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Coexistence and School Protection: Student Project in Bogota Colombia
an article by Amada Benavides de Peréz, Schools of Peace Foundation

A network has been formed by the Schools of Peace Foundation with adolescent students in eight public schools located in Chapinero and Ciudad Bolivar (Bogota), for nonviolence, respect of human rights, and peaceful conflict resolution. The program is realized by the Schools of Peace Foundation and the Secretary of Education, Bogota Capital District.

Activity in the Antonio Garcia School

click on photo to enlarge

The specific objectives of the network are to:
. Provide students participating in the network with training tools, action and participation in peace education
. Share experiences of awareness, prevention and provention of violence
. Provide tools to this group to become multipliers of culture of peace in the school life
. Define communication strategies for the Network.
. Sharing methodologies from the IIEP (International Institute on Peace Education)

So far the network has carried out three activities.

Meeting for Peace - Week for Peace: On September 5th a meeting was held with students from different schools of Bogotá, in the facilities of the House of Culture in Ciudad Bolivar. To this activity attended 6 students from two institutions where the foundation is working and 11 from other schools. In addition four non-governmental organizations such as Save the Children in Colombia, Escuelas de Paz, Fundacion para la Reconciliacion, Movimiento Rock para los derechos humanos and some representatives from the Ministry of Education. During this event a manifest was realized and was presented in September 5 in the framework of the Semana por la Paz (Week for Peace)

Festival for Peace: This festival was realized with the objective to promote in this institution the topic of School Coexistence and Culture of Peace. In other to strengthen the network an agreement was made with the social workers of Foundation for the Reconciliation and the Antonio Garcia School´ coordinator to realize this festival. More than 400 students since 5 to 17 attended this event.

Shared significant experiences in Peace Education - The Sierra Morena School Project: The Student Network gathered in Sierra Morena School, located in Ciudad Bolivar. The meeting was attended by 13 students from other schools involved in the project. This meeting was the objective to present the significant experience in Peace Education realized by the students of Sierra Morena School. The name of the experience is Center of School Coexistence Promotion.

The Students Network will continue its work in 2012 with another workshop from the eight schools. At the same time a space will be opened inside the web site of the foundation, in which information will be shared with the students.

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Peace Studies in School Curricula, What would it take to make it happen around the world?

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Latest reader comment:

During the Asian Educators Symposium, we found out that Peace Education is still not part of the school curriculum in most countries. However, the participating teachers have been incorporating peace education in their teaching subjects, such as English, social studies, and character education. We all agreed that love and the will to nurture peace in children are the most important basis for peace education. Even if peace education is not a part of the curriculum, peace can be taught through any subject. Whatever you are teaching, if it comes from the heart, then it will touch the minds of children.

This report was posted on January 28, 2012.