So peacebuilding is a very noble endeavour, but where do we get funding to do it? In Mexico there is the misconception that people in this field should be completely selfless and devoted to the cause. You might be, but you still need to eat and pay rent, and there is an operation cost to any peacebuilding activity.
Asking for fair retributions as a worker of the peacebuilding field is a matter of taking a stance about the dignity of your work. It is important. It is a job. We are professionals. There is a point in the middle between profiting from peacebuilding and working for free. It is difficult to accompany people in their quest for justice, dignified working conditions if you can’t stand up for yourself. At the same time, we know the people getting the highest salaries in this country are not the ones who make better contributions to society, but the ones who engage in more lucrative activities.
Although individuals can engage in both profit-making and peacebuilding activities, can you actually bring together both approaches in the same project? Won’t one agenda dominate the other when decisions have to be taken? This brings us to the questions of whom we should take money from and under which conditions we are willing to work. If we know we can access a certain amount of money that can do a lot of good to a certain population but don’t agree with the source, should we take it? If we are offered a job that can give you a great position to enable you to approach a large population but don’t agree with the organization you would be working for, should you take it? What are the limitations, and what should be the line? Again, I come to learn in Monterey that these are questions that are being raised all over the globe and trying to find an answer together becomes crucial in a world of globalized economy and politics.