About Education For Peace

The purpose of this site is to discuss the nature of peace, the requirements for peace, and the way we as individuals and communities of people could create peace—inner peace, interpersonal peace, inter-group peace, global peace. You are most welcomed to join us in this task. We deeply appreciate your comments, questions, and suggestions.

 

What is Education for Peace?

Education for Peace (EFP) is an innovative and integrative “whole school” program that creates violence-free and peaceful school environments conducive to meeting the emotional, social, and intellectual needs of diverse school populations.

Education for Peace (EFP) is based on universal principles of peace that affirm:

  • Humanity is one;
  • The oneness of humanity is expressed in diversity;
  • The greatest opportunity before humanity is to safeguard its oneness and protect its diversity; and
  • The greatest challenge before humanity is to accomplish this task through peaceful means, with a particular focus on educating every new generation of children and youth according to these principles.

The main objectives of the EFP Program is to create in the participating schools:

  • A Culture of Peace—creating violence-free, bullying-free, harmonious, and peaceful environments throughout the school community;
  • A Culture of Healing—creating an environment conducive to helping all members of the school community to gradually recover from the negative effects of conflict and violence that they may have experienced in their lives; and
  • A Culture of Excellence—creating an environment conducive to excellence in all aspects of the lives of members of the school community: academic, behavioral, ethical, and relational.

EFP engages all members of the school community—students, teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents/guardians (to the extent possible)—in the study and practice of EFP principles in classrooms, school environments, and within the families of the students as depicted below:

Fig1

International Education for Peace Institute

The International Education for Peace Institute was founded in 2000 in Switzerland and later in Canada. The institute is a registered research, training, and community service under the Canadian Law. It is an independent, not-for-profit, association without any religious or political affiliation. EFP-International is accredited as an international NGO with the United Nations. The institute draws upon the expertise of an international faculty specialized in the fields of curriculum development, peace education, conflict resolution, political science, sociology, religious studies, law, and psychology. The faculty works closely with local educators, pedagogues, counselors, psychologists, sociologists, and administrators to develop and implement context-appropriate EFP Programs in their respective schools, families, and community institutions in various cultural contexts. A network of like-minded organizations: EFP–BALKANS (Sarajevo), EFP–CANADA (Victoria, Canada), AND EFP-MEXICO collaborate with EFP–INTERNATIONAL on research, training, community development, and consultancy work.
To learn more about the Education for Peace Program refer to http://efpinternational.org/program-areas/education-for-peace

Welcome to Education for Peace

Welcome to the Education for Peace (EFP) Blog!

The wish for peace has always occupied a special place in the hearts and minds of people. However, humanity forever has lived in conditions of conflict and violence. And now it seems that many people have given up on the idea of peace and have concluded that we humans are by nature violent. This is a devastating and wrong conclusion. The purpose of this site is to discuss the nature of peace, the requirements for peace, and the way we as individuals and communities of people could create peace—inner peace, interpersonal peace, inter-group peace, global peace.

We will begin with the role of the individual in creating peace. We have a choice regarding peace. We have a choice to be peaceful or filled with anxiety, fear, and anger. We have a choice to be a unifier or create conflicts and animosities. We have a choice to make peace-creating decisions or conflict-creating decisions. We can resolve our differences peacefully or vengefully. We have a choice regarding justice, regarding equality, regarding universality. We are free agents in the arena of life and we are capable of creating truly free, just, and peaceful families, communities, nations, and the world.

But to accomplish these we need to learn the ways of peace. We will begin by focussing on the fundamental requirements and principles of peace and on how we can put them into action in our lives. And this is what we hope to do together.

You are most welcomed to join us in this task. We deeply appreciate your comments, questions, and suggestions.

International Education for Peace Institute – Canada www.efpinternational.org


Making our schools even better!

What is the primary purpose of education?
Is there a relationship between education and civilization?
What is the main quality of a progressive civilization?
Does your school reflect the main qualities of a civilized environment?
What is the relationship between civilization and peace?
What is the relationship between peace and education?

Does your school offer a “peace-based education”?

What is the relationship between conflict and civilization?
What is the relationship between conflict and violence?
How about bullying and education?

Is your school conflicted? Violent? does it have bullies?
How about “peace-based education” for your school?

For details of courses on Education for Peace (EFP) see EFP Academy at http://www.efpinternational.org/efp-academy

The Victims of Violence

Ninigui Village woman

Photo: P. Casier (CGIAR)

 

Social conflicts have always been with humanity. But, they seem to be more frequent and destructive in our highly populated, diverse, and technologically advanced world. Consequently many people are suffering. These disasters cause emotional, interpersonal, and social problems. Among emotional problems are sadness, anger, fear, guilt, depression, and discontent. Some interpersonal difficulties caused by violence are marital conflict, family breakdown, and mutual mistrust. Also, such problems as crime, racism, and drug and alcohol abuse, as well as gender inequality, extreme poverty, and disregard of universal human rights and responsibilities are often present in conditions of conflict and violence. Problems caused by human conflict and violence are so devastating because humans make choices and with choice comes responsibility.

In every act of violence there are perpetrators, primary victims, and secondary victims (bystanders, relatives, friends, etc.). Both perpetrators and victims of violence need healing and recovery. To prevent human violence effectively and fully, we must help perpetrators and victims alike. The act of killing another human being is fundamentally an un-human act. Among the main qualities of humanness is love and respect for life, in general, and for human life, in particular. Through our love of life, we have reverence for life and express our humanness. For this reason one of the main functions of the military establishment and leaders in acts of terrorism is to convince their soldiers and subordinates that “the enemy” is a dangerous subhuman species. Thus, they are “justified” and have the “responsibility” to kill such an enemy and by so doing, both protect their own and their kin’s lives and simultaneously reaffirm their own humanness.

Perpetrators of violence usually deal with the negative consequences of their own actions in three ways:

  • Self-destruction through carelessness, neglect, alcohol and substance abuse, self-loathing, and other personal/interpersonal destructive behavior;
  • Self-delusion, believing that they have committed no wrong and continue in their ways if not prevented; and
  • Self-correction, through good deeds, repentance, acceptance of punishment, prayer, and begging for forgiveness.

All three groups would benefit from an appropriate healing and recovery program. To be continued in coming blogs.

(H.B. Danesh)

 

Conflict and Unity

puzzle pieces

Image by Brad Montgomery

We live in a conflicted world and quite often we experience conflict ourselves. In fact, conflict is so universally present that we take it for granted and consider conflict as an inevitable part of life. This approach to conflict has significant consequences; among them is the fact that by taking conflict for granted, our efforts to resolve it often fails and conflict turn into violence. There is, however, another way of understanding conflict—conflict as absence of unity.

Unity is the primary law of existence. Life takes place in the context of unity and when the law of unity is violated, conflict and violence is the outcome. Everything that exists is the outcome of the operation of the law of unity. At the physical level, the law of unity ensures order and stability in the manner in which subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, stars, and galaxies cohere and operate in a harmonious and integrated manner. At the biological level, the very process of formation and continuation of life is dependent on the proper operation of the law of unity. The same is true at the social level. Families are happy, healthy, and stable when unity exists between all its members. Communities of people prosper and are safe in the context of unity, and nations advance in every area when peace is present. At all levels of human life—intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, and international—unity, not conflict, is the fundamental operative and creative force.

What is unity? Unity is a conscious and purposeful condition of convergence of two or more diverse entities in a state of harmony, integration, and cooperation to create a new and evolving entity or entities, usually, of a same or higher nature.

What is conflict? Conflict is, simply, the absence of unity.

To create peace we need to learn the ways of unity. (H.B. Danesh)

 

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