In celebration we would like to thank all the volunteers and supporters who have shared our vision, and made our first year as a charity such a success. We are pleased to present a brief summary of what we have achieved together. As we enter our second year as a small but growing charity, we look forward to further collaborations and to building on this success!
Inspired by the message of peace and humanitarian work of US based non-profit public foundation The Prem Rawat Foundation, Peace Partners was established to support efforts to further the impact of their unique programmes. These include initiatives to provision clean air and water, nutritious food and personal peace, and to develop effective partnerships with like-minded groups. Our main focus is the UK, although our commitment is to make a difference anywhere we can. Read more about our aims here: www.peacepartners.co.uk/about-us
Our achievements together this year
Donations and Fundraising
donations have been received from independent fundraisers as well as individual supporters.
Waves of Change - peace and sustainability forum
The Crystal, Royal Victoria Docks, London 2nd July 2016
Event intro video clip
Inside Peace - movie screening and forum
May Fair Hotel, London 28th January 2017
Report and video clips
The team has enjoyed a number of creative collaborations this year which have led to partnership arrangements, which are essential to our work. For more information about the diverse groups we are pleased to work with in this way, visit our website partnership pages: www.peacepartners.co.uk/partnerships. Our partnership activity has also included our acceptance as signatories to the Bruxelles Declaration, also known as the Pledge to Peace, on 31st October 2016.
You can find out more about this initiative here: www.pledgetopeace.eu/the-pledge.
Throughout the year our website, eBulletin and social media presences have been refined and developed, and have been used to support our initiatives and to share information; suggestions for improvement are always very welcome.
Our recent AGM saw two of our founding trustees, Mary Dalgleish and Dorri Jones, step down, with our appreciation and thanks for all the work they have done in establishing us as an organisation and as a charity. We were delighted to welcome Jerry Stampfer, Barbara Andre and Nick Lloyd as new trustees, and wish them well in helping take us forward. Trustees receive no remuneration for the work they do for Peace Partners. The volunteer management team has expanded in the course of the year, and now comprises 12 people (in addition to our 4 trustees).
For more information about the team watch out for updates on our website page: www.peacepartners.co.uk/who-we-are. Last but not least, our wider team includes every single one of our supporters and volunteers!
On Saturday 28 January, Peace Partners hosted a screening of Inside Peace with a stimulating post-film panel discussion. Thanks to the event’s excellent turnout, the room was full of positive energy and a lively buzz. For many in the audience, watching Inside Peace for the first time provoked a range of emotions and responses, including laughter at the plainspoken honesty of the inmates’ confessions. The moving presentation of Dominguez State Jail resulted in a tangible, collective feeling of solidarity with the inmates and respect for how they embraced the Peace Education Programme (PEP).
Inside Peace combines a challenge to preconceptions, an artful form of education, and inspiration to help find personal peace. The film provides an insight into situations, cycles and difficulties we may not frequently encounter. The audience seemed genuinely touched by these troubled Texan men making bold and raw revelations on camera without pretention or dramatization. Listening to groups discuss afterwards, it was clear that the film provoked debate throughout the room, which will no doubt be continued with friends, family, colleagues and connections further afield.
We were privileged to have Jo Berry, founder of Building Bridges for Peace, as Keynote Speaker. Her speech traced the extraordinary journey from great loss to forgiveness and peace. Jo expressed her refusal to have an enemy in Patrick Magee, determined to find humanity in the man responsible for her father’s death. The willingness to listen to Patrick’s political justifications of paramilitary action, and then to understand him as an individual, make Jo’s story a striking example of strength and empathy. From Jo’s account of the difficult process she followed, her belief in the dignity of listening and its power to aid healing rang true. It is through this attitude that actual positive change seems possible.
The panel discussion that followed was equally engaging and—considering the wealth of experience provided by Jane Harries, Lee Hayward, Mary Dalgleish and Tony McLean—it could have continued almost indefinitely. A strong message from Jo was the ability to choose not to remain a victim and the panel discussion showed that the PEP gives individuals the agency to make this a reality. Contributions from Mary Dalgleish and Tony McLean in the Q&A, both facilitators of the PEP in different settings, proved the wide appeal and great potential of the programme. Tony described how the PEP makes rehabilitation possible, hence breaking the reoffending cycle, as brilliantly demonstrated by the Inside Peace documentary. The positive reaction to Jane Harries’s ambition and dedication to peace projects in Wales and abroad was evident, as was the response to Lee Hayward’s promotion of partnership.
Especially apparent from the film and the Q&A session was the universality of the Peace Education Programme. It changed the mindset of not just the inmates but the officers, pupils and teachers alike. From the panellists’ responses it seems this is the beginning of a great movement and the surge of interest makes it likely the PEP will be rolled out to more prisons. But it also has the potential to be taught in schools, village halls, businesses and private venues. A crucial consideration for the future is how we can implement the PEP where it is most needed. For instance, as Jane Harries advocated, in school curriculums. But its versatility is a great strength, and Mary Dalgleish encouraged the audience to get involved wherever they can, emphasising the ease with which she started facilitating the course.
One potent question from a young Londoner in the audience addressed the important issue of how we should engage the younger generation and make the PEP appeal to a wide swath of society. This is a timely point, considering the current state of youth disillusionment and widening divisions in society.
The entire event was a joy to experience and I am personally grateful for the engaging guest speaker and panellists, and the opportunity to meet inspiring, like-minded individuals who are engaged in such important work towards peace in our communities and in ourselves.
Written by Eve Ryan
Peace Partners is proud to announce that it has now been registered as a signatory of the Pledge To Peace as at 31st October 2016. The secretariat to the Pledge to Peace ie the Association Percorsi has now officially acknowledged our entry as now can be seen on their webpage created for this purpose.
The Pledge To Peace also known as The Bruxelles Declaration is a European project to promote the development of a culture of peace. Click here for more information.
It's been just over a month since Peace Partners gained UK registered charity status and it feels as like a lot has happened since then. This quarterly newsletter is to update you on our current projects.
As always we thank you for your continued generosity, interest and support and hope you enjoy reading our latest news.
We are delighted to announce to our readers that Peace Partners has been granted registered charity status by the UK Charity Commission.
Every charity depends on the energy, enthusiasm and inspiration of its supporters and volunteers to fulfil its vision, and I’d like to extend a warm invitation to you to be an active part of this new and vibrant charity.
Our purposes include:
To accomplish these we work specifically with the Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) and other organisations with a similar purpose. We have an inclusive approach and aim to partner with individuals, groups and organisations.
Charity Status – What does it mean?
This recognition will benefit the work of Peace Partners in a number of ways:
The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)
TPRF Board have expressed their gratitude and excitement to Peace Partners on achieving charitable status.
You are invited to participate, enjoy and help make a difference to the lives of many worldwide - you can:
The trustees and the team very much look forward to pursuing the opportunities this recognition affords to help us realise our vision, and to reach out to our friends and supporters. Thank you.