“New possible paths” was the motto of the Education for Peace Meeting, a space whose purpose was to initiate dialogues to collect knowledge, experiences, challenges and proposals that allow progress in the implementation of education for peace, coexistence, and reconciliation in Colombia.
The Niwano Peace Foundation will award the 35th Niwano Peace Prize to the Adyan Foundation in Lebanon in recognition of its continued service to global peace-building, notably its development of a program for children and educators offering guidance to peace and reconciliation for those affected by the Syrian war.
Thousands of Palestinian and Israeli women marched in Jerusalem and Jericho this month demanding peace from their societies. They are doing so by reaching past and through stereotypes and artificial boundaries to find true partners. Such efforts are given little, often inaccurately reported and interpreted, coverage by the standard media. So it is through the networks of women’s civil society organizations and initiatives that we learn of them. We believe that linking peace educators’ networks to those of civil society activists is essential to the field’s having the information necessary to inquiring into the multiple possibilities for action among those they are educating for responsible global citizenship. So we offer this article hoping that it will be adapted for peacelearning purposes.
Amada Benavides de Perez is President of Fundación Escuelas de Paz, a peace education NGO in Colombia. She attended the September 26 signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC. She and colleagues have been working tirelessly developing and training networks of formal and non-formal networks for decades, contributing to the foundational peacebuilding work making the possibility of the agreement possible. In the coming months, Fundacion Escuelas de Paz will be coordinating peace education efforts in territories formerly controlled by the FARC.
In this message, Amada offers her reflections on a turbulent week that began with hope, only to collide with confusion and exasperation. We stand in solidarity with Amada, the peace educators and the citizens of Colombia for their continued courage in pursuit of peace through education.
Dr. David Ragland is co-founder of the Truth Telling Project, an initiative based in Ferguson, Missouri that aims to transform structural violence and racism through the adaptation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) model. While most models of the TRC happen after the violence has ended, the question posed by the creators of the Truth Telling Project was how they could initiate such a process when the violence has not yet stopped. Hence, an emphasis on making space for telling and hearing truth as a means for re-affirming human dignity. Learn more in this Peace Paradigm Radio podcast produced by the Metta Center for Nonviolence.