Daniel Herres: Conflict is inevitable, violence is not

In 2020, the Rotary Club of Tryon, in partnership with Rotary District 7670 and the Rotary International World Fund, awarded Tryon resident Daniel Herres with a Global Grant Scholarship. The Rotary Club of Tryon was excited to hear from our Global Scholar, via Zoom, during a recent meeting.

With the help of the Rotary Club of Tryon, Daniel was able to complete his MSc degree in Humanitarianism, Aid, and Conflict from the London School of Oriental and African Studies. After stints in Turkey, Malawi and Greece, Daniel has been working in Africa recently . He spoke to the Club from London, where he was on leave from his work in a conflict zone.

Rotarian Fred Hartley summarized Daniel’s new job as being the Marshall Dillon of South Sudan, the planet’s newest country. By that he meant that Daniel is employed by Nonviolent Peaceforce, an NGO, as an International Protection Officer. The NGO’s proven methodology of Unarmed Civilian Protection redirects violence and protects civilians in conflict zones.

Rotary Global Scholar, Daniel Herres, working with Nonviolent Peaceforce to facilitate a peace dialogue between sub-clans engaged in a cycle of revenge killings in Africa.

Officers in Daniel’s position don’t take sides, don’t adopt a government’s agenda, but do build strong relationships with community factions (including militias) to develop protection plans for vulnerable people, monitor ceasefires, and create a space for dialogue about avoiding losses from sub-clan conflict. In South Sudan’s brief and violent history, armed conflict between government forces and local militias has gone down, and the threat is now within communities, including gender-based violence, cattle rustling, and revenge killings.

Daniel is committed to work at the grassroots level, because he believes that world peace must start there. He said it is an honor and a privilege to be able to do this work. Tryon Rotary is proud to have been a small part of Daniel’s reaching this position.

If you are interested in being a part of supporting peace around the world, consider joining the Rotary Club of Tryon. For more information, contact the Club’s President, Skip Taylor, at stmas4280@gmail.com or 828-200-9259.