The following blog was written by Alan Plummer, an attendee of our introductory event in Cornwall on Saturday 18 August.
Interested people from all over Cornwall met on Sunday at Par Community Hall to attend an introduction to the work of the UK charity Peace Partners.
Pauline Cook, one of Peace Partners trustees, explained how the charity had been set up to sponsor peace initiatives in the UK and to support the international projects being funded by The Prem Rawat Foundation.
A number of inspiring video presentations showcasing the Food for People project and the Peace Education Program (PEP) were viewed, together with footage of Prem Rawat`s recent visit to Zonderwater high security prison in South Africa, where he spoke and responded to questions from inmates who have been attending PEP in the prison
Further recent interviews with people who have been attending PEP in London concluded the presentation, which was very warmly received. Several people expressed an interest in finding out about volunteering with Peace Partners and there were a number of suggestions for possible fundraising events in Cornwall.
Great interest was also shown at the possibility of a local screening of the documentary which highlights the profound impact of PEP on some Texas prison inmates.
A total of more than £500 of donations to Peace Partners was contributed at the event, which was almost doubled by the offer of matching funds by one very generous supporter.
TPRF supports recovery from flood devastation in Nepal
The devastation caused by recent floods in South Asia has affected millions of people in this region. This includes Nepal, where almost two million people have been affected, and almost one fifth of those displaced. The floods have caused irreplaceable damage to many regions in Nepal and much of the affected area remains inaccessible. Over 1,000 people have lost their lives.
Nepal is a country in which The Prem Rawat Foundation has been working for a number of years to deliver one of its flagship programmes, Food for People. Since it began delivering daily meals for those most in need in the country, TPRF has supported more than 2,000 people and continues to deliver its vision of nutritious food as a basic human right for all.
In response to the recent devastation in Nepal, The Prem Rawat Foundation has been working with its long term partner, Premsagar Foundation Nepal, to ensure that aid is reaching Nepalese people who need it the most. As the flooding is likely to intensify food shortages, the charity is working to deliver food to those impacted.
TPRF has long supported regions affected by natural disasters by working closely with charities on the ground to deliver essential relief. In recent months, this has also included providing support in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
So far in this period donations from TPRF to partner charities on the ground have totalled more than 40,000 dollars, with charitable donations from TPRF supporters helping to double that amount, to ensure that aid is ongoing and widely distributed to all areas in need..
What an incredible day! Peace Partners have been in Bournemouth to listen to Prem Rawat talk. He was so inspiring and also so funny! He has a knack of just getting to the heart of our fears and concerns. Some how using jokes to explain these issues. I feel so different in my outlook already. His way of explaining things is so simple and should be obvious but the way he puts it something just clicks within you and wakes you up. As he brilliantly puts it, there are only so many days we have to live. Our earth is beautiful and full of wonders, enjoy it and enjoy each day
One thing that seemed to stand out most and was repeatedly discussed was the "noise". That negative inner voice that we can't escape. The solution- you can't delete that record playing but you can change it. Instead of playing all the negative comments and worries over and over swap it for a positive voice. Choose your own soundtrack. Be kind to yourself.
Thanks Prem Rawat and all involved for such a fantastic evening.
[This blog post is derived from a post our social media manager Laura Lewis made to Peace Partners Facebook page shortly after the event.]
The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) recently sponsored eye care clinics in four states across India, providing relief to thousands of people in need. The vast majority of the 7,380 patients were disadvantaged farmers, laborers, and elderly people who had no other way of receiving essential care. Some walked as far as 60 kilometers to attend the free clinics, where they were warmly greeted by doctors, refractionists, and hundreds of other skilled volunteers.
The effects of the eye clinic are far reaching. As one attendee noted, her new glasses will allow her to provide clothes for her family. “I wasn’t able to pass the thread through the needle when sewing. Now it’s clear with the new spectacles,” she said.
Read more about the eye clinic here.
From The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) website Daya Rawat (current board President of TPRF) has posted this message:
As we come to the close of 2016, it is becoming more and more apparent that the The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), its Founder, Prem Rawat, and indeed the whole world are moving into a new era.
In many areas around the world, chaos reigns. In others, we see political, ecological, and economic struggles. Never has Prem Rawat’s fundamental message that personal peace is attainable by every individual been more needed or better received. Simple words from the heart give pause, time to recognize new possibilities, and make new choices.
As a supporter of TPRF, you are providing the impetus to bring the seeds of hope and positive change to more and more people across the world. The Peace Education Program (PEP) is expanding more quickly than ever before; Food for People (FFP) programs are serving meals to more students in both Ghana and Nepal; and the Foundation is continuing to break new ground for the outreach of Prem Rawat’s message of peace.
Please join this effort to be ready for the abundant opportunities that lie ahead.
Matching funds of up to US$47,000 have already been offered by 7 incredibly generous donors so that each dollar you donate will be significantly increased in value. Each and every donation is very much appreciated. This appeal will continue through December 31.
To donate via Peace Partners and obtain Gift Aid on your donation (for UK taxpayers) which can add a further 25% to the value of your donation click here.
[Please note 100% of your donation towards this appeal will be passed to TPRF including any gift aid claimable]
A Look Back at 2016
TPRF can now accept donations to help give aid to those affected in Haiti by the recent hurricane. See the message below which was posted today (14th Oct 2016) via TPRF board of directors.
A message from the TPRF Board of Directors on Hurricane Matthew relief in Haiti:
We have heard from many TPRF supporters this week inquiring how they can help the people of Haiti who are suffering so much from the devastation of Hurricane Mathew. We are touched by the outpouring of compassion, and our hearts go out to the people of Haiti who are struggling for survival in the wake of this intense storm.
You can trust that TPRF will send any donations designated for this purpose to one of our partner organizations that is already working effectively on the ground. We will continue to evaluate conditions in the country and opportunities for TPRF to make a meaningful difference.
Kate Hudson from Valiant technology recently shared an email with Peace Partners about Roamer the Robot visit to Oldham and participating in Oldham's Peace Weeks events. Below is what Kate shared with us and I have also included links to a longer article about this visit on the Valiant (home of Roamer) website.
As the only robot in the world to have signed the Pledge to Peace, Roamer was very happy to be invited to join Oldham's Peace day. Oldham is the only Local Authority to have also signed the Peace Pledge so it was inevitable that Roamer would visit.
Specially developed activities that help develop understanding and tolerance were trialled at Knowsley Junior School, then Roamer headed for Oldham Library where visitors could program Roamer to help them sign Oldham's individual pledge.
You may be motivated to create your own school pledge and make your own Peace Wall. We'd love to hear about it.
I am always eager to put my senior rail card to good use and last week I used it to travel to Oldham where I had accepted a voluntary role in helping out Richard Outram and Maria Ellis (from Peace Talks Oldham) in covering a wide range of events for Oldham Peace Week. The week (six days of peace related activities in fact but we won't quibble about a day!) commenced on the International Day of Peace the 21st September 2016.
For details of Day one see my previous blog post
Day 2 involved a short journey to another local town Bradford where Richard, Maria and I visited The Peace Museum in Bradford - the only museum of it's kind in the UK (so far). Oldham's Mayor Councillor Derek Heffernan and his wife Di Heffernan (the lady Mayor) were also invited but due to the museum's location being up six flights of stairs and their reliance on walking aids this was too much for them so we were to meet them later in Bradford's City Hall (more about that later.)
Oldham Council, it's former and current Mayor along with Peace Talks Oldham and a rapidly growing list of other groups are demonstrating their hearty commitment to peaceful values with an impressive string of events starting on International Peace Day 21st September 2016 and culminating with a special Mayors for Peace event on the 26th September.
Oldham's Peace Week kicked off this morning at the town's civic centre with the raising of their Peace and Respect flag.
Councillor Derek Heffernan and his wife Di Heffernan, who are the incumbent Mayor and Lady Mayor respectively, hosted the ceremony and invited guests afterwards to see some of the souvenirs brought back from Italy in 2015\16, where Oldham councils policy officer Richard Outram and his partner Maria Ellis (founder of Peace Talks Oldham) were invited by the Secretariat to the Pledge To Peace shortly after Oldham became the first council to sign the pledge.
Among the enthusiastic guests in attendance were:-
Richard Outram and Maria Ellis representing Peace Talks Oldham
Nicola Malone a primary school teacher from Burnley Brow Community School which was the first of four local primary schools to sign the Pledge To Peace. (6 more such schools are also expected to sign in the near future!).
Phillidia Shipp from Saddleworth Peace Group - the group is the most recent signee having signed the Pledge To Peace a month ago.
In the afternoon Maria Ellis went to Lyndhurst Primary School to help run a workshop with 14 children to decorate doves and hearts - these will be hung in Oldham's Gallery/Library on Friday afternoon in good time for a string of Peace week events being held there on Saturday.
There was another afternoon event at Knowlsey Junior School involving 90 children split into three workshops - there the children were introduced to Roamer the Robot by founder Dave Caitlin and volunteers from Valiant Technology. The Mayor and Lady Mayor attended as the Mayor is also chairman of the board of governors. Richard Outram and Maria Ellis were also there to witness the School sign the Pledge To Peace as well as to advise and help them formulate some new Peace Pledge initiatives.
Then Dave Caitlin suggested a special Pledge be devised and together with Richard Outram and Maria Ellis they came up with a specific pledge which will be inscribed inside a Dove - the pledge they came up with reads:
"I pledge to try to feel peace in my heart every day and live peacefully with my family, friends and everyone in Oldham".
At the Gallery/Library events on Saturday the Dove will be displayed and children will be invited to sign their name underneath on an A4 sheet of paper with help from a Roamer Robot.
Tomorrow is another day and I can't wait. In the interim if you would like more details about peace events in Oldham this week you can visit the council webpage which lists details of the planned activities. Finally local newspaper The Oldham Chronicle published a very positive article today about Oldham's Peace Week entitled "Give peace a chance to spread global unity"
British Forces Radio's (BFBS) Positive Report on the Save Our Soldier\TPRF Peace Education Initiative for Veterans...
Chris Kay from BFBS (the British Armed Forces Radio Broadcasting Service) attended and interviewed some of the presenters to the Introduction to TPRF's Peace Education Programme held in Crook , County Durham on 26th August 2016.
The event was masterminded and hosted by the veterans charity Save Our Soldier who specialise in helping former service personnel(now including emergency services) suffering from PTSI or PTSD. Volunteers from The Prem Rawat Foundation collaborated with Lee Hayward (CEO of Save Our Soldier) to help with the presentation and included a short "taster" from one of the 10 main sessions to help illustrate what a Peace Education session is like in actual practice.
You can hear Chris Kay's report by clicking the picture above or the link below as the broadcast is now posted on the Audioboom website (audio content sharing\on demand platform) where BFBS have their own page.
The piece is entitled "Free Workshop To Support PTSD Sufferers" and can be accessed here.