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Paulette's path to citizenship

As I enter Paulette’s apartment, she introduces me to her Garden of Eden. Paulette is fascinated by floral design—she embellishes her residence in an arrangement of real and artificial flowers. Paulette’s apartment showcases her bright disposition and I instantly feel welcomed into her home. She hands me a can of Orange Fanta as I sit on the couch next to her piano. Paulette always had an affinity for playing music from what she tells me. I do not know what to expect from this interview, all I know is that I am instantly intrigued by her personality.

Marie's citizenship success in Florida

Marie’s skinny body is exaggerated from her oversized dress, but her personality is anything but frail.

While she speaks, her voice fluctuates wildly in its tone; and while she talks, her face is brightly animated. Marie has much to say, but she does not have much time.

Like Yvette, she meets with me during her short break from work at the Swap Shop in Ft. Lauderdale. As I listen to her story, the rain pours down from the sky in buckets, and makes thunderous little claps on the roof above us.

Yvette's story

Yvette meets with me during her lunch break in the middle of an intense Florida summer rainstorm to tell me about her journey as an American citizen. The decorum for an interview cannot be worse, but nonetheless, Yvette has plenty of patience to participate in my project. As lightning cracks all around us, and a chintzy version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” plays repetitively on the loudspeakers, Yvette maintains her graciousness. We sit at a table in the Swap Shop—a flea market complex in Ft.

Marie's Story


 Marie in her living room, 05/28/14

Marie was a migrant, like many, who were in search for a better life. She prayed to God that she would survive her journey to the US and that better opportunities were suspended in the horizon.

Local peace network handbook

This handbook is a tool to help community leaders implement urban peace-building programs in contested spaces.

In Haiti camp for earthquake victims, a teenager teaches peace


North of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 16-year-old Vanessa is working to prevent violence in the settlement where she currently lives with her family.

In Haiti’s Corail Camp, there are about 10,000 internally displaced people left homeless by the 2010 earthquake. Vanessa and others are working together to build a network of peacekeepers.

Young Haitian leads others to help curb violence

Wallen Calistin talking

Wallen Calistin leads a network of 20 to 30-year-old people who are working to bring about a culture of peace in Haiti, starting with their own neighborhood.

In his Port-au-Prince, Haiti neighborhood, 22-year-old Wallen Calistin is known as a peacemaker.

Patient, tolerant, and shy, as a young boy he struggled with how to communicate with his friends and neighbors in one of the most vulnerable parts of one of the world’s most dangerous countries, where a long history of structural inequalities and political upheaval has spawned a culture of violence. He could see a path to a more peaceful way of life, but bringing others along on that journey proved to be his biggest challenge.

Implementing local peace networks to reduce urban insecurity

Local peace networks work toward resolving community disputes, particularly in areas experiencing high levels of violence and social exclusion. This report gathers best practices for these networks.

Implementación de plataformas locales de paz urbana: Lecciones aprendidas

Las Plataformas Locales de Paz (PLP) son grupos que trabajan hacia la transformación de conflictos comunitarios, sobre todo en zonas con altos niveles de violencia y exclusión social. Su objetivo fundamental es transformar las fuentes de tensión y conflicto en comunidades y fortalecer las capacidades locales para la paz.

Implementing local peace networks in urban spaces: Lessons learned

Local peace networks (LPNs) are groups that work toward resolving community disputes, particularly in areas experiencing high levels of violence and social exclusion. Their underlying objective is to transform the conflict’s roots and build local capacities for peace. Each network is typically made up of six to 12 participants who become facilitators in their respective communities.

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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