2009: Headlines of Hope and Inspiration for Peace Education

Tony Jenkins

Coordinator, Global Campaign for Peace Education

(Welcome letter: Issue #68 November-December 2009)  

peacewreathDear friends & Colleagues of the Global Campaign for Peace Education,
 
Greetings of peace and solidarity!  As this holiday season and New Year draws near I find myself reflecting upon the blessings of peace bestowed upon me.   Sometimes these blessing aren’t so easy to see. This morning, for example, I found myself frustrated trying to accomplish a flurry of year end tasks and reports. To get through the mountain of work I sought out some inspiration by taking a few moments to review the headlines from the 2009 issues of Global Campaign for Peace Education newsletter. Here is sampling of the encouraging headlines that I found: 
 
  • African Ministers of Education Commit to Peace Education
  • Costa Rica Creates Department of Peace
  • Hawaiian State Representative Calls for Peace Education
  • Peace Education Part of Drive to Restore Peace to Orissa State in India
  • The Royal Family of Saudi Arabia Partners with ICL Students in Peace Education Program
  • Search for Common Ground Initiates Peace Education in Lebanon
  • Gambian Youth Lobby for Peace Education
  • India Proposes First Peace University in South Asia
  • Vision for Dept of Peace in Canada includes Office of Peace Education and Training
  • Peace education Introduced in Schools in Indonesia
  • University of Ghana approves Degree programme in Adult Education with an optional concentration in Peace Education
  • Teaching peace to child soldiers in Sierra Leone
In the focus of my day to day work I often lose track of the bigger picture that brings us all together. This short list of headlines reveals the growing acceptance and ever increasing need and desire for peace education at the highest levels of government and society. These are successes to be celebrated by all the members and contributors to the Global Campaign for Peace Education.   Although we may not have directly participated in any of these activities, our collective daily devotions to transform violence through peace education have helped breathe life into these great possibilities. 
 
There are so many wonderful things happening in peace education at the moment that this year end newsletter is once again too big to send in one email. In Part I of this two part November-December issue, you will find articles reporting News & Highlights, Reports from the Field, Action Alerts, Events and Conferences, and Workshops and Trainings.   You will receive Part II in your inbox in the next few days. Part II features an introduction by David Adams, retired Director of the UNESCO culture of peace initiatives. It will also include a tremendous year end listing of peace education Publications and Resources and Jobs & Funding Opportunities. 
 
I also want to take this opportunity to inform you of some new additions to the GCPE website. Entirely developed by volunteers, the site is a steady work in progress and I am quite excited about the new features. To make it easier to contribute to the monthly newsletter we have developed an online submission form so you can contribute your stories, reports and conference listings in the proper format directly to our newsletter editor. We have also developed a global calendar of peace education related events and trainings. All of the events featured in our newsletter are now automatically included on the global calendar. The GCPE has also established an online forum where Campaign members can directly post questions, develop blogs, and in other ways connect. The GCPE forum is hosted on the “Peace and Collaborative Development Network,” a free professional networking site with over 10,000 members from around the world. Finally, we have launched a GCPE group page on Facebook that already has 489 members in its first month! If you have a Facebook account we encourage you to join the group today.  
 
These technological innovations are wonderful, but they pale in comparison to our most important human addition of Oliver Rizzi Carlson as the new volunteer editor of the newsletter! Oliver is a recent graduate of the University for Peace MA Programme in Peace Education. He brings new energy, thoughtful wisdom, and tireless compassion and passion to the GCPE. With the addition of Oliver the newsletter will return to a regular monthly publication schedule with new issues arriving to your inbox the first of each month. 
 
It is my great pleasure to thank all of the members of the Global Campaign personally for the contributions each has made to peace education in 2009. I wish you the very best for a joyful and peaceful 2010.
 
Sincerely,
Tony
 
Tony Jenkins
Coordinator, Global Campaign for Peace Education
Education Director, National Peace Academy
 
December 18, 2009

 

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