Volunteer Spotlight: Yiru Chen

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


Toronto, ON, CA

How did you get involved with anti-war activism and World BEYOND War (WBW)?

Although I have always been a committed pacifist, it was only recently that I came into contact with World BEYOND War (WBW) through my university professor and became personally involved in anti-war activism. So I am very new to anti-war activism! Thus far, my contribution has been to do my best to show positive attitudes and actions toward anti-war activities by participating in WBW programs and conferences.

What kinds of activities do you help with as part of your internship?

During my internship experience, I was guided and supervised by Organizing Director Greta Zarro and Canada Organizer Maya Garfinkel as my supervisors. As a sociology student, I was responsible for using my research skills to help conduct some research and consolidate information for an ongoing project on armed drones in Canada. As a result of this task, I had the opportunity to learn about the different attitudes of the Canadian government and institutions towards armed drones and the level of opposition towards Canada’s proposed drone purchase. I also participated in WBW’s Organizing 101 training course to learn more about anti-war and peace and continue to look for ways to help WBW and anti-war activities.

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

I think that whether your involvement in anti-war activities is deep or superficial, as long as you consider yourself a pacifist, do not give up the possibility of being able to do your part for peace. Even just following WBW’s Twitter is an effort for world peace. When I was given the opportunity to join WBW, my heart was filled with shame because I thought I lacked knowledge about peace, war, and politics. Yet, I was given the opportunity to participate in an internship with such a wonderful organization. However, with the guidance and help of my supervisors, I realized that even a tiny action, like talking to someone around you about an organization called WBW, is a way to help anti-war activism. Because only when more people are aware of what we are doing, the war that the world has never stopped fighting, and the peace that it can’t ask for, can we unite against the war.

What keeps you inspired to advocate for change?

I had read on the Internet that in the more than 5,000 years of human history to date, there have been fewer than 300 years without war. This filled me with a desire to explore. What makes it difficult for humankind to keep the peace? And what kind of factors can promote human peace? Although reality tells us that there are many causes of war, no one can answer us about what will make the world stop war. So what inspires me to advocate for change is my curiosity and desire to explore, and I want to contribute to the common search of all humankind, the answer to peace.

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your activism?

Thanks to the development of the Internet, COVID-19 may have impacted our offline activities, but it did not affect my actions too much, especially since my activities are mainly responsible for collecting information and organizing it. However, I am still very much looking forward to doing some offline activities and interacting with anti-war activists.

Posted October 22, 2022.

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