Category Archives: EDUCATION FOR PEACE

The UNESCO Chair and the UTPL promote the training of peace managers for Peru, Colombia and Ecuador


An article from La Conversación (translation by CPNN)

Through the intervention and support of the UNESCO Chair of Culture and Education for Peace at UTPL, on June 27, 2018 an agreement was signed between the Private Technical University of Loja (UTPL) and UNESCO Quito that will allow the strengthening of education programs so that the future managers of the peace can act from a sensitive perspective to fight against conflict and violence.

130 students and teachers from institutions of higher education and networks for peace, from Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, met in Loja with the aim of strengthening the skills of young leaders on issues related to the construction of environments without violence.

From June 27 to 29, 2018, the First Training Program for Culture of Peace Managers was held in Loja, organized by the Private Technical University of Loja (UTPL), the UNESCO Chair of Culture and Education for Peace – UTPL and UNESCO Quito.

The event was developed through lectures and workshops on topics of peace through environmental education, ethics in higher education, nonviolence and culture related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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Santiago Pérez, professor of the UTPL and coordinator of the International Youth Network for Peace, mentioned that this program is an innovative initiative in Latin America, as it is the first time that three countries seek to join together to promote the construction of a culture of peace, and that, thanks to the endorsement of UNESCO Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela and the support of several public and private entities in Ecuador, the quality of the conferences and workshops provided was assured.

Formation of the International Youth Network for Peace

As a result of this program, the UTPL, together with the Colombian and Peruvian universities present, participated in the signing of the commitment for the constitution of the International Youth Network for Peace.

Thanks to this network, young peace managers will be part of programs that will allow them to develop social and productive skills to participate actively in the resolution of conflicts and urban violence. They will study methodologies such as TINI (Land of children and young people for Good Living) of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Ecuador and UNESCO and the models managed by the Futuro Latinoamericano Foundation and the Foundation of the Americas.

Perez affirms that once the training should prepare the young people to be transformers of their communities.

The event for the agreement was attended by José Barbosa Corbacho, rector of the UTPL; Saadia Sánchez, director and representative of the UNESCO office in Quito; and, Mónica Reinoso, vice minister of Educational Management.

Each year, the International Youth Network for Peace will make available a specific number of places for young people interested in becoming peace managers in the three countries.

Peru: Law to promote the culture of peace and non-violence in basic education


An article from Andina: The Peruvian News Agency (translation by CPNN)

The government has promulgated Law No. 30810, which will incorporate the principle of the culture of peace and nonviolence into Law 28044, the General Law of Education for the Peruvian educational system. The law is published today in the official newspaper El Peruano.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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This principle of culture of peace as described in the mentioned law seeks to promote values ​​and attitudes that reject all types of violence, as well as promote the incorporation into the Peruvian educational system of the teaching of the culture of peace.

For this, the following text is inserted into article 8 of Law 28044, the General Education Law: “I) The culture of peace and nonviolence, which promotes values ​​and attitudes that reject all types of violence and discrimination, affirms life, individual freedom, freedom of thought, solidarity, equality between men and women and in general those rights referred to in Chapter I of the Political Constitution of Peru “.

The new law, previously approved by the Congress of the Republic, was promulgated by the President of the Republic, Martín Vizcarra, and by the Prime Minister, César Villanueva.

Tandil, Argentina: Municipal Mediation Center participates in the Provincial Meeting of Mediators


An article from La Voz de Tandil (translation by CPNN)

In recent days Tandil was present at the provincial meeting of mediators in Buenos Aires, sharing experiences of the Mediation Center, whose creation in 2004 was one of the pioneer municipalities.

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The delegation from Tandil was headed by the Director of Community Relations Lic. Zulma Ferreyra and the mediator Gladys Thomas, who is in charge of the Mediation Center of the Municipality.

As every year, this meeting aims to strengthen the work of mediation in the province, assuring the training of work teams and the promotion and dissemination of participatory methods to address conflicts as a public policy of access to justice.

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(click here for the Spanish version)

Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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In addition, the focus was on the need to disseminate and promote the implementation of non-violent community conflict management programs in the municipalities that have not yet incorporated this tool.

The conference was attended by the National Director of Mediation and Participatory Methods of Conflict Resolution of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Nation, Raquel Munt; the Deputy Ombudsman in Human Rights and Health Services, Marcelo Honores; the mediator María Gabriela Rodríguez Querejazu; and the person responsible for Conflict Management of the Ombudsman’s Office, Dolores Ayerdi.

The activity of permanent training and review of the practice carried out since 2016, is provided for all municipal mediators working for the cooperative management of socio-community conflicts.

In addition to the Community Mediation Center of Tandil, representatives from the municipalities of Bahía Blanca, La Plata, San Pedro, Mercedes, Lanús, Florencio Varela, Pilar, Tigre, Mar del Plata and Madariaga attended.

Activity by XIV World Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace

For the XIV World Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace, to be held this year in Argentina, our city has been chosen to carry out one of the workshops of the Pre Congress on September 17 and 18.

Why unarmed civilian protection is the best path to sustainable peace


An article by Annie Hewitt for Waging Nonviolence

The first image that often comes to mind when one thinks of peacekeeping, especially within the frame of the United Nations, is that of the blue helmets: armed soldiers gathered from member states who are then strategically deployed in conflict areas.

There are over 90,000 armed UN peacekeepers working around the world today — from Haiti to Lebanon to Kosovo to Darfur — who are generally isolated from the communities they are meant to protect. They engage from the outside, with soldiers often patrolling in vehicles and retreating at the end of the day to compounds of rarefied security.

Over 40 Women’s Peacekeeping Teams focusing on civilian protection and peacebuilding have formed throughout South Sudan. (Nonviolent Peaceforce)

This drastically reduces the ability of traditional peacekeepers to know and respect local people; without this understanding, trust is weakened and the kind of clear and open communication needed for sustained peace is undermined. A recent UN reportexploring ways to improve the safety of UN peacekeepers embodies this relationship model: its focus is on the protection of peacekeepers who come from outside countries and concludes that their safety depends on the proactive use of force.

There is, however, another model for peacekeeping called unarmed civilian protection, or UCP. It works from the inside and has been proven to save lives, empower communities and can secure strong and lasting peace in areas plagued by violent conflict.

“Unarmed civilian protection challenges the widespread assumption that ‘where there is violence we need soldiers,’ or that armed actors will only yield to violent threat,” said Rachel Julian, director of the Centre for Applied Social Research at Leeds-Beckett University, during a UN event in May. Hosted by the permanent missions of Uruguay and Australia to the UN, the event offered inspiring success stories and provided persuasive evidence that unarmed civilian protection works.

UCP, she began, is not a new-fangled and untested method of peacekeeping — in its current form, it has been around for over 35 years. Despite its long history, UCP is rarely recognized by international bodies as a viable tool for peacekeeping; armed strategies tend to dominate institutional efforts to combat threats of violence.

Julian’s research suggests that we have much to gain by expanding our conception of what peacekeeping is and by broadening our ideas of the methods it involves.
Julian explained that armed peacekeeping is limited in part due to the fact that the peace sought by armed peacekeepers is not grounded in the knowledge, practices and traditions of the people directly involved in the conflict. Armed peacekeeping imposes peace externally, introducing temporary resolutions from the outside. It is often implemented according to a fixed and prescribed model that is applied with relative uniformity in different regions and in all kinds of conflict.

As Youssef Mahmoud from the International Peace Institute said at the event, this kind of peacekeeping can yield “security, not safety.” And no doubt, security is important. But more important is a sustainable peace that finds its roots in the particular community itself. These local approaches to peace are always present, even amidst horrific violence.

Unarmed civilian protection draws on the peace infrastructure that exists within all communities by actively listening to everyone involved, by opening clear lines of communication, and by making a safe space for people to use and build on the knowledge and resources they already have. UCP is based on the recognition that each conflict and thus each peace is distinct and requires methods that are adapted to the particularities of the community and implemented by local people themselves.

Over the years, Julian has gathered a tremendous amount of data to prove the efficacy of UCP. Her research shows that unarmed civilian protection is scalable, that it is successful in preventing violence, that it works in all stages of conflict and that it is effective in preventing the displacement of civilians.

But the benefits that grow directly from the practices of unarmed civilian protection require time and funding, which they currently lack. Building trust and capacities, strengthening community ties, encouraging communication among “enemies” are not cheap and quick fixes. However, the investment pays off: the peace UCP ushers in tends to be strong and enduring. After all, its roots lie deep in the individual communities and in the hearts of its residents.

In the Kook community of South Sudan, strong local women came together to form the Women’s Peacekeeping Teams, which pooled their strength and knowledge to take action for peace. These teams were able to sustain peace among once hostile clans when it was threatened after a chief’s son was killed. Because the Women’s Peacekeeping Teams had laid the groundwork by taking the time to get to know and listen to people from all groups in the area, they were able to intervene on behalf of their community as a whole and ensured that no revenge killings would take place. And indeed, the peace remained.

Carmen Lauzon-Gatmaytan is the program development officer with Nonviolent Peaceforce, an unarmed, paid civilian protection force founded in 2002, which now has peacekeepers in the Philippines, Iraq, South Sudan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. An international NGO, Nonviolent Peaceforce is committed to “building peace side by side with local communities” in a way that saves lives and preserves human dignity. 

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Question for this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?

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Lauzon-Gatmaytan works in Mindanao region of the Philippines, which has emerged as an epicenter of violence in the country. Unarmed civilian protection has been effective in countering this violence, creating reliable channels of communication among opposing groups and cultivating islands of peace where conflict seemed inevitable. Local actors have been empowered through trainings in the methods of unarmed civilian protection, and trust among ostensible enemies is gradually emerging and taking hold. This has come in part by identifying common interests which unite rival groups, despite disagreement on the issues that drive the conflict.

A few years ago, a high school graduation celebration was disrupted by armed militias. Parents and students contacted Nonviolent Peaceforce to come work with their community, providing protective accompaniment to vulnerable people and encouraging dialogue among all parties. The following year, the graduates took part in a ceremony free of tension and fear. Families — whatever their political, religious and ethnic ties — recognized and respected the desire to watch their loved ones receive diplomas.

Building bridges among opposing groups reveals only one axis of UCP’s impact, which cultivates trust and strengthens ties among civilians. Equally significant, Lauzon-Gatmaytan insisted, is how UCP facilitates the coming together of civilians, government officials and armed actors to work for peace. This was witnessed in Mindanao when both the government and the main rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, requested that Nonviolent Peaceforce join in the official ceasefire and recognized unarmed civilian protection as a tool to be used to find resolution to the region’s problems.

Yasmin Maydhane, an international protection officer with Nonviolent Peaceforce, has direct experience using unarmed civilian protection in remote areas of South Sudan that are inaccessible to the UN mission there. Her work has introduced her to local people whose knowledge and resources have been channeled and directed so that they are now active unarmed peacekeepers themselves.

Herself a byproduct of UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Maydhane has firsthand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, and UCP, she stated without equivocation, works. She spoke with pride and excitement about the fact that UCP methods have inspired local youth to be increasingly involved in peacekeeping efforts in South Sudan, forming youth groups of motivated peace activists. The Upper Nile region, long cut off from aid of all kinds, now has basic humanitarian services thanks to UCP.

Perhaps most significant, women are leading some of the most successful peacekeeping efforts in the area. In one instance, they managed to bring together representatives from different ethnic groups to ensure safe passage through a once perilous series of checkpoints: Maydhane described how before these brave women joined forces, going through checkpoints meant abuse and rape. They declared, “Our men rape you, yours rape us — let’s end this” and South Sudanese women did just that. The checkpoints are now safely crossed.

At the event, Mahmoud said the efficacy of unarmed civilian protection comes in part from its adaptability and flexibility. This gives it a unique capacity to contend successfully with decentralized violence, a characteristic of most active conflicts in the world today. Equally important, unarmed civilian protection makes room for local actors to realize capacities that have become latent, and any good peacekeeper, he said, must draw on this untapped potential.

Peacekeepers must be sure to “map not only what is not working, but also what is working” — that is, to understand that the solutions to any conflict lie with the local people. This means that the aim of unarmed civilian protectors is ultimately to become dispensable — somewhat paradoxically, they must strive to be unneeded. In this, unarmed civilian protection goes beyond mere protecting, but supports local actors to build peace themselves. Real peace, Mahmoud stressed, always grows from the bottom up and while external actors can help make the space for peace, they must leave room for others “to shape it as their own.”

The UN event made clear that unarmed civilian protection is not simply about keeping peace, it is inseparable from building peace, which necessarily involves unearthing and realizing the capacity, knowledge and power of the communities that are directly involved in conflict. The kind of local ownership UCP depends on is essential for a robust and sustained peace as opposed to a fleeting and fragile one. Much of traditional peacekeeping has been pried from its natural place within grassroots peacebuilding, reduced to an external force that strains to impose a frozen peace from the outside and is itself dependent on outsiders.

The practices central to UCP — inclusive dialogue, protective accompaniment, trust-building and open negotiation — grow directly out of the awareness that local capacity is never absent, only buried and rendered dormant under the weight of conflict and violence. These are all too often the direct result of external forces — colonialism, proxy wars, scarce resources, climate change — for which those stuck in conflict bear no responsibility.

Nonviolent peacekeeping allows people to see humanity visibly manifested; unarmed peacekeepers must be decent and kind, they must listen actively and make all parties to a conflict feel as though they matter. In doing so, humanity is revealed to be not the property of one side or another, nor something that must be imported from outside.

Unarmed civilian protection directly addresses the urgent need to ensure that even the most violent regions across the globe are on a road to becoming safe and peaceful. Given increased international recognition and adequate financial support, data suggests that such widespread peace is in fact possible and sustainable.

Equally significant, this peace does not require the constant presence of saviors from outside, whether UN blue helmets or others. “Outsiders have to be humble enough to recognize that people have capacity not just needs,” Mahmoud said. “Outsiders also have to build into their DNA that they are dispensable.”

(Thank you to the Transcend Media Service for calling this to our attention.)

“Building peace from the inside out“ – course start in Jordanian refugee camps


An article from the Berghof Foundation

A powerful „su“ fills the library container of Relief International’s educational centre in the Jordanian refugee camp Azraq. Once the sound of their voices had faded, the 18 participants of the course conducted by Berghof Foundation shake out their arms and legs in relief. The joint exercise helps the Syrian women and men to release straining and stressful emotions, feelings, thoughts and experiences. All participants are Syrians volunteers working for various international organisations. The course supports them in their oftentimes challenging work. They are active in the fields of education, child protection and psychosocial support under a cash-for-work scheme in both Azraq and Zaatari camp.

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

During this first part out of four, the peace educational foundations are being laid. Following a joint discussion of basic terms and concepts such as peace, violence and conflict the participants explore the links between those and “the human being”, comprising body, mind, and emotions and feelings.  The combination of methods from peace education, theatre pedagogics, mindfulness and self-care has proved to be a viable approach that seems, for now, to be unique among offers of international support programmes for Syrian refugees active in the camps.

Organised by the Berghof Foundation’s programme Peace Education & Global Learning in cooperation with Relief International, the 12-days course takes place for the second time in the two Jordanian refugee camps Azraq and Zaatari between April and October 2018. The course is held by Dagmar Nolden together with a team consisting of Prof. Dr. Hannah Reich and Prof. Dr. Vladimir Kostic. As part of the project “Nonviolent education in Jordan” the activity is supported with means from the cultural unit of the German Foreign Office.

(Thanks to the Global Campaign for Peace Education for bringing this article to our attention.)

Human Rights Council of Sierra Leone Establishes Human Rights Clubs In Schools


An article by Mohamed Y. Turay from Sierra Express Media

The Human Right Commission of Sierra Leone (HRC-S/L) with support from UNDP has on Thursday 7th June 2018, launched the Human Right and Peace Clubs in secondary schools on the Theme “Building a Center of Human Right in Schools” at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill in Freetown.

The ceremony attracted key stakeholders including the Executive Secretary of the Human Right Commission, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, representative from UNDP, Conference of Principals, the media and few selected secondary schools respectively.

The purpose of the launching program according to the HRCSL Chairman, Rev. Osman Fornah is to strengthen clauses of human rights commission geared towards the New Direction in promoting education within the aspect of Human Right at schools.

He continued that the commission has been engaging on massive sensitization on education through the fundamental aspect of human rights in responding to the call of the President on civic education.

In his statements, the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba noted that his ministry is the gateway through which Sierra Leone engages other nations and international organizations.

He stated that the ministry’s mandate has made it possible for Sierra Leoneans to acquire membership of International organizations like the Africa Union adding that the establishment of Human Rights and Peace Clubs across Africa is an initiative of the Africa Union.

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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The Minister also affirmed that the aim of the initiative is to promote respect for human rights across all ages with emphasis on secondary pupils who he described as future leaders of Sierra Leone. He disclosed that a policy that promotes human rights and peace education among generations of school children will certainly produce adult Sierra Leoneans with sound minds.

Dr. Alie Kabba prayed for Sierra Leone never to experience the human rights abuses perpetrated against innocent people again during the eleven years civil war.

He discussed that the launching of the Human Rights and Peace Clubs in secondary schools is a laudable initiative which the government of President Julius Maada Bio wholeheartedly supports.

He spoke on the need to protect and respect the rights of disabled children who he described as most vulnerable in society and discussed on the important to address sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, child marriage, orphans, vulnerable children, child trafficking, child labor and juvenile justice which are core human rights and development indicators for his administration.

He assured that the Government of President Bio will take concrete steps to endorse a national program which will be pioneered by HRCSL and relevant government ministries to actualize part of the President’s manifestoes commitment to the people of Sierra Leone. He said the Human Rights and Peace Clubs are indeed consistent with the provision of the Human Rights Act of 2007 which the previous SLPP government enacted and called for the setting up of structures, policies, and programs necessary to improve the welfare and rights of children.

The Minister concluded by ascertaining that the Human Rights and Peace Clubs will add to the existing structures designed to protect the rights of our children.

(Thanks to the Global Campaign for Peace Education for bringing this to our attention)

Finalization of activities of ‘Imagine’ Project for school year 2017-2018 (Cyprus)


A press release from the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research published by the Global Campaign for Peace Education

The Bi-communal Technical Committee on Education, which was established after the agreement between the two leaders in December 2015, continues its efforts to implement confidence building measures in schools of the two educational systems and promote contact and co-operation between students and educators from the two communities.

(Photo: ADHR)

Educational programme ‘Imagine’ which addresses primary, lower and upper secondary and vocational schools managed to bring together 2000 students and 194 teachers from  40 Turkish Cypriot and 40 Greek Cypriot schools from all areas of Cyprus during the educational year 2017-2018.

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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’Imagine’, taking place under the auspices of the Bi-Communal Technical Committee of Education and implemented by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and the Home for Cooperation (H4C) with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany  and the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus has just been successfully completed on June 4, 2018.

A successful school year of peace education trainings ended with a festival in the buffer zone at the auspicious occasion of 1 June, International Children’s Day. The closing event took place with the participation of 100 primary school children ages 10-12, coming from 2 Turkish Cypriot and 2 Greek Cypriot schools.

Grounded in a holistic understanding of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, the programme is being implemented in two stages: in the first stage, experienced trainers visit the schools of participating students and teachers in both communities to facilitate activities that deal with stereotypes, extremism and intolerance, paving the way for voluntary bi-communal contact at the H4C. Then, in the second stage, groups of students from the two communities, who wish to participate, are paired and meet in the buffer zone where they take part in either peace education workshops with the AHDR or sports activities with PeacePlayers International.

All teachers who have participated in ‘Imagine’ were invited for a ceremony and were awarded certificates of participation. The event took place at the Home for Cooperation on June 8, 2018 in the presence of the Co-Chairs of the Bi-communal Technical Committee on Education, Dr. Meltem Onurkan Samani and Dr. Michalinos Zembylas, as well as the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr. Franz Josef Kremp and Elizabeth Spehar, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of UNFICYP in Cyprus.

Mexico: Invitation to study the Master of Science for Peace


An article from El Pulso del Estado de México

With the aim of contributing to the construction of a culture of peace in the educational communities of the State of Mexico, the Ministry of Education, through the Universidad Mexiquense del Bicentenario and the Council for School Coexistence, invites those interested in participating in the admission process for the Master of Science in Peace, school year 2018-2019.

This educational program is based on the formative lines of Conflict Transformation and Peaceful Coexistence in Educational Contexts, Gender Perspective for Security, Development and Sustainable Peace, as well as Public Policies and Citizen Participation for Human Rights and Peace.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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Graduates can enroll, preferably in areas related to education, social sciences, human rights and humanities, and the educational program will last four semesters, plus an additional one to complete the terminal work and obtain the degree.

The admission process consists of: information session on June 23; pre-registrations from June 25 to July 6; interviews from July 9 to 13; English exam on July 14; issue of results on August 8; registration for the first semester from August 13 to 17; propaedeutic course on August 18; beginning of the postgraduate course on August 24.

The delivery of documentation, entry procedure and definition of venue for the classes will be carried out in the facilities of the Higher Studies Unit Lerma of the Universidad Mexiquense del Bicentenario, located at Av. Industria Poniente s / n, Industrial and Technological Park Doña Rosa, Lerma, State of Mexico, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more information, interested parties can consult the sites:,, as well as write to the email: investigació or call 01-728- 284-7310 ext. 134

Côte d’Ivoire: A seminar on the culture of peace organized at the FHB Foundation of Yamoussoukro


An article from

“Educating for peace means training a caring and responsible citizen, respectful of human dignity and differences, and able to prevent conflicts or resolve them through non-violent means.” According to her, the culture of peace will only succeed if there is mutual understanding and an open and active conception of diversity.

Dr. Doumbia Diénéba

This was the message from Dr. Doumbia Diénéba at a training seminar held on Wednesday [13 juin] in Yamoussoukro on “Citizenship, the culture of peace and mutual understanding in academia.” Dr. Diénéba is the director of the peace research department of the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Foundation [FHB] of Yamoussoukro.

Dr. Doumbia emphasized that peace is a problem of collective action and not a given. It is not innate in the human being, it is the fruit of another type of wisdom.

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(Click here for the original version of this article in French)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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Initiated by the FHB foundation for the search for peace in collaboration with the Alassane Ouattara University (UAO), the training session involved the members of the University Platform for the Promotion of Peace and Democracy as well as leaders of clubs, associations and student unions.

In spite of the efforts and all the measures taken by the university authorities and the government, the violence in the universities returns in an episodic way. This violence has been threatening for some years, the safety of individuals, property on campus and disrupts academic years.

Faced with the complexity and the multiplicity of the violence, the causes of which require coordinated and complementary initiatives and actions, the FHB foundation aims to bring participants to master the tools of the culture of peace and the mechanisms of prevention and conflict management in the context of an academic environment where citizen behavior and mutual understanding are possible.

For the expert in the peaceful management of conflict, it is a question of making the transition from a world marked by a predominance of violence in all its forms, which leaves no respite to citizens, to a world where the values ​​of citizenship and the culture of peace are the very foundation of living together.

The director of the Peace Research Department of the FHB Foundation expressed hope that the training will strengthen participants’ skills and create within their university a critical mass of expertise and proven experience in the field of citizenship. citizenship, the culture of peace and non-violence.

Activity Report: The Turkey-UK “Peace Education in Teacher Training” Workshop


An article by the Global Campaign for Peace Education

The “Peace Education in Teacher Training” workshop took place between the dates 18th-19th January, 2018, at the Ness Hotel in Kocaeli. This workshop was organized by Kocaeli University, Faculty of Education. The workshop was supported by TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) and organized under the programme of Support for Cooperation and Organizing Activities for Events within the Bilateral Cooperation between Turkey-UK. The aim of this workshop was to understand the diversity of students in schools in Turkey and the United Kingdom and to share knowledge and experience for peace education. During the workshop, participants discussed various training programs, methods and strategies necessary for the ability to live peacefully in social life, and to develop cooperation between practitioners and researchers across the two countries. Participants included 17 peace education academicians and practitioners, 10 of which were from Turkey and 7 from the UK.

The opening ceremony and first session took place at Kocaeli University, Faculty of Education. During the opening ceremony, the Vice-President of the University, Dean of the Faculty, and Chair of the event each shared their support for peace education in the university. Following this, there were ten sessions during which peace education concepts – such as the meaning of diversity and peace, content and consequences of peace education, and efforts toward pre-service and in-service teacher training were discussed. Specifically, the workshop provided space for the sharing of best practices within peace education in Turkey and the UK. During the discussions, diversity and multiculturalism emerged as core issues across the contexts. During the discussions, it was found that “diversity” is often referred to as “inclusion” in the UK, “multiculturalism” in the US, and “inter-culturalism” in Turkey. The diversities were discussed to be based on not only race, religion or nationality, but also social class, economic class, ableism, sexual orientations, academic abilities, and social deprivation. It was made clear that the starting point for diversity management depends on the perspective from which the individual educator and school approaches diversities. In particular, these approaches include perspectives that are communal, interpersonal, political and global. Concerning strategies, the participants promoted the acceptance of others, training of social skills for the classroom, role modelling, and raising culturally responsive students to manage student diversities successfully.

The aims and content of the peace education were discussed in detail during other sessions. The participants of the workshop discussed that the aims are divided into two levels: micro-level and macro-level. Among the micro-level aims, the understanding of possibilities of peace, awareness of one’s own emotional and personal sources, and the recognition of innate personal values, values about friendship and values about community were discussed. For macro-level aims, the societal peace through social justice was regarded as the ultimate aim. When it came to the content of peace education, it was divided into four categories including values, skills, knowledge and process/methodology. Compassion, respect for diversity and nonviolence were among values of peace education while cooperation, inner peace methods, conflict resolution, inquiry listening, problem solving, critical thinking, dialogue, and activism related to how to promote social change. In addition, the understanding feelings, learning human rights and children rights, environmental education, and interculturalism were among the core knowledge constructs participants felt should be included in peace education programs. Lastly gender equality in hidden curriculum, participation, and asking open questions were among the processes/methodologies discussed.

During the sessions, it was discussed that the peace education content should change according to educational stages and context of the education. Participants divided peace education content into three levels which were affective (socio-emotional), cognitive (knowledge) and practice (skills) levels. For pre-school education, the affective aim seeks to foster empathy-building by doing empathetic activities, such as empathy in the playground. For primary school and middle school, the practice level actions might include imagining alternatives to violence and improving personal problem-solving skills. The cognitive level of peace education for primary and middle schools could include intercultural engagement. Also the affective level peace education should concern generating feelings and actions toward coexistence. For high school and colleges/universities, the practice level content could include brainstorming social alternatives to violence. This would make students more aware of benefits of peace.

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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The effect of the country’s demographic and political structure on peace education was another topic discussed in the workshop. It was decided that demographics should only describe people, not serve as separating and labelling mechanisms. Unfortunately, it was found that the countries’ political and economic structures affect peace education a great deal. The participants discussed that the hegemony of governments surely prevents investments in peace education. In relation to this, it was put forward that schools too often promote the dominant culture and that peace educators must remain aware of this.

How peace educators should be trained both during pre-service and in-service was also discussed during the workshop. Being a peaceful person was regarded as a prerequisite to being a peace educator, but what this meant was contested. Also, the participants discussed that peace education should be an interdisciplinary field of expertise rather than being a separate one. Thus, each teacher should be trained to be a peace educator during pre-service and in-service training. Elective courses, such as the course “Peace Education”, can be added to teacher pre-service training programmes to achieve this. As the textbooks are important aspects of teaching process, they should also be taken into consideration for peace education. Thus, the language and the content of textbooks for all courses should be reviewed in order for them to be appropriate for peace education. In terms of in-service training process, the teachers should be trained to be teachers who are able to resolve interpersonal conflicts by establishing constructive and peaceful dialogue with students. In order to achieve this, in-service programs should teach: negotiation skills, interpersonal problem-solving skills, mediation skills, questioning skills, effective listening, active listening skills, empathic listening skills, reflective listening skills, reframing skills, lack of prejudice, tolerance, and an appreciation of diversity, among other skills.

After the fruitful discussions, the workshop was concluded with an agreement to continue working toward peace education across the various contexts of the participants, including work to translate key materials, and to develop joint curriculum and evaluation tools. It was made clear that each and every participant both Turkey and the UK understood they were not alone in the struggle for peace education. This clearly showed the universality of peace, and the need for it. As Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of contemporary Turkey, said: “Peace at home, peace in the world.”

In conclusion, the Turkey-UK peace education training workshop promoted peace education and the respect of diversity as an important capacity for new educators in Turkey drawing on lessons learned from the UK, and vice versa. This is particularly important today since Turkey is currently facing a migration crisis. As is well-known, nearly 3.5 million Syrian refugees have arrived in Turkey since 2015. It is important that the education system and educators are prepared to assist young refugees to participate in and prosper from the Turkish education system. Thus, it is possible to say that schools are one of the most effected organizations by this immigration process, which makes peace education and peace educators especially important. The other partner, the UK, is also affected by Syrian refugees, just as other parts of the Europe are, and participants from the UK had much to learn from Turkish educators in terms of best classroom practices in times of migration, forced displacement, and trauma.

The workshop has put forward the importance of sharing standards and best practices for peace education. Preparing a joint curriculum in order to be able to work cross-culturally, and most of all, training teachers in order to manage peace education are the key findings of the workshop. It is believed that these findings will contribute to the field, since both Turkey and the UK are important examples to define how people from different cultures could live together and what kinds of social outcomes this may produce. If the contexts and the practices of peace education in these countries are understood better, this could lead to better practices in other countries experiencing similar challenges. If short, “peace at home, peace in the world” might be achieved.


We wish to thank Dr. Kevin Kester for his greatest contributions to our activity report. Also we wish to thank the participants: Abbas Turnuklu, Anna Gregory, Beryl Williams, Edward Sellman, Hasan Coskun, Mary Dalgleish, Mualla Aksu, Osman Titrek, Sara Hagel, Semra Demir Basaran, Terrence Bevington and Yucel Kabapinar for their invaluable contributions to the all sessions.

And lastly, we would like to thank TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) for supporting our workshop with the ID number 1929B021700437 under the programme of Support for Cooperation and Organizing Activities for Events within the Bilateral Cooperation between Turkey-UK.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)