day after day we live with peoples under siege, in huts and hovels without water or electric light, sharing the same conditions of poverty and danger, forced to live in the midst of civil wars, under constant armed attack. We do this in order for our neutral, international presence, which acts as a deterrent to the use of violence, and our non-violent action, to create a practical space for peace and reconciliation”.  An Operation Dove volunteer

Operation Dove is the Pope John XXIII Community’s non-violent peace corps.
It came into being in 1992, during the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, out of the wish of some volunteers and conscientious objectors to put non-violence into practice in war zones in order to build bridges of dialogue and soothe the wounds of hate.

The peace workers of Operation Dove share their life with the victims of conflict and all the poverty fear and risks of war such emergency situations entail. Moreover, through practical non-violent action, they protect defenceless civilians and create space for dialogue and reconciliation between the warring parties. Ever since 1992, Operation Dove has been active in numerous conflict zones the world over, involving over 1,500 volunteers and conscientious objectors.

Currently Operation Dove has a stable presence in Albania, Colombia, Lebanon (in the Syrian refugee camps), Palestine and Israel. The peace workers of Operation Dove:

  1. In Albania hold meetings with families involved in blood feuds (see Kanun) suggesting paths to forgiveness and reconciliation (beneficiaries: 159 direct, 6000 indirect);
  2. In Colombia work with the members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadò, supporting their choice to remain neutral, offering non-violent resistance to the conflict, protecting people from violence and dispersion (beneficiaries: 800 direct, 2000 indirect);
  3. In Palestine and Israel support the non-violent struggle of the Palestinian communities to the south of  Hebron, encouraging meetings between them and the Israelis (beneficiaries: 72 direct, 2200 indirect);
  4. In the Lebanon (in the Syrian refugee camps) work to guarantee the Syrian refugees in the camps greater safety, where the volunteers also live, in tents and garages, creating links with those who can best meet the needs of the most needy. They also mediate with the local Lebanese community to alleviate tensions (beneficiaries: 330 direct, 3,100 indirect).


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