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South African Peace Towns make Progress in Building a Culture of Peace
an article by Newsletter of International Institute for Peace through Tourism

Several IIPT/Skal Peace Towns (See CPNN June 11, 2013 ) have been dedicated in South Africa including the ‘diamond town’ of Cullinan, Rayton, Refilwe, Overwacht. Lethabong, Phumzile Park and the Dinokeng Game Reserve. Each are in the process of developing a culture of peace and social cohesion. Program initiatives have included:

Scholarship winners

click on photo to enlarge

Senior high school students from two schools, Chipa-Tabane and Cullinan Combined School were challenged to write an essay sharing their vision and insights in support of their towns/villages becoming “Peace Towns/Village.” Authors of the best essay were chosen from each school. Winners of the essay contest were Albertina Mhlongo, from Chipa-Tabane; and Tshegofatso Odell Lebethe , of Cullinan Combined School. Each receiveed a US$ 100 scholarship award to assist with their future studies.

A Safety House for abused children has been established caring for 17 children aged 6 to 19.

Zonderwater Correctional Services led the initiative to establish a peace vegetable garden at the Chokoe Primary School. Piles of rubble were removed and replaced with a fertile and bountiful garden that provides fresh vegetables for the children of the school.

Award winning artist Norbert Schling, Studio 14 and Roland Rohrs have successfully launched Visual Art Exhibitions in Cullinan, drawing many visitors to the area while supporting and training local artists.

Dinoleng Game Reserve has as its focus “peace through conservation and protection of wildlife.” DGR also supports community development initiatives.

Young Peterson Mahlangu, founder of Fundani Tours has created a “Community Peace Tour” to Refilwe and Cullinan that provides an authentic village experience for the visitor including local culture and history, visits with local story tellers, NGO’s, churches and an introduction to the welcoming spirit of Refilwe and Cullinan residents.

Mari Botha, Chairperson of the Rayton Business Forum is marketing Rayton as a peace town and seeking to create employment through property development and to enhance community tourism.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?,

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Latest reader comment:

International Cities Choose Peace

J. Fred Arment

International Cities of Peace, an association of global cities of peace, is using the U.N. Culture of Peace tenets as the guideline for forming initiatives. To date, thirty-one cities are part of the association. Some are grassroots organizations, others have the firm commitment by resolution or proclamation from the city council.
International Cities of Peace include the following:
• Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
• Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.
• Unity Village, Missouri, U.S.A
• Coventry, England
• Bradford, England
• Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
• Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Mataki, Philippines
• Pathuthani, Thailand
• Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Lake County, California, U.S.A.
• Aba, Abia State, Nigeria
• Nagpur, India
• Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.
• Bujumbura, Burundi
• Mzuzu and Lilongwe, Malawi
• Tunis, Tunisia
• Tuolumne County, California, U.S.A.
• Bihac, Bosnia, Herzegovina
• Yaounde, Cameroon
• Freetown, Sierra Leone
• Nyala, Darfur, Sudan
• Bujumbura, Burundi
• Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
• Nakuru, Kenya
• Calgary, Alberta, Canada
• Kathmandu, Nepal
• Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
• Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
• Warrake, Nigeria
• Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A.

To start an initiative, go to the association's website for resources and tools.

This report was posted on December 5, 2013.