History

It was 1992…

Some volunteers and conscientious objectors of the Community Pope John XXIII, provoked by the Yugoslavia conflict that raged a few hundred kilometers on the other side of the Adriatic sea (the headquarters of the Association is in Rimini) and with the wish to effectively experience nonviolence approach in conflict areas, tried to reach refugee camps in Croatia.
They succeeded and the first major discovery was that foreign unarmed civilians could enter the wars.
Then they began to spend periods in refugee camps and discovered a second very important thing: the victims of contemporary wars are mostly civilians, people who cannot run away, the most defenseless: children, women, disabled, the elderly…

Soon they realized…

…that a permanent international presence was needed on both sides. The war, lived from inside, no longer appeared in black and white but it revealed shades of gray that the mass medias usually hide.
They discovered how the power of love, truth, and nonviolence could demolished the mechanism of hatred and destruction.

In this way…

…the Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, called Operazione Colomba born.

 Sharing life with the victims of the conflicts (women, children, abandoned elderly, the disabled, refugees …), with a simple and neutral behavior, operating simultaneously on different sides of the conflict and on several levels, supporting the daily needs of people, but also promoting meetings with local institutions (religious and civil) and internationals. In those years Operazione Colomba has managed to bring together  many families divided by the Yugoslavia war, to protect ethnic minorities and recreate spaces of peaceful coexistence.

Previous projects

Since 1995, Operazione Colomba has experienced nonviolent, disarmed interventions in many other conflicts in the world: Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Yugoslavia (1992 – 1997), Albania (1997), Sierra Leone (1997), Kosovo – Albania – Macedonia (1998 – 2000), East Timor – Indonesia (1999), Chiapas – Mexico (1998 – 2002), Chechnya – Russia (2000 – 2001), Democratic Republic of the Congo (2001), Gaza Strip – Palestine (2002 – 2003), Darfur – Sudan (2008).

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