Eveline de Bruijn is a Programme Specialist in Armed Violence Reduction and Small Arms Control for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and an alumna of UWC Atlantic College.
After leaving UWC Atlantic College, Eveline completed a BA in Anthropology, International Law and Psychology, followed by an MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, which included an internship in Rwanda as part of the Dutch embassy. Here she conducted research on the reintegration into society as civilians of former fighters who had participated in the genocide in 1994, and reconciliation and transitional justice. Eveline found throughout her education was that conflict between humans was unavoidable, but that conflict didn’t have to automatically equal violence. This and the finding of alternative resolutions to conflict, was something she really wanted to promote.
Eveline completed her education with a further MA in International Law, followed by an internship with the UNDP in Geneva, focusing on small arms control and a trip to Colombia for a Dutch NGO. Here she worked closely with community members to find community-based solutions for challenges related to the reintegration of former guerrillas. In 2008, she moved to South Sudan to work for the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to essentially help empower local governments and community members to find their own solutions to insecurity at the community level. Eveline worked closely with the UN military, police and other components of the mission to support the government in facilitating mediation with the relevant parties to bring them together to talk about the problems and find non-violent solutions.
In 2011, Eveline relocated to the UNDP headquarters in New York to work for the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery where she is today. Specifically, she works for the Rule of Law, Justice and Security team as the focal point for Armed Violence prevention and Small Arms Control. This role involves the provision of support to UNDP offices across the world, to develop and implement armed violence prevention and community security programmes at National and community levels. They also work at a global policy level, using their experience to take the agenda of armed violence prevention forward and make sure we do so in close collaboration with other UN partners, the international community, National stakeholders and civil society.
'Throughout my career, the values and lessons I learned at UWC Atlantic College have been applicable on a day-to-day basis. I learnt that everybody acts on the basis of their own understanding of a situation and their own experiences, which can mean they act on their own prejudices, anger or frustration. Resolving an issue involves trying to understand the perspectives of others: where they came from, why they are angry and why they are acting in the way that they are. The solution is to try to get the two sides to understand each others opposing viewpoint. This principle is something that is widely taught in the UWC and is incredibly relevant in the political climate we are living in today.'
Eveline de Bruijn, (UWC Atlantic College), class of 2001