John Stewart, February 2007
Nonviolent Action and Strategies for Social Change - NOVASC
Nonviolent Action and Strategies for Social Change (NOVASC) is a service organisation (rather than an NGO). It provides technical and practical support for developing skills for negotiation, mediation and nonviolent action. It carries this through training activities and intervention/accompaniment in specific situations. Its vision of social change is of a process led by organisations representing people who are marginalised, poor, excluded, mistreated, alienated ; its work is to strengthen such organisations and to input into their strategising the specific skills its espouses. NOVASC’s work is done primarily in Zimbabwe but also in contact and exchange with Africa and global partners.
Strengthening organisations that represent people who need changes to happen, so that they have the skills to make those changes happen without violence, for example by negotiations, and the skills to cope with violence that may be unleashed against them ;
To build a national network of mediators drawn from many relevant sectors of society ;
To share experiences and dilemmas of dealing with conflicts, disputes, negotiations, deadlocks, and the use of violence, so as to contribute to a national process of dialogue towards tolerance and dynamic peace ;
To contribute to advocacy, campaigns, policy formulation and governance practice in relation to social dialogue, negotiations and issues relating to the national process in Zimbabwe, and to situations of conflict and violence internationally.
NOVASC is a member organisation of the Zimbabwe NGO Human Rights Forum, where its director currently serves as Vice Chair in the Board; it is active in the “Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition”, and in civil society processes generally. At international level NOVASC is a member of the Nonviolent Peaceforce (www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org), and its Director is a member of NP’s International Governing Council and Executive Committee. NOVASC is also actively involved in the promotion of the Charter of Human Responsibilities, a project of the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World (www.alliance21.org). It sees the importance and the value of the World Social Forum process and has supported and been active in the World Social Forum, African Social Forums and Regional and National forums. It also participated in the GPPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict) global meeting and is part of the followup network for that initiative in Southern Africa.
NOVASC, PO Box CY 369, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe