Volunteer Spotlight: World BEYOND War Senegal Chapter Coordinator Marion Transetti

Each month, we share the stories of World BEYOND War volunteers and interns around the world. Want to volunteer or intern with World BEYOND War? Email greta@worldbeyondwar.org.


Dakar, Senegal

How did you get involved with anti-war activism?

For me, there was no triggering event or particular injustice that activated my activism, because I had the immense privilege of being raised by two passionate activists.

My mother was a hands-on woman and I grew up following her to meetings for this or that cause, to rallies for this or that.

I took part in my first demonstration at the age of 7 against the closure of my school (which was an alternative school that was rather unpopular with the government). We made puppets with a stick and a big painted head. Being small, these HUGE “signs/heads” symbolically “amplified” our voices. My mother was brilliant, she had lots of ideas like that. My activism owes a lot to her.

My father, on the other hand, was more of an intellectual. He read a lot and shared a lot with me. We had philosophical discussions about everything. He fed me humanist theories and strategies.

So I don’t deserve much credit for being the activist I am today, because it’s literally in my DNA!

How did you get involved with World BEYOND War (WBW)?

I think it started during the pandemic when I subscribed to the newsletter. But then I was just reading it and never took the plunge to be really active.

Then later, I was feeling a bit stuck about my activism with Amnesty International and I wanted to do more that writing letters; I wanted to be part of more significant actions.

And this is why when I arrived in Senegal, I asked if there was a WBW chapter here, and there was not: it was my cue! And here I am now, coordinating the chapter.

What kinds of WBW activities do you work on?

These days, I focus very much (and almost exclusively!) on the Djibouti campaign to advocate for the closure of foreign military bases there: choosing campaign targets, preparing presentations about the cause, gathering signatures, and more.

What’s your top recommendation for someone who wants to get involved with anti-war activism and WBW?

Do little (if you can’t do more at the moment), but do it everyday.

Peace activism is not a one-time thing, it needs consistency to possibly make an impact in the future.

What keeps you inspired to advocate for change?

Wangari Maathai! She is definitely my role model.

Here is an excerpt from her book, Unbowed, which I go back to very often:

A traditional African stool has three legs and a basin to sit on. To me, the three legs represent three critical pillars of just and stable societies.
The first leg stands for democratic space, where rights are respected, whether they are human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, or environmental rights.
The second represents sustainable and equitable management of resources.
And the third stands for cultures of peace that are deliberately cultivated within communities and nations.
The basin, or seat, represents society and its prospects for development.
Unless all three legs are in place, supporting the seat, no society can thrive. Neither can its citizens develop their skills and creativity.
When one leg is missing, the seat is unstable;
when two legs are missing, it is impossible to keep any state alive;
and when no legs are available, the state is as good as a failed state.
No development can take place in such a state. Instead, conflict ensues.

Posted March 1, 2024.

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