Educating for peace is a challenge in most cases. It demands strong willpower, efficient use of resources, effective and creative methods, and long term planning. More often than not, it involves dealing with long standing prejudices and enmities that can easily provoke sentiments and emotions. As part of the conference, we plan to recognize exemplary work done in the field of building peace through education. When selecting exemplary work done by either individuals or organizations, various criteria such as efficiency, effectiveness, originality, and impact will be used. The purpose of recognizing best practices is to present living examples of hardworking individuals and outstanding organizations and their commendable efforts in creating a more peaceful world for all. The following institutions have been selected by our pool of experts to offer unique examples in building peace through education:
Search for a Common Ground, Washington, DC
Founded in 1982, Search for Common Ground works to transform the way the world deals with conflict - away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. We work with local partners to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies' capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities.
Using innovative tools and working at different levels of society, we engage in pragmatic long-term processes of conflict transformation. Our toolbox includes media production - radio, TV, film and print - mediation and facilitation, training, community organizing, sports, theater and music. We promote both individual and institutional change and are committed to measuring the results of our work and increase our effectiveness through monitoring and evaluation. We currently work in 26 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
The Common Ground Approach is a means of navigating through conflict and identifying possibilities that are not apparent from an adversarial mind set. It is a set of principles and practices that, when utilized, causes a fundamental shift in people's relationship with conflict - away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions. The Common Ground Approach - whether applied in a home in the suburbs of New York City, on the streets of inner city Cincinnati, or between ethnic groups in the Balkans or Burundi - creates new possibilities of peaceful coexistence.
The Filipino–Turkish Tolerance School (FTTS), Zamboanga, The Philippines
Established in 1997, the Filipino–Turkish Tolerance School (FTTS) is offering elementary and secondary education in Zamboanga City, the Philippines, under the umbrella of Integrative Center for Alternative Development Foundation Incorporated (ICAD Foundation), a private, nonprofit, non-stock organization, which also runs the Fountain International School in Manila.
The Tolerance School aims to reflect the ideals and philosophy of the ICAD Foundation, which is built on the belief that peace and understanding among individuals of different nationalities, religion, and diverse cultural backgrounds can be achieved through quality and contemporary education. The school has been founded with awareness that we now live in a global society, thus “tolerance” is key to learning that we belong to the family of the world, respecting and celebrating differences. This is important, especially in a setting where conflict has been destroying Christian-Muslim relations for decades in the region.
PLURAL + is a youth-produced video festival which encourages young people to explore migration, diversity and social inclusion, and to share their creative vision with the world. It is a joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration, with a network of over 50 partner organizations, who support the creative efforts of young people and distribute their videos worldwide. Since 2009 over 400 entries from 63 countries have participated. Winning videos have been screened in dozens of festivals, cinemas and broadcast on television networks throughout the world. With your help, we hope to widen the impact of PLURAL+ even further.
PLURAL+ recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change, and supports cooperative efforts to reduce tensions in a world often characterized by conflict and division.
In many parts of the world youth not only represent the future – they are the majority-. Recent events in the Arab Spring demonstrate the power that young people have to bring about citizen participation and social change. Creative media are such a powerful approach to this dialogue because, fundamentally, they appeal to a sense of shared human experience and common goals.
The insight and creativity with which young people have produced videos on tough issues, such as human trafficking, social marginalization and racism, reflects the energy that youth bring to addressing social problems in today’s world. By working in partnership with organizations such as UNESCO Associated Schools Network, CHINH India, RED UNIAL and others, PLURAL+ provides greater opportunity for young people to participate, and builds the capacity of organizations to deliver multimedia training for years to come.