Thanks to the contributors who showed record support during the December Reaching Out appeal, raising $212,339 for initiatives that will help people live with dignity during these trying times and beyond.
Leaders at Canadian justice conferences welcomed the Peace Education Program as a way to help people make better choices and live more fulfilling lives.
The Peace Education Program is helping young students and police build a culture of peace in Cusco, Perú. Marian Masoliver is a filmmaker who recently visited the area to document the initiative and in this blog she shares some of her observations.
The Waves of Change event in Croydon, U.K. explored how the Peace Education Program can play an innovative role in addressing youth violence and other problems. Read a report from one of the event organizers, plus watch a video recording of it.
Joseph Paul translates Peace Education Program material into Creole for fellow Haitian inmates at Miami’s Everglades Correctional Institution. “This program has enhanced my awareness of the strength, humility, beauty, and love that I already possess,” he says.
So far this year, Miami’s Everglades Correctional Institution has more inmates participating in the Peace Education Program than any other correctional facility in the U.S. Volunteer facilitator Lucy Collins says, “One inmate has been in prison since he was 18. A counselor told us that until this guy started taking the program he never talked to anyone, he never had a smile on his face. He just kept to himself, for 46 years. And now he is never without a smile!”
Tony Cobb has been incarcerated for 28 years, struggling with the haunting memories of an abusive childhood. Attending the Peace Education Program is giving him a new understanding of life and inspiring him to write: “I have a sweet, beautiful reality waiting to be discovered inside. I now step with knowledge, with the freedom of doing things with clarity.”
Thanks to this kind group of friends who came together in Tarifa, Spain to enjoy a delicious lunch and raise money for The Prem Rawat Foundation. The charity relies on grassroots efforts like these to fulfill its mission of advancing dignity, peace, and prosperity.
See Louise Roenn Svane’s photos and observations from a recent visit to the Food for People facility in Otinibi, Ghana. The model food program provides clean water and millions of nutritious meals to disadvantaged children in Ghana, India, and Nepal.
Luis Calderon, an inmate at Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida shares how the Peace Education Program has had a profound impact on his perspective. “When we let inner peace be the natural, guiding force in our lives, then joy – for life, for love, for contentment, for clarity – sprouts from our being,” he says.
Irene Woodhead and a team of volunteers launched the Peace Education Program in Cornwall, UK with a screening of “Inside Peace,” a documentary about four inmates who attended the peace workshops in a Texas prison. One viewer said it was “absolute madness that there are inmates who have a life of pain and difficulty who are in more peace than billions of people on the outside world, living normal ‘free’ lives… It was just amazing to me— if these guys get in contact with that, then anyone can.”
Jodi Barker, a facilitator of the Peace Education Program, never expected that volunteering at Miami’s Everglades Correctional facility would be so rewarding, especially witnessing the inmates’ process of self-discovery. One said, “No matter how hard it gets, I can know who I am on the inside. It helps me even if no one else knows. Because I know.”
Annelies Bertsch (pictured on the right with Marielle Comeau) is a volunteer with the Peace Education Program (PEP) in Canada. In this blog she shares her perspective on presenting the program at the National Restorative Justice Symposium.
Incarcerated for over four decades, a participant in the Peace Education Program addressed other inmates about the possibility of experiencing inner peace, regardless of their tough circumstances.
In this new blog, UK Peace Education Program (PEP) volunteer Mary Dalgleish, writes about how “the PEP addresses the core of a human being, looking at the beauty and value of each person, not addressing what’s good or bad, right or wrong or trying to ‘fix’ people. It focuses on developing a positive approach to life; bypassing negative thought processes that can undermine an individual’s self-worth and behavior.”
Stephen de Lorimier is an architect and long-distance runner from Argenteuil, a town in Quebec near Montreal, Canada. In this blog he shares his perspective on running marathons to raise money for The Prem Rawat Foundation.