Brussels – Pax Christi International is pleased to announce that the Parents Circle–Families Forum (PCFF) is the recipient of the 2023 Pax Christi International Peace Award. The award ceremony will be held in the Holy Land, as soon as the conditions allow, in 2024. Meanwhile, a webinar will be held on December 10, 2023 — Human Rights Day — to present the organization to the public and share why Pax Christi International has chosen them as the recipient of this year’s award.
The Parents Circle–Families Forum (PCFF) is a collaborative Israeli-Palestinian organization comprising more than 700 families, all of whom have lost a close family member due to the continuing conflict. Furthermore, the PCFF firmly believes that the process of reconciliation between the two communities is an essential precondition for attaining a lasting peace. Consequently, the organization employs all available resources in the fields of education, public gatherings, and the media to disseminate these concepts.
PCFF collaborates with Combatants for Peace as an organizer and producer of the annual Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony, to honor the memories of Israelis and Palestinians who have lost loved ones as a result of the ongoing cycle of violence. The date of the event reminds the bereaved on both sides of their shared pain and hope.
Recently, the organization has faced restrictions preventing them from offering their educational programs in Israeli schools. This prohibition deprives Israeli children and teenagers of the chance to acquire essential skills in constructive communication and reconciliation, fundamental elements in fostering Peace. Despite this, the Parents Circle remains committed to making a positive impact on society, in the achievement of a peaceful environment for the children and their families.
Upon reaching their decision regarding the PCFF, the members of the Pax Christi International Board acknowledged the organization’s impactful message and actions in the Holy Land, which persistently operate within an unending cycle of violence, recently marked by heightened brutality. This award not only acknowledges the organization’s prior initiatives in advocating for dialogue and nonviolent solutions to the ongoing violence but also, especially at this moment, demonstrates Pax Christi’s support, with the aspiration that their work will stand as a paradigm of peace in the Holy Land.
“By honoring the Parents Circle, Pax Christi International and its Catholic Nonviolence Initiative hopes to showcase how even while enduring great loss individuals can choose something other than revenge and hate. We hope to acknowledge their strength and absolute commitment to create an atmosphere where peace and justice can flourish allowing all those who live in the Holy Land to live with dignity and a hope for a better future,” said Martha Inés Romero, Secretary General of Pax Christi International.
The Parents Circle joint directors, Nadine Quomsieh and Yuval Rahamim, in receiving the news of the peace award, said: “This year we see our mission as even more important as violence, fear, and hate are rising in the region. Our commitment remains to do whatever we can to prevent more families in this land from losing their loved ones. We thank the board of Pax Christi and hope that this award will help carry our message to more people in our communities and around the world.”
Established in 1988, the Pax Christi International Peace Award is funded by the Cardinal Bernardus Alfrink Peace Fund and honors contemporary individuals and organizations who make a stand for peace, justice and nonviolence in different parts of the world.