Introducing Dr. Pat Patfoort
Flemish anthropologist (born 1949)
trainer and mediator dealing with conflict
transformation and nonviolent conflict management
of several books and
articles, translated into
and director of "De Vuurbloem"
("The Fireflower"), Center for Nonviolent Conflict Management, in
in universities in Belgium, Italy, The
Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, USA, Russia, and elsewhere
and trainer with a large variety of
education (with children, adolescents, parents, teachers, educators)
adults in conflict (in the family setting, in the work-place, and in
facilitator of dialogue and
reconciliation projects with ethnic groups in conflict (including
in the Caucasus, in Kosovo, in Rwanda, in East-Congo, in Senegal)
worked in collaboration with Quakers, Catholic organizations (e.g.
Pax Christi or Caritas), the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation
in Europe), the European Council, the Belgian Ministery of Foreign Affairs
and the VN
of two sons
in Africa for 8 years.
and diagrams :
Patfoort uses original
models and diagrams
that have grown out of her work of more than
40 years, starting with
the experience of raising her own children who are adults now. Features of
these models include the following :
They are quite
concrete and easy to use with a variety of groups, including with
- They clarify in a simple
and recognizable way the nature, causes and mechanisms of violence,
even as they show that there is an alternative that can be readily
understood and put into practice.
- They demonstrate that
one can defend oneself without resort to the ineffective
- By exposing the links
between what happens on both personal and societal levels, they
help individuals feel less powerless about events in the larger world
and more motivated to make constructive changes in their own
attitudes and actions.
- They underscore the
importance of how children are raised in relation to all else that happens
in the world and so revalue all those people who are active in childraising.
This can help parents, teachers and educators work cooperatively to make
positive changes in the education of children, thereby helping diminish
‘the violence in the world’.
- They provide easy-to-use
keys for daily life.
- They show that the
practice of nonviolence is not limited to a particular expression of
faith or commitment but is open to all.