Category Archives: EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Nobel Peace Laureate Maguire Requests UK Home Office for Permission to Visit Her Friend Nobel Peace Nominee Julian Assange ln Prison in London

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

A press release from the Peace People

`Mairead Maguire has requested UK Home Office for permission to visit her friend Julian Assange whom this year  she has nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize’

     ‘I want to visit Julian to see he is receiving medical care and to let him know that there are  many people around the world who admire him and are grateful for his courage in trying to stop the wars and end the suffering of others’

  ‘Thursday 11th April, will go down in history as a dark day for the Rights of humanity, when Julian Assange,  a brave and good man, was  arrested,  by British Metropolitan Police, forcibly removed without prior warning,  in a style befitting of a war criminal, from the Ecuadorian  Embassy, and bundled into a Police Van.  It is a sad time when the UK Government at the behest of the United States Government, arrested Julian Assange, a symbol of Freedom of Speech as the publisher of Wikileaks, and the worlds’ leaders and main stream media remain silent on the fact that he is an innocent man until proven guilty, while the UN working Group on Arbitrary Detention defines him as innocent. The decision of President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador who under  financial pressure from the US has withdrawn asylum to the Wikileaks founder, is a further example of Unites States’ global currency monopoly, pressurizing other countries to do their bidding or face the financial and possibly violent consequences for disobedience to the alleged world Super Power, which has sadly lost  its moral compass. Julian Assange had taken asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy seven years ago precisely because he foresaw that the US would demand his extradition to face a Grand Jury in the US for mass murders carried out, not by him, but by US and NATO forces, and concealed from  the public.

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Questions for this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Unfortunately, it is my belief that Julian Assange will not see a fair trial.    As we have seen over the last seven years, time and time again, the European countries and many others, do not have the political will or clout to stand up for what they know is right, and will eventually cave into the Unites States’ will. We have watched Bradley Manning being returned to jail and to solitary confinement, so we must not   be naive in our thinking: surely, this is the future for Julian Assange.

I visited Julian on two occasions in the Ecuadorian Embassy and was very impressed with this courageous and highly intelligent man.  The first visit was on my return from Kabul, where young Afghan teenage boys, insisted on writing a letter with the request I carry it to Julian Assange, to thank him, for publishing on Wikileaks,  the truth about the war in Afghanistan and to help stop their homeland being bombed by planes and drones. All had a story of brothers or friends killed by drones while collecting wood in winter on the mountains.

I nominated Julian Assange on the 8th January 2019 for the Nobel Peace Prize.  I issued a press release hoping to bring attention to his nomination, which seemed to have been widely ignored, by Western media.  By Julians courageous actions and others like him, we could see full well the atrocities of war.  The release of the files brought to our doors the atrocities our governments carried out through media.   It is my strong belief that this is the true essence of an activist and it is my great shame I live in an era where people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and anyone willing to open our eyes to the atrocities of war, is likely to be haunted like an animal by Governments, punished and silenced.   Therefore, I  believe that the British government should oppose the extradition of Assange as it sets a dangerous precedent for journalists, whistle-blowers and other sources of truth the US may wish to pressure in the future. This man is paying a high price to end war and  for peace and nonviolence and we should all  remember that.

(Editor’s Note: This press release was reprinted without attribution by David Swanson on his website. Google News does not list either one, despite the fact that the original is clearly labeled as a press releases.)

Dominican Republic: Ministry of Education to promotes a culture of peace and guarantes security in schools

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from Noticias Sin (translation by CPNN)

In order to foster a culture of peace and a better emotional environment that facilitates the teaching-learning process, the Ministry of Education has ordered the implementation of a comprehensive national program of accompaniment and psychological guidance through the Directorate of School Police, directed to students, teachers, educational technicians and administrative staff of public educational centers


“We need our students to have the opportunity to take full advantage of the efforts made by the Educational Revolution of President Danilo Medina, with an unprecedented investment in the different edges that make up a good education, with better trained teachers and modern infrastructure, and that is only possible in a total environment of peace, tranquility and security, “said Peña Mirabal to instruct the plan to the School Police, said Antonio Peña Mirabal.

The official called the families represented in the associations of parents, mothers and friends of the school (APMAE), as well as the other entities that work on education, to join this great purpose of improving the environment of schools.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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After receiving instructions, the director of the School Police, Colonel Giovanni de Jesus Gil Suarez, immediately launched the peace plan, with simultaneous meetings held in different public schools in the provinces of Duarte and Valverde, belonging to the Northeast regions and Northwest of the country, where expert security officers and a team of experienced psychologists exchanged impressions with students, teachers and administrative staff about the realities that are experienced in the schools.

Likewise, actions were coordinated and agreed upon with the directors, the teaching staff and with the different leaderships of the educational communities, in order to achieve, in the shortest possible time, a peaceful coexistence among all the actors involved in teaching.

The first schools played by the program were the Educational Center Juan de Jesus Reyes Aranda, in the municipality of Mao, Valverde, and the Liceo Américo Lugo, located in San Francisco de Macorís, where the security experts of the School Police, and experienced Behavioral professionals, knew the concerns expressed by students, teachers and other actors, as well as the problems that are most worrisome.

Among the issues addressed are the use of social networks as a valuable tool for the individual and collective development of people, as well as talks on the risks of physical and emotional abuse that are caused through the harmful practice of bullying, in addition to group dynamics oriented towards the need to cultivate values, good customs and respect for legal norms.

Among those participating in the activity are the professors and directors Celidania Rosario, Midalba Ureña, Virgilio Alberto and Apolinar Alejo, of the school district 07-05, as well as the colonels Rafael Encarnación Santos, Juan Francisco Gatón and Diego Pesqueira; the psychologists Miosotis Feliz and Luisa Terrero, and also Colonel Humberto Flores, representing General Boris Goyco Campagna, director of the Northwest Regional located in the city of Mao.

National Campaign for Peace Education launched in Cameroon

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

On Wednesday, 6th March 2019, Cameroon Peace Foundation Association, in collaboration with the Global Campaign for Peace Education, launched a National Campaign for Peace Education in Buea. The Campaign brought together religious leaders, lecturers, teachers and police officers.


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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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The purpose of the campaign is to create awareness about the need to introduce peace in Cameroon schools. With Cameroon facing a very critical moment in its history, when everything has failed to bring back the peace that is desired and cherished, Cameroon needs to review its educational system. Peace education is a timely intervention and the best weapon to fight against terrorism and violence.

“Peace education is education for human dignity, and is capable of dismantling a culture of war that is pervading Cameroonian society,” said Mforndip Ben Oru, the coordinator of the Cameroon Peace Foundation.

At the close of the launching, it was agreed that peace education is the pathway to a culture of peace. The next stop for the Campaign will be in Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon. The Campaign intends to visit all 10 regions of Cameroon.

The Cameroon Peace Foundation is seeking $5000 to support the next steps of the Campaign. If you are able to donate, please contact Mforndip Ben Oru: ben.mforndip@gmail.com

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

The resurrection of Dr. King

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An essay by John Dear for Waging Nonviolence

Over the last fifty years, there have been thousands of nonviolent movements for peace and justice that have made huge strides, and at the heart of every one of those movements stands the life, death and teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the global apostle of Gospel nonviolence.

Because of his legendary work in the Civil Rights movement, Dr. King’s stand against systemic poverty, institutionalized racism, permanent war and nuclear weapons, and his steadfast insistence on Gospel nonviolence as the best methodological tool for political change and the bottom line for human decency, thousands of nonviolent movements have sprung to life around the world. Dr. King’s courageous life and life-giving death have born tremendous fruit around the world in new unparalleled breakthroughs for justice and peace.

Yet few know this. Few understand it. Few realize the global debt we owe to Martin King. Few see the transformative power of global, bottom up, grassroots people-power movements of active nonviolence.

Long ago, Jesus said, “Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it cannot bear good fruit.” Apparently, this is the way positive social change happens. When people give their lives in nonviolent movements for justice and peace, the spirit of nonviolence gets unleashed and becomes contagious. Anything can happen, even peace.

From Jesus to Dr. King, those who give their lives in the nonviolent struggle for justice, disarmament and peace, even though they appear to fail, bear tremendous good fruit in the long haul. That’s the way nonviolent change happens. That’s the lesson of Martin Luther King, Jr. That’s the undertaking we’re all called to support. That’s the path ahead.


I grew up in Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s, where my father was a leader of the National Press Club. Though I was a boy, I was extremely politicized. I understood the evils of the Vietnam War and the hope of the Civil Rights movement. When Dr. King was killed, and two months later, Robert Kennedy, I knew then and there, that the world had changed for the worse, that the powers that be had destroyed the best voices for hope and change.

From then on, I saw a direct line from the U.S. killings of MLK and RFK to Nixon, Vietnam, Reagan, the Central American Wars, the Bushes, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the blatant fascism of the Trump Administration, and with them, a new sick world of permanent war, systemic poverty and racism, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction.

For years, I pondered the lives of Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy. In college, I felt that the best response I could make after their assassinations was to give my life to Jesus, become a priest and then, a public peacemaker.

In the 1980s, I lived for a while in El Salvador, and worked in a refugee camp in the war zone, under the direction of the Jesuits who were later assassinated. During those difficult days, people around me spoke in hushed tones about Archbishop Romero, as if he were alive. They had a vibrant theology of resurrection, which inspired their steadfast commitment to justice and peace. They knew he lived on in them, and because of his courage, they too spoke out.

Romero is now canonized as a saint, and its easy to see his power, but back then, even the mention of his name was risky.

I have never heard anyone speak of Dr. King that way. No one speaks of the resurrection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike the suffering people of El Salvador, we have no theology of resurrection. We do not yet understand how our saints and martyrs have risen and continue to inspire us to work for a new culture of peace and nonviolence. Yet that is the way resurrection works.

Martin is alive and well and risen, and continues to inspire us to practice nonviolence, organize for justice and peace, and give our lives for God’s reign of peace.

Over the past forty years, I have been involved full time in the global grassroots, bottom up, people power movements of nonviolence, inspired by Dr. King. Along the way, I have befriended many of Dr. King’s friends and colleagues—Coretta Scott King; Jim Lawson; Vincent Harding; John Lewis; Dorothy Cotton and Bernard Lafayette. All of them, along with thousands of others, have continued Dr. King’s work of teaching and promoting active nonviolence as our one last hope, as our last ditch effort, our best way out of the madness, the best methodology for positive social change, the way of the nonviolent Jesus.

I think the time has come to claim Dr. King’s resurrection as the power beneath our active, creative, organized nonviolence, just as we claim the resurrection of the nonviolent Jesus as the basis for our very lives.

When the nonviolent Jesus rose from the dead, he remained as gentle, loving, nonviolent and determined as ever. He was not bitter or angry, vengeful or retaliatory. He did not get mad at the disciples for abandoning him. Instead, he blessed them with his gift of peace, breathed the holy spirit upon them, and sent them forth to carry out his mission of active nonviolence into the culture of violence.

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Questions for this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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In other words, the risen Jesus was the embodiment of peace and nonviolence. As I reflect on that, I conclude that resurrection means having nothing to do with death, which means having nothing to do with violence, which means, resurrection is all about nonviolence.

If we want to get ready for resurrection, and follow the nonviolent Jesus, we practice resurrection by trying to be as nonviolent as possible—to ourselves, to every human being we meet, to every creature on earth, to Mother Earth, and through our participation in the local/global grassroots movements of nonviolence for justice and peace.

The night before the government killed him, Dr. King told thousands of people in Memphis this short summary of his life’s work: “The choice is no longer violence or nonviolence; it’s nonviolence or non-existence.”

That’s where we are today, on the break of global destruction with permanent war and systemic poverty and racism, nuclear weapons and catastrophic climate change, a whirlwind of global violence that infects every aspect of society, in every corner of the world.

Dr. King’s core message was the wisdom and way of nonviolence. His daily call was a passionate plea for us to become people of creative nonviolence who work for a new nonviolent world without war, poverty, racism, sexism, nuclear weapons or environmental destruction, a whole new culture of nonviolence which he understood as the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. He said we do this no matter what, that we keep going no matter what, that we struggle for justice and peace and never give up.

From the Montgomery Bus Boycott through the Freedom Rides and the Birmingham Campaign to his March on Washington and Selma March through his organizing projects in Chicago and the Poor People’s Campaign and his public denunciation of the Vietnam War—Dr. King lived, breathed, taught and modeled Christian nonviolence.

“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the one who wields it,” Dr. King wrote. “It is a sword that heals.”

If we want to take Dr. King seriously, I suggest we start studying, teaching, practicing, organizing and renewing nonviolence in our lives and communities. The more we promote and practice nonviolence, the more Dr. King rises among us, just as Oscar Romero continues to rise in his people.

“I’m committed to nonviolence absolutely,” Dr. King said about a year before his death. “I’m just not going to kill anybody, whether it’s in Vietnam or here. I’m not going to burn down any building. If nonviolent protest fails, I will continue to preach it and teach it. I plan to stand by nonviolence because I have found it to be a philosophy of life that regulates not only my dealings in the struggle for racial justice, but also my dealings with people, with my own self. I will still be faithful to nonviolence.”

As we go forward in these difficult times, we can let Dr. King rise in us, if we dare, by daring to rise to the occasion, and becoming the people of active nonviolence he hoped for. Let’s do it.

Last September, Pace e Bene organized our fifth national week of action, from Sept. 15-24, 2018, with over 2650 events, marches and actions across the USA, involving a hundred thousand people, speaking out for a new culture of nonviolence. We were trying to put nonviolence into action, to get the grassroots movement moving. 

On top of this, we gathered in Washington, D.C. at the Dr. King statue, and marched past the Lincoln Memorial to the White House for a vigil against war, racism, greed, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction. Ten of us committed civil disobedience, holding out signs right at the gates. It was daring, public, exciting, and meticulously nonviolent, for we walked in silence, in prayer, in peace, like Gandhian satyagrahis. We tried to step up to the plate and carry on the witness of Dr. King, in our own turbulent times, come what may.

That’s not all. Our group, www.campaignnonviolence.org  has called for cities around the nation to become “Nonviolent Cities,” where every aspect of civic society is nonviolent, so that people are not hungry or impoverished, there are no guns and killings, no violence or racism, that the schools teach nonviolence, the churches preach nonviolence, and the city councils and mayors work for a nonviolent society. We think this takes Dr. King to a new level. It can’t be measured, but it’s happening, and with this quiet grassroots organizing, Dr. King rises and so do we.

On top of this, some friends and I have been working with the Vatican over the last few years to ask the Pope to write an encyclical on nonviolence. During our historic April 2016 conference on nonviolence at the Vatican, we took turns speaking about Jesus’ way of nonviolence and the need for the universal Church to advocate nonviolence. After the conference, Pope Francis wrote a world day of peace message calling for nonviolent alternatives to war and violence. It was the first statement on nonviolence in the history of the Church. What a sign of hope!

Around the world, there are many signs of hope, signs of resurrection—the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo movement, the Plowshares movement, the Parkland Students’ “March for our Lives,” resistance to the Trump administration, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the environmental movement, the anti-death penalty movement and so forth. In particular, I take heart because for the first time since the early days of the church, Christians are beginning to discover the nonviolence of Jesus and make it a central aspect of their own lives.

How did Dr. King carry on in the darkness around him? As he arrived in Memphis, in the weeks before the U.S. government killed him, he gave us his answer. One night, he told the crowd his definition of hope. “Hope,” he said, “is the final refusal to give up.”

That’s the path to resurrection, the way forward. We are not going to give up. We are going to keep practicing nonviolence, resisting systemic violence, speaking truth publicly and organizing the grassroots movements for positive social change. As we do, Dr. King rises among us, as does Jesus, and we experience the breakthroughs of God’s reign in our midst. Hope indeed!

Mexico: authorities sign agreement for peace in Tecomán

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from AF Medios (translated by CPNN)

Municipal authorities, federal and civil society, have signed the Partnership for Peace Agreement which seeks to promote and promote a culture of peace in the municipality of Tecomán. Signatories include the municipal president of Tecomán, Elías Antonio Lozano Ochoa, the federal deputy, Hugo Rafael Ruíz Luster, along with the state delegate of Programs for the Development of the State of Colima, Indira Vizcaíno Silva, and the president of the Citizen Council AC, Nazario Rodríguez Guerra.


Participants in the event held on Wednesday [March 6] included the federal deputy Rosa María Bayardo Cabrera, the general director of Economic Development, Rubén Reyes Ramírez, the head of Economic Promotion, José de Jesús Figueroa Cuevas, officials of the administration and representatives of various social organizations.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

Nonviolence is at its best when violence is at its worst, Do you agree?

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Ruíz Lustre pointed out that society has a culture of war that leads it to commit acts by imitation.

“Therefore, every day at a younger age crimes are committed; That is why this agreement is being signed, which we started in Colima, the smallest and most violent state in the country. “Ruíz Lustre also mentioned that his main decision will be to promote, along with the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, an agreement for the previous military installations of the 20th Military Zone to become a Training Center for the Western Zone Police.

For its part, Indira Vizcaíno Silva said that the initiative coincides with the vision of the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to focus on prevention and promote a culture of peace and reconciliation.

Nazario Rodríguez Guerra, president of the Citizen Council said he was very worried about what has happened in Tecomán. “We must return to inculcate values, because we have fallen into consumerism and neglect. We need to achieve a peaceful society.”

To conclude, the mayor of Tecomán said he was convinced that peace is important for the development of communities, peoples and nations. “We are in this situation because we have stopped doing some important things, but I am also convinced that we will soon be able to reverse it and achieve better living conditions for all.”

[Editor’s Note: According to news reports, Tecomán has the highest crime rate in Mexico with with 164.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
 

CJP co-founder and first director John Paul Lederach awarded Niwano Foundation Peace Prize

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from the Eastern Mennonite Univeraity

Internationally renowned peacebuilder John Paul Lederach, who has committed his life and work to nonviolent approaches to conflict for more than 40 years, has been awarded the 36th Niwano Peace Foundation Peace Prize.


 (Photo courtesy of the Kroc Institute)

Lederach, currently a senior fellow at Humanity United, is a co-founder and the first director of the Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020. He holds the title of distinguished scholar and sits on CJP’s Board of Reference. Lederach is also professor emeritus of international peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, where he taught for 15 years.

The prize recognizes Lederach’s scholarly and practice work in “mediating conflicts, building peace, and fostering international reconciliation,” according to a Niwano Peace Foundation release. “He has developed training in conflict transformation and provided direct conciliation support services in some of the most violently conflicted regions across five continents.”

“His books, lectures, workshops and conversations offers grounded, practical insights into the complex nature and dynamics of conflict and how to transform it,” said committee member Ahn Jae Woong, immediate past president of the YMCA of Korea and former general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia.  As with his teaching, his approach is one that encourages people to embody the core principles of the faith tradition that guides them.”

Nominations are solicited annually. Selected by a committee of 11 global religious and spiritual leaders, recipients are honored for their leadership to interreligious cooperation in the cause of peace.

“EMU has benefited greatly from the visionary peace-building leadership of John Paul Lederach, and we extend our congratulations to him on the occasion of this prestigious award,” said President Susan Schultz Huxman.

Lederach will attend a ceremony May 8 in Tokyo, where he will be presented with a gold medal and the subsidiary prize of $180,000. He will also address the Niwano Peace Foundation, dignitaries and global peace leaders.

“It is a profound honor to receive this 36th Niwano Peace Prize,” Lederach said, in his acceptance letter. “Your recognition gives us courage that our global beloved family can move beyond hate, division, and exclusion and create the bonds that truly heal.”

Lederach expressed thanks for the support and commitment of his family as well as many others, in the Mennonite tradition and those of diverse faiths, who have influenced his practice, writing and scholarship.

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Questions for this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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“Peacebuilding is not about a single person but rather how whole collectives cohere, how communities rise and respond to challenges, and how families stay strong,” he said.

Aiding in his own work at building cohesive peacebuilding collectives, Lederach named several EMU practitioners. The urging of Vernon Jantzi, then professor of sociology and social work (now professor emeritus) at EMU, convinced Lederach to return to academia after many years in the field with Mennonite Central Committee and other organizations.

The duo, with several other contributors from Colombia, Kenya and the United States, helped to found the Conflict Transformation Program at EMU, now known as the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, and the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, in response to demand and need among practitioners for training and generative conversations in the areas of conciliation, peacebuilding and restorative justice.  

This award “helps us all appreciate more fully the magnitude of the sea change that John Paul has helped create here at EMU and in the global peacebuilding field,” said Jantzi. “His low-key, inclusive approach has partially obscured how revolutionary his vision and practice have been.  A people-centered practitioner, down-to-earth philosopher, artist, and engaging teacher, he has always believed that durable peacebuilding happens when we manage to bring the best of our humanity to bear on our most inhumane behavior and structures.”

Jantzi particularly praised Lederach’s “articulation, enrichment and expansion” of the concept of peacebuilding through his life of service, pedagogy and practice.

Among the other “extraordinary people” Lederach credits with helping him to “understand patient accompaniment and courage in forging peace” are several accomplished CJP graduates and Summer Peacebuilding Institute participants and instructors:Hizkias Assefa, Babu Ayinde MA ‘98, Rose Barmasai, Dekha Ibrahim, and Florence Mpaayei, of Kenya, Emmanuel Bombande MA ‘02, from Ghana; Joe Campbell MA ‘02, from Northern Ireland; Ameet Dhakal MA ‘02 and Preeti Thapa, from Nepal; Sam Doe MA ‘98, from Liberia; and Myla Leguro, from Mindanao.

Lederach also urged inclusive participation of youth and women in national negotiations, conference panels or locally led peace efforts in his acceptance letter.

He also lifted up a unified and faith-filled commitment to discovering, sharing and practicing nonviolent alternatives to conflict: “For me, the deepest aspirations of my faith tradition provided inspiration to move beyond barriers and boundaries. The infinite, boundless, and audacious love of the Divine toward humanity stirs us to notice and learn from this gifted diversity, to build lasting and improbable friendships across our brokenness, and to fearlessly seek to understand those with whom we disagree.”

Recent recipients of the Niwano Peace Prize include the Adyan Foundation, Lebanon, 2018; Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, Palestine, 2017; the Center for Peace Building and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka, 2016; and Pastor Esther Abimiku Ibanga, Nigeria, 2015.

(Editor’s note: The methodologies developed by John Paul Lederach during the 1980’s in Central America and Africa were an important contribution to the development of the Culture of Peace Programme at UNESCO in the 1990’s.)

Dominican Republic: Reflections on the search for a culture of peace in schools

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from Acento (translation by CPNN)

For three days the Ministry of Education held the National Forum for a Culture of Peace. With the enthusiastic presence of Minister Andrés Navarro, some 360 ​​students represented the 18 educational regions at the national level contributed proposals to address the increase in violence in Dominican schools.


We appreciate that Minister Andrés Navarro dedicates time and focus attention to this issue, and that the students of the country have been considered an essential part of the search for solutions in a subject that directly involves them.

Violence in schools is an old problem. The schools are located within communities that also have problems of violence: structural violence of society, family violence, gender violence, social violence. The violence that worries us today has always been in schools, but it is only now that we have instruments to recognize this violence, and show it outside the classroom, through social networks, and from there to more formal means of communication .

We never before had an education minister who discussed three days with students, listening to their concerns and suggestions on how to deal with violence. It’s a breakthrough. The Ministry of Education should make decisions about how to take on new technologies in schools, especially smartphones, which in some schools are forbidden while in others are allowed. They should not be instruments for distraction, but they can be instruments for information, for school work. New technologies should be incorporated as a support and not as an enemy.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Questions for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

Where is peace education taking place?

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The other important issue is that students who go to school and are violent, or are victims of violence, or are spectators of acts of violence, come from homes with permanent or systematic violence, where there are aggressors and victims. These families can not be left out of the solutions. The school must find a way to incorporate the families of the students to solve the problem and to promote a culture of peace and respect.

The Ministry of Education will not be able to do anything with students who in the classrooms are instructed for a culture of peace if a culture of violence continues around them in the streets and in their homes.

There are working methods that the Ministry of Education could well assume in addition to this three-day meeting promoting a culture of peace. They should establish a dynamic that will involve teachers, school district coordinators, school directors and high schools.

The specialist Vanesa Espaillat, deputy director of the Lux Mundi School and professor at UNIBE University, has established that in any act of violence in the school context there are three actors: An aggressor, a victim and a public spectator. The public should be incorporated as part of the solution, and not left out as a simple observer.

No one who witnesses abuse or victimization in the school setting can remain indifferent. Teachers must be trained to deal with these events, and when they occur they should take advantage of them to nuance and emphasize the culture of peace, self-control, rejection of violence and taking responsibily.

The Ministry of Education needs to obtain an in-depth view to provide far-reaching solutions to this problem. It cannot solve it alone, because it does not depend only on the authorities, but it can help to find the door for its reduction.

We congratulate the Minister of Education, Andrés Navarro, for initiating the search for answers to an issue that worries the whole society. These initiatives can bring tranquility and serenity to the sector of education which so vital for families and for society.

Mexico: Culture of Peace Diploma initiated by CEDHJ, UdeG and the Institute of Alternative Justice

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article from UDG TV (translation by CPNN)

Guadalajara Jalisco. Taking advantage of the chaos to transform it into peace, that is the commitment of the Culture of Peace Diploma that was initiated this Saturday in the State Commission of Human Rights of Jalisco (CEDHJ) to train civil servants and agents of change of the civil society in the most effective strategies to promote peace in any public space, explained the president of the Committee for a Culture of Peace in Jalisco, Florencia Marón.


Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

She explained how it is especially during times of chaos and hostility between societies that one can see an opportunity to generate a culture of peace through dialogue, empathy and conciliation.

Peace cannot be achieved by decree, even though the president of Mexico has announced that the war against drug trafficking has ended, clarifies the president of Mesa for the Culture of Peace Jalisco.

She added that yes we will be able to be a society of peace to the extent that we are willing to listen to the other, to respect their rights and to demand that the mental health of the Jaliscians be addressed with clarity and punctuality by the state administration.

The University of Guadalajara, the Human Rights Commission and the Alternative Justice Institute are participating in this Culture of Peace diploma.

(Click here for the original article in Spanish)
 

Culture of Peace and Education

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An essay by G.K. Ghosh in The Statesman

Since the war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed. ~ The Unesco Charter

The United Nations entity had identified the first decade of this century (2001-10) as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World. A culture of peace was envisaged to be achieved when citizens of the world would be able to understand global problems, have the skill to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice, non-violence and live in accord with international standards of human rights and equity.

In 1989, the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men held in Africa urged Unesco to “.help construct a new vision of peace by developing a peace culture based on the universal value of respect for life, liberty, justice, solidarity, tolerance, human rights and equality between men and women.” The report of the Unesco’s International Commission on Education for the 21st Century titled Learning: The Treasure Within suggested that educational process needs to be restructured to draw out the hidden talents in students. The UN declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace adopted in 1999 emphasised the role of education in promoting a culture of peace.

Thus, education may serve as the principal means to create a culture of peace, and by reflecting its basic principles, the curricula can prepare people for the task of developing a culture of peace. Manifesto – 2000 for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence was launched by Unesco in 1999. It laid down the code of conduct for individuals saying that they must respect the life and dignity of every human being . There should be no violence ~ physical, psychological, sexual or social. The Unesco project on “Teacher Education for Peace” is also based on the assumption that effective teaching for peace and international understanding must target teachers themselves because they are the torch-bearers of building a peaceful culture in schools. They should be equipped with the content and pedagogical skills to translate the value of peace, tolerance, nonviolence, human rights and international understanding within the confines of the classroom.

In building a culture of peace, education has to play a crucial role. Peace education could infuse the entire curriculum and not just a separate aspect taught in isolation. Children may be acquainted with factors that contribute to practise solidarity, cooperation and respect for citizenship rights among different groups in society, and with factors that improve the realisation of such objectives.

Children may be enabled to generalise concepts and procedures relating to peace, cooperation and human rights at the local and national levels so as to develop a concept of world citizenship. They may also be acquainted with different organisations that cooperate at the local, national and international levels to promote peace and human rights and also to understand the role of the international bodies. Children may be acquainted with instances of violation of peace and human rights and the exploitation of international cooperation along with their adverse effects on the quality of life. They may be informed about the struggles and movements for peace and cooperation.

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Question for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

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Peace education is not a novel concept in schools. In many countries such as Australia, Netherlands, Canada, the UK and the USA, activities in the area of peace education have been in vogue for quite a long time. India has been the home of people with various origins. Ours is a tolerant eclectic society, a democracy in which universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms are guaranteed to all without any discrimination on grounds of community or creed.

Mahatma Gandhi introduced the lessons of non-violence in education for better manifestation of human sensibilities. Nai Talim or basic education guaranteed the essentials of education nursed in the spirit of non-violence.

The National Policy on Education (1986) states that “India has always worked for peace and understanding between nations, treating the whole world as a family.” It adds that “in our culturally plural society, education should foster universal and eternal values, oriented towards the unity and integration of our people.”

While preparing the Country Report on the Delor’s Commission Report, the Indian National Commission for Cooperation with Unesco in 1998, states,”India’s educational ethos needs major reforms in the context of the changes that are sweeping our country. The transformation that the society is going through warrants rejuvenation in the way we teach and what we teach.The way we structure our educational institutions and determine the contents of our curricula can by themselves help us move towards a culture of peace.”

Several non-governmental organisations like the World Peace Centre have been involved in spreading the message of Manifesto-2000. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) came out with its National School Framework for School Education-2000 which lays stress on peace education. The Curriculum-2000 inter alia emphasises education for peace and international understanding.

It has stressed the need to infuse a profound sense of nationalism tempered with the spirit of vasudhaiva kutumbakam. The NCERT in its Curriculum Framework for Quality Education stresses the student teachers’ contribution for social reconstruction to resolve conflicts peacefully. The Indian teachers’ education curriculum at the elementary and the secondary levels includes peace education.

So vast is the responsibility of teachers and yet, unfortunately, so little is the attention paid to implement them. Obviously, the teachers must accept their share of responsibility of inculcating good conduct, tolerance and a sense of respect for law and order among the pupils. The children can be taught in the classroom about the nature of conflicts and the way they can be resolved. They can be taught as to how to deal with conflicting situations, forgive others and inculcate in themselves the seeds of tolerance which is the need of the day. They should be told that a multi-religious society like ours is particularly vulnerable to the poison of intolerance. Holistic education lends itself to endless possibilities for innovation.

If the goal of education is freedom from ignorance, freedom from dependence and freedom from prejudice, then it is time to ask ourselves whether our education has enabled us to acquire the necessary competence to understand the world in which we live, to develop the skills to live independently and also to live collectively. Harmonious coexistence of multiple identities is the core of human civilization. Sharing is the basis of civilised collective living in a civil society.

(The writer is former Associate Professor, Department of English, Gurudas College, Kolkata)

USA: Culture of Peace: The wisdom of the 8th-grade Peace Flame Keepers

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE .. .

An article by David Wick from the Ashland Daily Tidings reprinted by the Global Campaign for Peace Education

As the World Peace Flame was lit at the Thalden Pavilion on the Southern Oregon University campus on Sept. 21, Ashland was recognized internationally. A unique part of this ceremony was the role of the newly formed Flame Keepers, made up of students from Kristina Healy’s class at nearby Ashland Middle School. They volunteered to keep the World Peace Flame lit by refueling the oil lamp every Friday during the school year with 100 percent sustainable biomass lamp oil, and keeping the lamp and enclosure clean.


A member of the Ashland Middle School Flame Keepers group tends to the flame. (Photo: Ashland Culture of Peace Commission)
(click on photo to enlarge)

After 11 weeks of Flame Keeper experience, they were asked two questions:

Why is it important to have a World Peace Flame?

What do you like about being a Flame Keeper?

Here are their responses:

Lauren Drabik: The Peace Flame gives hope for peace and it can help change the world and make it a better place for new generations. It is a big honor and there aren’t very many in the world, and you get to be part of something so big! It’s just special to do.

Kendra Caruso: The World Peace Flame brings people together and it helps everyone know there is peace in the world. The Peace Flame represents how everyone is one in the world. I really like it because I was chosen to be handed the flame (during the Sept. 21 lighting ceremony) and I handed it off to someone else who lit the flame. That was a huge honor! I felt like I was a part of the whole celebration of the flame. I think it is really cool to have Flame Keepers because it is a huge honor and because you are doing good for the world and I believe giving back is really nice.

Samara Penn-Kout: Having a World Peace Flame, especially in our small community, is really nice because its being part of something bigger. There are only two in this country and we are helping and being the representatives in the United States and the Northern Hemisphere. We are part of something greater to share with anybody. I love being a Flame Keeper because I feel so good about my actions, it is a big responsibility, and it is really nice because it feels like we are helping peace around the world.

Tara Vivrett: It is such a reminder for people to stay peaceful where they are and it is a constant thing going that you can always look to. It feels like being included because we’re being part of it and we are keeping it going. It is also something you can tell to people around you and that feels good.

Levi Predpelski: It is a reminder every day. Every time I see it I am reminded, “oh ya, be peaceful every day and don’t forget about it.” It is being part of something bigger than myself, it is about community and it is not just about me, it’s about everyone.

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Question related to this article:

What is the best way to teach peace to children?

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Finley Taylor: It is important because it shows us that peace isn’t just one day of the year. It is every day. And it is always there in the background and we should focus on making the world a more peaceful place. It feels like I am doing something important that changes the world. It’s just a good feeling.

Kade Price: It is important because then we know we will have peace all around the world. I like how I can be a part of peace.

CJ McDonnald: It brings people together and it makes you feel peaceful when you are around it, then every place you go you have this going on. It is a huge responsibility and I like refueling the flame with my friends.

Cash Cota: It shows you how much you should enjoy peace and that everybody should enjoy peace and not just certain people. It also shows that our culture is very peaceful as a community and that we deserved it because we can resemble peace a lot and we can also show other people how to be peaceful around the world. I like it because it is really cool to be part of something that no one else has done at this age, and it is also fun just being with friends and enjoying peace together.

Tara Lusk: It is important to represent how peace is all around us, especially in Ashland, a small community town that has a lot of organics and very community (focused). It is nice to have the World Peace Flame represent how peaceful we are here and how we get along together. It’s really fun; I like the responsibility of it. It is a little bit stressful at times, but overall it is a really nice experience.

Madeline Bolin: It reminds us that we should be constantly trying for peace, like always not just one event. The responsibility and knowing that we are helping to achieve peace.

River Collins: Having the World Peace Flame shows triumph over hate and is a check point in our history to accomplish peace. It is fun and because people see me as a peaceful person, not angry and more peaceful. This supports the change in the world.

Kristina Healey (teacher): I think it is always wonderful to have a reminder about peace. Peace in your own mind and heart and community and all the way beyond. And to know that they are originating from the same place of peace here on our planet. I like that I was able to do it, to be the vehicle to keep it (a focus on peace) going here in Ashland. I really loved to see the kids and how they we saying, “Oh this is so much responsibility, I don’t know if I can do it,” and just to empower them that we can do it if we all work together. We check that calendar, we go over (to the World Peace Flame Monument across the street) and we go through the directions. (The students) have felt very privileged and responsible about keeping the flame going for people who come and visit the Peace Flame in Ashland. We talk about it in class and some of the kid’s families have gone over, outside of class to see what it is all about. Anything to remind kids, our school district, our city that we are not finite, we are connected, we are bigger than that. So having the Peace Flame here reminds us of the importance of the commitment to peace.

When we wonder what peace really means, go ask an eighth grader at Ashland Middle School.

Email comments and questions to ashlandcpc@gmail.com. The ACPC website is www.ashlandcpc.org; like the commission on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AshlandCultureofPeaceCommission;

follow twitter.com/AshlandPeace on Twitter. All are welcome to join the ACPC’s Talking Circle at 11 a.m. each Tuesday and Community Meeting at 4 p.m. each Wednesday, both at the ACPC office, 33 First St., Suite 1, diagonally across Lithia Way from the Ashland Post Office.

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