As a PBI volunteer I was privileged enough to work side by side with Mexican human rights defenders who work relentlessly in their struggle for justice – despite death threats, constant surveillance, attacks, and in some tragic cases, the assassination of their colleagues. Inspirational people who have taught me that the battle for justice should not be confined to the local courtroom

Michael Tamblyn
Mexico, 2006

PBI has changed my life and who I am, I learned a lot, I am more patient, I listen better and more actively, I am more conscientious

Nathalie Bienfait
Colombia, 2015-2021

I believe that PBI's work is very important in the process of opening spaces and creating safe conditions for human rights defenders to continue their legitimate work. Every time we realize that we have contributed one more brick in the construction of justice and the defense of human rights, I think that PBI's work is worthwhile.

Giusy
Mexico 2017-ahora

PBI's work is so important for you to see and feel what is happening and how you can act to open spaces and change it a little bit!

Susanna Lange 
Colombia

PBI is an NGO that I will always carry in my heart 

Catiane Vander Kelen
Colombia, 2006-2009

In Guatemala, I learned key things about nonviolent struggle from the people we worked with, and also how very little humble we whites are, to the point of perpetuating violence unknowingly, in everyday power struggles and not-enough-listening to the right people!

Michelle
Guatemala and Nicaragua, 1986-1987

My years in PBI were the best, most formative, and most inspirational of my life

Ben Leather
Mexico, 2008-2013

Without respect for human rights, we have nothing - we have no voice, no power, no possibilities. That's why I think PBI's work is very important.

Vera Top
Guatemala, 1998-1999
Mexico, 2001

PBI has marked my entire life since I first got into contact with pbi in 1995

Christiane Schwarz
Colombia, 1999-2001

PBI has impacted me because during the year I gave my best  and I had the opportunity to be in the field and learn from the team as well as from the people and organizations we accompanied. I developed communication, strategy, empathy and teamwork skills. A real political school

Mònica Pérez Masoliver
Colombia and Estado Español, 2012-ahora

 PBI is important, because nobody else gives HRDs a voice

Raphael Hampf
Nepal, 2008-2010

I think it is important to defend the people who defend, it has allowed me to know closely the work of the social movement in El Salvador. Then I got involved in an NGO, in a free radio station, in the social movement of my neighborhood, irala, in Bilbao, and now especially with refugees, in Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak

Catherine Verbruggen
El Salvador, 1991-1992

I feel hugely privileged to have had the opportunity to work alongside the Colombian human rights defenders who are at the forefront of demanding change in their country. Their voices are important reminders of the bravery needed to confront injustice and to fight for improvements. 

Hannah Matthews
Colombia, 2014-2017

It has given me another view of my home country and the knowledge of a different culture.

Ralf Meyer
Mexico

 

Personally, PBI was the start of my career. I later did my PhD on gangs in Medellin, where I had contacts from organisations from my time at PBI. That process essentially launched me into academia where I still am. I have collaborated with a host of organisations across Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on gangs and violence reduction in vulnerable communities. I now have my own PhD students, one of whom researches transitional justice in Colombia. The circle of life!

Adam Baird
Colombia, 2001-2003

PBI's mission is as relevant today as it was 20 or 40 years ago. In order to achieve fundamental social change in the world, the work of activists and human rights defenders is absolute key. What has impacted me most is to work directly with HRDs, their courage, perseverance, dedication to the cause is inspiring and a reason for me to keep supporting them 

Sabine Guenther
Kenya, 2013-2014

PBI has been a fundamental work experience in my path, it has allowed me to be trained in security related issues and it was a unique life experience. After PBI I began to collaborate with a local organization in Oaxaca with which I have now been working for 9 years.

Emilie DeWolf,
Mexico, 2010-2012

I feel immensely privileged to meet such inspiring and resilient activists in my work at PBI. They do everything they can to improve their situation and to protect and promote human rights

Lizzy van Dijk
Netherlands

As long as human rights defenders are valuing international accompaniment as a tool that gives them protection, security and moral support to continue their struggles, PBI's work (and other signs of international solidarity) must continue.

Silvia Weber
Guatemala, 2008-ahora

A  PBI volunteer must be open to changes because we are on call and sometimes there can be emergency situations that make us reshuffle the schedule and then shuffle it again.

Owen Campbell
Guatemala, 2007-2008

I became a better person because I volunteered in a project and dedicating 3 years to PBI was an investment

Chris Coelle
Indonesia

PBI's work is important because it creates the right spaces for human rights defenders to fight with dignity for the causes they defend

Antonio Pérez
Guatemala

By building solidarity with the peace community, with PBI and our international support network, two rural families of limited means had managed to walk, completely unarmed into paramilitary-controlled territory and reclaim their belongings from a squadron of heavily armed soldiers

Dan Slee
Colombia, 2013

PBI´s mission is important - the work and protection of HRDs is crucial for global progress

Muriel Gahl
Indonesia 

Living and working with people from different cultures has enriched me enormously. It has created a kind of "global family" for me.

Nuria Frey
Honduras, 2015-2016

I can say that PBI's work is important, beyond my opinion, based on the testimony of the human rights defenders that PBI has accompanied specifically in Guatemala, where I had the opportunity to be a volunteer

Jorge Palomeque
Guatemala, 2009-2011

PBI has made me a better person, it has trained me as an activist and as an agent of social intervention, and through PBI I have met people and experienced situations that I will always carry in my heart

Félix
Guatemala, 1995

PBI has given me the opportunity to cross the path of people who defend Life. And now that I am at a moment in my life when I think I have to choose between believing and not believing, having crossed their paths gives me the possibility to choose: I do want to believe.

Anonymous
  Guatemala

During my first field experience, I met people who remain very important in my life to this day. PBI's work is important because of the solidarity it embodies

Aurore Guyard
Mexico 

There is a before and an after PBI. It has made me grow personally and professionally

Melissa May
Mexico, 2015-2021

I believe that a key function of PBI - apart from direct protection - is to help volunteers understand, perceive and feel the injustice experienced by people in the global south. If we then go to the countries of the global north we can use this experience to demand, promote, initiate changes in politics and also in daily life by demonstrating the connections between realities

Michael Kettelhoit
Colombia

I think PBI's work is extremely important, as it contributes to establishing safe bases for HRD's to carry out their essential work. I value that PBI acknowledges local capacities and knowledge by adopting a non-interference approach

Izzy van Unen
Netherlands

I came onto the NepalMonitor project in Kathmandu in 2015. It was such a rich learning experience, and I developed relationships with international and Nepalese staff members that I still maintain

Rosanne Teniente
Nepal, 2015-now

PBI has impacted my way of thinking at the level of my political involvement. PBI's work is important to make visible and know the order of the world economy that contributes to the exploitation of certain populations and to generate awareness and change and solidarity with the people who suffer from this exploitation.

Jessica Garcia
Guatemala 

This is why the work carried out by PBI is so important; we look at repression directly in the face, whilst standing side by side with human rights defenders, a clear demonstration of defiance and international solidarity

Camila Marín
Mexico, 2018-2019

Their bravery and determination were inspirations throughout my year but it was their humanity – the stories, jokes and peculiarities of each defender I got to know – that will remain with me most and convinced me that perhaps the most important aspect of PBI's presence is simply solidarity.

Cat Rainsford
Guatemala

Protective accompaniment is effective and necessary. Collaborating with PBI has changed many beliefs that I had, personally I have learned other ways to manage conflicts, non-violent communication, and manage psychosocial impacts

Mar Saiz
México

I have been with PBI in different roles since 1996. It's a lifelong activism in my case

Montse Garcia
Guatemala, 1997-1998

PBI's work is unique, professional and effective. I felt a huge impact while and after being in the field: I feel that I understand the entanglement of things more, I feel that I am much more dedicated to make this world a better place 

Anonymous

PBI reaches people pursuing a noble cause that would otherwise be overlooked

Uli Krause
Indonesia, 2002-2003

PBI has had a personal impact on me because of the contact with the wonderful Salvadorian, Colombian, Guatemalan and Honduran people, and because of many situations of strong emotions, where I was very scared.

Eva Scarfe
El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua/CostaRica, 1989-now

PBI has shaped my professional career and has deepened my understanding for dinamics of oppression and activism in the face of authoritarian governmental structures. I think in this way, PBI has certainly contributed to make me the person I am today

Inka Stock
Colombia, 1997-1998

I like the cultural exchange that is part of PBI's work. PBI's work is important in part because no one else is doing the same thing

Tom Short
Kenya

I am absolutely convinced of the good work of PBI and of the need for the persistence of non-violent work for the respect of human rights and the defense of the different struggles. I also respect the different organizations accompanied by PBI

Pilar
Mexico, 2006-2007

PBI has allowed me to get out of the bubble

Emanuela Lamieri
Guatemala, 2017-2018

PBI's work has impacted my personal growth, my professional knowledge and career. I have moved on to a post-master project where I worked for another NGO. After that I decided to commit myself to political awareness in my own country

Hilde Koster
Mexico, 2013-2014

Opening spaces of peace for women and men defenders seems to me necessary and urgent, they are the last bastion of civilization in this world.

Carla Cavarretta
Mexico, 2008-now

I was a volunteer in the Guatemala project and since then I follow closely the work of PBI, which is very important for the people who fight every day for their rights.

Marco Baumgartner
Guatemala, 2014-2015

For me, the 13 months with PBI Guatemala have had a huge impact. I have learned a lot in almost all professional and life aspects. I have been able to do something that I found really useful and fulfilling and I have met friends that even 10 years later remain close.

Kathrin Rüegg
Guatemala, 2011-2012

I will never forget the encounters with people and communities that have resisted war for decades, to build structures of solidarity, fight against impunity, create sustainable small-scale farming and build critical educational projects. These encounters inspire me for my future, politically active life!

Christina Gerdts
Colombia, 2018-2019

PBI changed my life and paved my way into professional development cooperation

Caroline Sperling
Indonesia

PBI's work sheds light on violations happening around the world that are not relayed by the press

Raphael Warolin
Mexico, 2015-2017

PBI people connect with HRDs who are often struggling against all odds in isolation; they do not have to feel alone or that no one cares about the cause that is important to them

Mary Heather White
Indonesia, 2014-now

Ordinary people making an extraordinary difference, furthering respect for human rights, non-violently building the world we'd want to live in, and to pass on to future generations

Shane Guthrie
Indonesia and East Timor, 1999-2001

It is  the direct contact with the people that working in the field gives you, that makes the hard work of the ‘brigadista’, the hours on the road, the longer hours in the office, all worthwhile.

Gwen Burnyeat
Colombia

I am amazed by how many people are deeply committed to PBI and continue to be involved long after they volunteered with them. This has given me confidence that PBI really supports its volunteers personally and professionally, which to me is a really important attribute for an organisation to have.

Hannah Stoate
Kenya

Accompanying the Cimitarra Valley Rural Association (ACVC) usually means filling the rucksack with a hammock, wellies, insect repellent, then heading off on hair-raising truck rides into the mountains of Sur de Bolívar.

Rob Hawke
Colombia

It allowed me to get to know a very well planned and organized way of working as a team and network, and gave me the opportunity to meet extraordinary people and communities (defenders)

Alvaro Zaldivar
Guatemala, 2011-2012

PBI's work is fundamental because it represents international solidarity with human rights defenders and a commitment to change the world. PBI offers an opportunity to grow as a person, in contact with human rights defenders who fight for human rights despite the risks they face, and because of the horizontal organizational structure that forces greater reflection and greater responsibility from each of its members


Vicente Vallies
Colombia, 2000-ahora

PBI has been a school, where I learned a lot of new skills, but also where we generated a family and a network of people committed to the defense of human rights.

Kath Nygard
Colombia, 2003-now

Working as a field volunteer had a profound effect on me. I learnt so much about the country, its history and politics. I have remained interested and keep up to date with what's happening

Mary Scott
Guatemala, 2006-2007

It is essential to defend those who defend.  PBI transformed my life; I totally changed my professional orientation.

Paco Simón Conejos
Colombia and Honduras, 2001, 2014, 2016, 2018

Personally PBI has been a wonderful school of life. It really built and defined my work ethics. After PBI I worked for the international secretariat of Amnesty International, the UN special rapporteur on HRDs and ISHR

Marianne Bertrand
Mexico, 2008-2015

My best memory is experiencing the simultaneity of hope, sadness, joy, anger and courage

Joana Kathe
Honduras, 2016-2017

PBI's dedication towards human rights interests me and motivates me

Ismat Bahar
Indonesia

As I reflect on this work thirty years later, I am deeply appreciative of the integrity, commitment and clarity of my PBI colleagues. I am grateful to have collaborated in such a meaningful way to live out our values and to support those whose lives were so unfairly shaped by political violence and repression. I’m also grateful that so many hands have continued to carry out this work and PBI is thriving today

Karen Beetleon
Guatemala, 1985

I think PBI's work is very important. It is necessary to make visible and accompany the people who give their lives to have better possibilities of existence. On the other hand, I love knowing that there are other ways of being able to work

Marcela Paz Carrasco Rodriguez
Honduras

PBI has changed the way I understand the world of development, it has impacted me on a personal level in several ways: in the way I express myself, in the way I approach people and in the way I understand the best ways to provide support

Verónica Fernández Parro
Honduras, 2018-2021

One thing that stood out for me was the immense need for support from indigenous people in the face of the oligarchic system that rules developing countries. I was also impressed by the courage of the communities who try to assert their rights through the legal means available, despite the contempt of the ruling class

Jean-Jacques Ambresin
Guatemala, 2008-2009

PBI has trained me and given me experience in the defense of human rights in Mexico, where I still live today.

Arianna Bizzoni
Mexico, 2014-2019

Working with PBI made me change my way of seeing the world and also labor organizations. I was very inspired by the horizontality of the organization and the non-violent communication it promotes, always based on love

Laetitia
Colombia, 2016-2019

I think it is extremely important to accompany and make visible the work of human rights defenders for the construction of peace, justice and care for the environment


Sonia Pacheco
Honduras

The first right of human rights is to be respected and to be able to say and act nonviolently when they are not respected. I have a deep admiration for people who put their lives on the line to advance a recognized and deserved social cause

Caroline Tessier
Guatemala, 2008-2014

 PBI changed the course of my life and broadened my political analysis capacity

Marie Caraj
Guatemala, Colombia, Balkan Peace Team, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico, 1987-2005

PBI's work is important because it helps to make visible the work of people who struggle to exercise their human rights in a neutral and peaceful way. It has helped me to continue doing something for Latin America from the place I emigrated to a few years ago

Scarlett Menéndez
Mexico, 2018-2020

The accompaniment and safeguarding of human rights carried out by PBI is important, in my opinion it is an essential aspect for the construction of peace, equity and social and plural justice of peoples and disadvantaged people in conditions of vulnerability of their fundamental rights. In this sense, PBI is like a small-big bulwark that contributes, in an essential way, to the construction of a world where all worlds fit

Pilar Front Serrano,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras

PBI's work is important because they empower important human rights change from the ground up. By focusing on grassroots actors PBI is helping create space for these actors in political spheres, where they voices are direly needed. 

Brandon McNally
Kenya, 2016-2017; 2019-now

PBI provided me with knowledge in human rights and protection of human rights defenders that no other organization has given me. It has allowed me to grow intellectually and humanely, and to meet people and social movements that have enriched me greatly. Working in an international team also gave me a lot of humility and resilience, as I learned to work in a team on a daily basis. 

Manon Muti
Honduras, 2014-2015

 

PBI volunteer Stuart Bowman accompanies Zulkifli, a member of SPKP HAM, an association of victims of human rights abuses, during field trip to Pulau Weh, Aceh for a strategy meeting.

I really value our support for grass roots activists who are vulnerable due to their work. Our model, especially use of consensus, is very important for me

Stuart Bowman
Indonesia, 2002-2003

PBI's work is important because the defenders feel safer with the accompaniment without invading their space

Laura Gomariz
Guatemala

PBI was the foundation for my work in human rights and it taught me many life lessons 

William Kyte
Mexico, 2005-2006 

There were many small indications that illustrated what everyone had been telling us: That international humanitarian presence can help keep open a political space for which many people are struggling and even giving their lives

Janey Skinner
Colombia, 1985

The Coronavirus crisis has led to a lowering of the guard on human rights violations, both in the media and in state institutions. This is another reason why it is extremely important that PBI continues its work in a rigorous manner.

Manuel Müller
Colombia, 2019-2020

Up against all these political and structural problems, it's hard not to question the value of the work we do. But just as you're losing sight of this, you hear someone we accompany say that since PBI's been coming to their community, the level of conflict has reduced and they don't experience the threats that they used to, or that because of PBI they know they're not alone and feel motivated to keep fighting.

Emily Spence
Guatemala, 2018-2019

PBI was a great experience for me as it offered the opportunity to be close to human rights issues and learn from defenders

Rubens Carvalho
Mexico, 2011-2013

I have never met people where ideals and every actions match as much as within PBI

Teresa Huhle
Germany, 2008-now

In the field it has been very nice to be able to meet the men and women we accompanied, but also to see how such a small organization can do such a complete and relevant work

Roberto Meloni,
Guatemala, 2016-2017

I will always have much admiration for the defenders, I feel it as a privilege to have the opportunity to meet and accompany them, to share experiences with them. In spite of many serious difficulties they continue their struggle. It is an example for me.

Christa Hijkoop
Guatemala, 2012-2012

PBI's work is important because it provides protection for human rights defenders. It has impacted me on several levels: on a personal level by living with the team, on a work level by acquiring a lot of new knowledge and skills

Meike Wolter,
Honduras, 2019-2020

I see PBI's work as a way of being able to help, without being patronizing, but very conscious of my privileged position

Kathi Dunkel
Guatemala, 2011-2012

PBI's work is important, because the accompanying of HRDs makes their life immediately better and their work a lot easier

Alexander Weber
Germany

PBI has made me aware of things that were not there before, among others, that it is possible to work in a horizontal organization and be productive and do things well

Martin Gómez
Honduras

The experience has changed my life, both personally and professionally 

Romina Bettucci
Honduras, 2015
Mexico, 2018

During my time at PBI I have learned not only to listen to the defenders, but also to each person on the team and probably most importantly to myself, beginning to better understand my thoughts, emotions and actions as well as my strengths and weaknesses. My volunteering with PBI will always be an essential part of my life because it made me the person I am today.

Stephanie Brause
Guatemala, 2016-2017

PBI makes struggles visible and generates a coherent feeling of solidarity on a personal and work level, as well as inside and outside the organization

Paulina Martinez Larrain
Guatemala