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Culture of Peace Declaration - A Book Version for Children
an article by Marcos Estrada

As far as I know, the new Easy Reading version of the UN Declaration on a Culture of Peace, is the first time it has been written in a form for children. It has been published (so far only in Spanish) by the Fundacion Cultura de Paz, under the direction of Federico Mayor, and is available online.

click on photo to enlarge

I was surprised on how this beautiful little book held my attention, no longer being a child. The easy language used to express the important contents flew in my mind. Then, I realised it is really what I have wanted to do myself, children's material I plan to develop when time and funding allows me.

The lessons of Culture of Peace are clearly explained, helping and putting aside one's differences for the greater good of all. The one thing that I found awkward was the use of the infinitive tense in the book. As a child, I believe I would have assimilated more if I were reading in the first person, or have someone reading it to me, so an added "first person line" before each part, would have make me feel a child again.

The book is very well organized with a small amount of information written in simple words and colourful images, which should be able to hold children's attention.

Unlike other children's books where the easy reading edition becomes vague and loses the ability to teach, this edition allows children to learn without losing their own view. The book not only tells about what is Culture of Peace, but also about its evolution and it goes further to suggest what children do. There are imagines of children of different colours and cultures in harmony in each chapter, so that everyone, even if very young, can understand the message.

Congratulations to the authors, Ana Barrero Tiscar and Juan José Salado Sánchez, and to the illustrator Marta Kallmeyer for this beautiful and easy-to-read edition.

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Culture of Peace books for children, What is available?

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Latest reader comment:

This beautifully written and illustrated book brings the culture of peace full circle.  

The original concept of culture of peace was put forth in 1986 in a children's book published in Peru by Father Felipe MacGregor, entitled simply "Cultura de Paz."  

Father MacGregor later took part in the Yamoussoukro Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men (1989), sponsored by UNESCO and held in Côte D'Ivoire, where he introduced the concept of the culture of peace into the final declaration of the Congress.  It was on that basis that UNESCO's culture of peace program was founded a few years later.

As far as I know the book "Cultura de Paz"  is not available in other languages, not available on the Internet, and not available in print.  My personal copy is a treasure.   It would be a good project to scan and put it on line and to prepare translations.

Perhaps it is not by accident that both of these children's books about culture of peace were written in Spanish, and remain available only in Spanish.  One could say that it symbolizes the leading role that Latin America has played from the beginning in the culture of peace movement.

This report was posted on December 9, 2011.