TIPS ON PEACE EDUCATION: WHAT CAN I DO?
 
Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace was incorporated by myself as a private,
nonprofit corporation under the Canada Corporation Act on September 23, 1997
(7 years ago).   CCTP is a virtual centre for teaching peace at
http://www.peace.ca and informal network of formal and informal peace
educators promoting peace education at the world, community, family and
individual levels in Canada and around the world.  We also sponsor:
- the CPIdiscussion email listserver (a network of about 100 peace educators
in Canada and abroad)
- the African Centers for Peace Education and Training at
http://www.peace.ca/africa.htm (a virtual center and associated office in
Lagos, Nigeria)
- the Paxafricana email listserver (a network of about 250 people, primarily
African, who share a common interest in building a Culture of Peace in
Africa).
- a monthly newsletter with current updates to our web site (which
circulates to over 1,000 peacebuilders throughout the world)
- Annual Peace Education Conferences in Canada at McMaster University
(co-hosted by the McMaster Centre for Peace Studies)
- the inaugural Alberta Conference on Education for Peace and the Future at
the University of Calgary

You can learn more about CCTP at http://peace.ca/overview.htm .  Currently,
other than the wealth of information on our web site, we do not have
programs for people to attend.  Between July 1999 and today, we have had over
1,000,000 Visitors to the CCTP website  (50,000 visitors in the past month - see
http://www.peace.ca/visitorstats.htm ).


I would suggest that you host a peace education conference in your country.
You might wish to follow our Agenda from our conferences these past 2 Novembers
which was very successful in developing a Vision and Action Plan for peace
education in our country.  See http://www.peace.ca/detailedagenda.htm and
http://www.peace.ca/CanadianAgenda2003.htm
 
My suggestions on how to organize a Conference on Peace Education in
your country (I have used Gambia as an example only; change Gambia to your own country):

1. take our agendas at  http://www.peace.ca/detailedagenda.htm and
http://www.peace.ca/CanadianAgenda2003.htm as examples and tailor them to
your country's environment and needs (you could use our agendas with minimal
revision if you wish)
2. start an email listserver for Gambia peace educators as a vehicle to
promote communication, dialogue, networking and information dissemination.
You can do it for free using Yahoo Groups, and it is pretty easy to set up
(see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CPIdiscussion/ for example).  You can use
your new listserver to discuss and organize your Conference
3. develop an inventory of peace educators in Gambia, give it to me and I
can post it on our web site (or develop your own web site).  The inventory
will give you a target audience of potential participants for your
Conference.  (Try doing a search of our web site using the key word
"Gambia" to see who we have listed; or go to http://www.peace.ca/africa.htm
and click on the "Who's Who" link, community level;  also,
do a search of www.google.com
using the key words "Gambia" and "peace".)  Peace educators include
teachers, professors, students, non-governmental organizations, governmental
organizations, etc. - everyone is a potential peace educator
4. pick dates that give you sufficient time to prepare and get  participants
interested in coming
5. find a sponsor to provide free space to hold the Conference.  I have
found that a local University and/or service club works best for us since it provides added
credibility and a base of students and educators that will be interested to
come.  It is also good for the University because their name gets attached
to a great event (and they usually like it if you do all the work and they
get credit).  Hopefully, you would also get assistance in organizing,
promoting, getting guest speakers, etc.
6. My feeling is that even if you only get 20 to 50 committed peacebuilders
to come and develop a Vision and Action Plan for peace education in
Gambia, you will have achieved a great thing.  Large trees start out as
small seeds.
7. You can get more advise from our network as you wish.  If you are not a
member of our Paxafricana email listserver, I can add you if you wish.
Paxafricana has over 250 peace educators, mostly living in Africa, who have a
common interest in building peace in Africa.  We also have a monthly newsletter
of updates to our web site for peacebuilders from other continents.
8. If you give me a summary of your organization, I can post it on our web site.
9. Finally, simply provide Open Space to Open Minds for peace.  The dialogue
will be magical. (ref. http://www.peace.ca/ost.htm )
10. I also provide some further "tips" below.
 
I hope you find this helpful.  I look forward to hearing how your progress.
Best wishes in your important work.
 
Regards,
Bob Stewart
http://www.peace.ca
ANNUAL PEACE EDUCATION CONFERENCE IN CANADA http://www.peace.ca/CanadianAgenda2004.htm
 
"The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything." - Albert Einstein
 
WHAT FUTURE WILL YOU CREATE?
 
Making an Impact: Your gift to the Canadian Peace Education Foundation will do much to reduce the human cost of violence in our communities and world through education about peace and the future in classrooms.  Your gift will have a critical impact on future generations.  You will enable youngsters to widen their sights by exploring alternate paths to transforming conflicts and building a better world.  Gifts of cash, securities, and planned gifts are welcome and may be sent to the Canadian Peace Education Foundation, Box 70, Okotoks, AB, Canada, T1S 1A4.  For more information, visit the website at http://www.peace.ca/foundation.htm
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I am happy to hear that you find our website, email listserver and
conferences helpful to you.  I believe that the use of
electronic communications and information dissemination (what I refer to as
"E-Peace") is the great change that is currently happening which will help,
more than anything, to make peace achievable.

I wish to express my appreciation to you and everyone else on the
peace network who is working to build a better, more peaceful
world.  Each of our little "Circles of Peace" are linked together in this
most important movement.

Our members often ask for tools and experience to help in their local
activities.  I offer the following comments:

- our Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace web site at http://www.peace.ca
and our African Centers for Peace Education and Training web site at
http://www.peace.ca/africa.htm provide a lot of informational tools that was
not available ten years ago -- so we are making progress here
- our Paxafricana email listserver provides a forum for the exchange of
experience.  I would urge members to tell others about their experiences,
and particularly what you have found that works in helping to build peace
- from my experience, you can do a lot without a lot of money or financial
resources.  I have found that information and people resources are much more
important than financial resources.  But of course it would be nice if we
had more financial resources to fuel our work -- people have to make a
decent living to be able to take care of their families.  And so we must be
more creative in raising funding.
- more and more people in Africa are gaining access to the Internet, web
site information and email.  One of my priorities is to promote what we have
called "Virtual Centers for Teaching Peace" in local peace organizations so
that students of peace of all ages can access the Internet, web site
information and email.
- I believe peace education is the single peacebuilding activity with the
most positive results, hence my personal emphasis on promoting peace
education at home and abroad.  This also explains why I urge peace people in
each country to develop a Vision and Action Plan for Peace Education in
their country.  I urge Peace Education Conferences to discuss this and
provide a sample of a letter (below) that I have provided to others to start
this process.
- I believe that the Montessori Method of general education is the best
example of peace education integrated into the daily classroom, and the best
tool for personal and community social development.  Hence my personal
emphasis on promoting Montessori schools, with a priority with ages 3 to 6.
- do not underestimate your own potential to make a significant difference
in your country.  There is a shortage of peace educators in all of our
countries.  You can fairly quickly learn more about peace education through
the above tools.  Your most important impact is to raise this same awareness
among others in your community and country, planting seeds of peace action.
This is not difficult, and it is most rewarding.