Our story begins in 2014 when, during a lengthy expedition of India and Nepal, Juli Hammersley saw the transformative power of The Prem Rawat Foundation’s (TPRF) Food for People initiative on local youth and the surrounding communities.
Inspired by the tangible impact of the Food for People initiative on youth and community development, Juli sought to bring these humanitarian values back to the UK, and in 2016 Peace Partners was formed, raising awareness for the development of personal peace and empowerment throughout the country.
Over the next several years and with an ever-expanding network of trustees, volunteers and community partnerships, Peace Partners has grown by leaps and bounds, supporting area food banks, shelters, and peace building workshops that seek to unlock the great potential within.
Read the full article and watch an interview with Founder Juli Hammersley here to learn more about our five-year journey.
#charity #peace #makingadifference
‘Peace Education Program Helping people discover personal peace’
‘Peace Education Program courses are offered by individuals or organisations licensed by the Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)’
These are quotes from The Prem Rawat Foundations’ website.
Learn about this workshop series at:
Peace Education Program - Offer the Workshops - TPRF.org
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org to communicate with a support representative.
Peace Partners continues to enjoy offering the programme to organisations and groups – especially those that have links with us.
During lockdown, virtual courses have been hosted by our hard-working and passionate teams. We see that there are good reasons to continue hosting workshops virtually in the future, as the quotes from two attendees illustrate below.
“I’ve really enjoyed these ten weeks……..I prefer to see people face to face, but I can’t, so it’s been great to do it virtually, and watch it on my phone.….It’s taught me to take notes, and helped me understand things more clearly, to really listen and think about it.”
“I may not have gone to a live course, but this worked out really well for me.”
There are many advantages to hosting the programme virtually – UK wide organisations and groups can attend together without the need to travel; costs are saved; the environment benefits!
We plan to continue to build teams of volunteers who are competent to run the courses virtually and able to create that special environment so important for the workshops. Teams usually consist of at least two facilitators and two technical Zoom hosts. Facilitating the course on Zoom is a little different to doing so ‘live’ and has its challenges but our facilitators are adjusting admirably as Lily’s testament below shows. We are grateful to Lily for bringing her experience of facilitating courses conducted locally to Peace Partners’ virtual courses.
"One positive outcome from this time of Covid has been to be able to take Prem’s unique message directly into people’s homes. Using the ZOOM platform, our small team has been able to run ten-week virtual Peace Education Programmes. Due to the pandemic all the programmes taking place locally had to be cancelled, and I was originally cautious about how this would work virtually - and to say ‘Yes’ was one of the best choices I have made.
CHOICE is one of the many themes in the Peace Education Programme (PEP), and very powerful, as we hear from the testimonies of many participants on the course. The power of this programme is about everyone’s own personal voyage of discovery, including myself as part of the team of volunteers.
The role of a facilitator is simple. It is to help people feel welcomed and relaxed so that each week’s set of videos on a theme can bring insights into their own lives and unique journey. This is followed by a time for quiet reflection, and once everyone returns to the main screen, they are invited to share any of their thoughts and understandings from the videos they have just seen. This is a very important part of the programme as it needs everyone to feel safe and comfortable enough to be able to participate in this way. It is not a time for discussion, and by the time we are in the fifth week more people feel ready to join in.
A virtual platform brings up different challenges: WiFi connection; the devices used to join the meeting; and each individual’s level of understanding of technology. In the run up to the first workshop practice sessions were vital. In the role of co-facilitator I would walk through how to find the ZOOM screen controls. As with the technical team, it is essential that there is back-up, and over the weeks of running the PEP both teams have needed these. Our team of four facilitators have a weekly zoom meeting to go through our scripts, and in preparation I make sure I am familiar with all the materials.
Over the years I have listened to the Peace Education Programme (versions 1 - 4) many times, and I am happy to report that I am still enjoying being a ‘work in progress’ gaining more useful insights into how to discover the joys of being human."
In March of last year, as the devastating impacts of the coronavirus were beginning to emerge across the country, Peace Partners sought to align ourselves with those groups and individuals working the frontlines of the pandemic to ensure their continued support for vulnerable populations. We know the virus has had a disproportionate impact on low-income and at-risk communities, and that humanitarian services are essential to their health and safety.
And so it was that we launched our St. Mungo’s fundraising campaign during this time of intense pressure, bolstering support for their mission to provide secure, isolated housing for rough sleepers. We were exceedingly humbled by the outpouring of support we received from our members, as together we raised £1,929 to benefit St. Mungo’s in their time of need. As we mark the anniversary of our campaign, Peace Partners would like to provide a brief update on the work of St. Mungo’s, and highlight some of the persistent challenges they anticipate going forward.
Most encouraging of all are the recent pool of statistics published by the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG), which found the number of rough sleepers on a single Autumn night across the country at its lowest level in seven years, with a pronounced reduction between years 2019 (4,266 individuals) and 2020 (2,688 individuals). St. Mungo’s also report a 37% drop in rough sleeping as a result of their ‘everyone in’ campaign, highlighting the efficacy of their all-hands-on-deck approach to this complicated societal issue.
Steve Douglas CBE, Chief Executive with St. Mungo’s, recently spoke on the successful, coordinated support of community groups and local officials to combat rough sleeping during the pandemic:
“Undeniably, the pandemic has strengthened partnership working and created an unprecedented opportunity to build relationships and help support thousands of people to recover from homelessness. Many of whom have been accommodated for the first time in years.”
This is positive news indeed, but there is still a great deal of work to do as we enter the second year of this pandemic. Homelessness is not a static issue and requires constant vigilance to keep from skyrocketing, especially as we continue to see rising unemployment amid the growing economic downturn. Peace Partners remain committed to St. Mungo’s humanitarian mission, and we invite our supporters to stay abreast of their ongoing campaigns by visiting their website at www.mungos.org.