for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built. ~UNESCO

Friday, April 19, 2013

Culture of Peace and Sustainable Future

Report: Education for a Culture of Peace and Sustainable Future Through Education for International Understanding (EIU)- Capacity Building Crash Course for UNESCO club Members of SMSS, 3rd April 2013
 3rd April 2013, it was a bright Wednesday when 30 student members of UNESCO club, five teachers and the UNESCO club coordinator sat down to start the much awaited EIU workshop. Students and teachers settled down in their respective groups after an interesting group division activity- the participants picked lots where each lot contained a name of an animal and they had to make the sound of the animal they pick. After the group division, the facilitator (referred as ‘I’ which points to the undersigned) briefed on the overview of the workshop, highlighting on the agenda and the objectives of the course.

Then, I moved on with the introductory session on EIU where the concept, history, themes and importance were discussed thoroughly. To strengthen the understanding, we involved ourselves in a short group activity where the groups designed activities to implement the six themes of EIU.
In the second session, the participants were gaping and awestricken by the slides on global and local issues. Here, we viewed in detail the state of our world in today’s world. The deep breathes and the sheer hush manifested in promises that the participants made during the activity titled: How can you contribute to solving or minimizing the problems we face.
 The concept of sustainable development was the next important thing on line. We engaged ourselves in discussing and understanding the concept and current issues. The stock check diagram and the movie clip titled- The story of Stuff really helped us understand the sustainability of our resources. We even touched on the GNH pillar of balanced socio-economic development so as to integrate and portray the connection between development and sustainability. After a short recap on the previous sessions, we took a tea break.
Refreshed and energized, the participants were taken through yet another session of high value on learning to live together. In this session, we discussed in depth on the causes and prevention of conflict. The participants poured out their feelings and agreed that conflicts can be prevented. We came to know that conflict causes a great deal of loss and it is the cultivation of Peace that can stop conflicts. Moreover, the session briefed the floor on human rights and promotion of the same. A role play made the session more comprehensible and practical.
The connection and similarity between GNH and EIU was shown to the floor through the initiatives of Mr. Udhim of Yebilaptsa MSS. The participants thoroughly enjoyed the integration of EIU with GNH in Yebilaptsa MSS. At the end of the session, the floor came together to integrate EIU with GNH. The participants improved on the activities designed in session one, with added exposure and information.
The gathering came together and viewed the initiatives taken by Mendrelgang MSS, where waste management was practiced to a great extent. It was an eye opening experience for the club members as they derived a lot of inspiration from the school that put in so much effort to do waste management.
This was it with regard to EIU. The next session was the most important part of the workshop where the understanding of the floor was tested through question answer session. The floor revisited the sessions and cleared their doubts. I felt satisfaction run down my spine as I could see some brightness in the eyes of the students.
After learning so much on peace, it would have been unfair if we didn’t write down some messages to others. Therefore, we developed a peace tree where participants wrote down peace messages and decorated it with their utmost creativity. The messages were hung on a small tree branch which would be placed in the assembly ground the next day for the rest of the students to get the importance of peace. It was a successful activity with students at their best creativity and intentions.
Sadly, in interest of time, we said amigo to the fun filled course on Education for a culture of peace and sustainable future. The participants had their dinner, with new found information ignited in their minds, pledging to promote peace and working towards a sustainable future. After all they know … it is the students who will be the future of our nation.

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that defenses of peace must be constructed.”  ~UNESCO Preamble

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