The following blog was written by Alan Plummer, an attendee of our introductory event in Cornwall on Saturday 18th 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 Inside Peace, 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.
Peace Partners will be hosting more national introductory events. Watch this space for more information.
More speakers and entertainers have been announced for Peace Partners' Waves of Change Forum taking place this week. The forum, which is part of The Festival of Peace Croydon, will be tackling the topics of peace, gangs and conflict resolution.
The afternoon session consists of musicians, poets and speakers who work with the subject themes or have been inspired by them in their work. Read more about our speakers and entertainers here.
Our Waves of Change forum exploring the pertinent issue of gang violence in the UK is happening this week. As part of the session, we are hosting a number of presentations from organisations that work with the theme of peace, in the hopes that peace tactics can be explored further as a method of conflict resolution.
Amongst our speakers we have guests from The Tutu Foundation and Oldham Pledge for Peace. You can read further details about each presentation here.
Peace Partners is delighted to be hosting an event at The Festival of Peace, Croydon to tackle the pertinent issue of gang violence and knife crime in the UK. The timely event coincides with the recent announcement that peace ambassador Prem Rawat’s Peace Education Programme (PEP) will be rolled out across London to help to tackle gang violence and knife crime. Peace Partners is a partner of The Prem Rawat Foundation and supports the delivery of the PEP to a number of prisons in the UK.
The event, entitled the ‘Waves of Change Forum: Peace, Gangs and Conflict Resolution’, will premiere the UK screening of The Prem Rawat Foundation film, ‘Peace is Inevitable’ on 22nd June 2018. The film highlights how peace education has resolved entrenched youth gang conflict in Ecuador.
Peace Partners is celebrating its second anniversary as a registered charity! Thank you everyone and congratulations to the team at Peace Partners. To all the children, families and the beneficiaries of the projects we support, the dedicated team of volunteers and all the charity's supporters without whom this wonderful life changing work wouldn't be possible.
By Chrissie Waite
I was fortunate to be invited to attend a PEP session recently. It took place at a friendly over fifty-five’s club in London.
The subject of the day was ‘understanding’ and that’s definitely what I witnessed taking place. I was impressed by how the attendees felt comfortable and able to share their expressions during the reflection times.
The learning environment was relaxed yet focused and seemed to provide a kind of safe haven. One lady read out a poem that she’d written, based on her learning of the PEP so far. Others expressed their own understanding in relation to the day’s topic or asked questions which were received with sensitivity by the facilitator. I felt privileged to witness how attendees were relating the subject matter of the course to their own everyday lives, and how they planned to apply their learning.
From my own perspective, I realised that there was so much to learn. The video clips were short and the session seemed to whiz by, yet there was such a depth of learning to be had. One lady even asked if we were too old to take this on board! Luckily that’s definitely not the case – something we were able to learn from Prem’s message about ‘understanding’ that day.
“The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) recently released a short new video film ‘A World of Difference: 2017 News’ which highlights some of the achievements of the Foundation during the past year. Included are segments on the Peace Education and Food for People programs, the flagship projects supported by Peace Partners.
From their beginnings back in 2001, TPRF’s initiatives - all sponsored entirely by supporters - have gone from strength to strength. Though still small by some international standards, The Foundation has had a deep impact on many individuals, from all around the world, whose lives have been touched by its work. This film includes an interview with a participant in a veteran’s PEP here in the UK, an amazing item about how PEP is being used to help thousands of ex-combatants and victims heal from the wounds of the longstanding sectarian conflict in Columbia, as well as news and updates about Food for People and recent emergency relief efforts.
The film concludes with an excerpt of founder Prem Rawat speaking at a peace forum convened in Medellin, Columbia in July. The video runs for just over 12 minutes, and makes for essential and inspiring viewing!”
Two testimonals from people who have benefitted from attending the Peace Education Programme.
Here in the UK the PEP has been expanding since the first classes held at HMP Thameside were started in 2015. In 2016 an event at the British Film Institute sponsored jointly by The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) and The Tutu Foundation premiered the documentary. 'Inside Peace', a film which follows the impact of the programme on inmates in San Antonio Texas. The invited audience included leaders from the prison service, and the event forum keynote address was given by TPRF founder Prem Rawat. You can view a recording of the forum here. In 2017 1,775 attendees participated in 243 PEP sessions in correctional facilities in the UK. To date PEP sessions have been held in 11 UK prisons.
Peace Partners is delighted to have been supporting PEP financially through donations, and as sponsors/partners of events and presentations, including a further showing of the film Inside Peace in central London. This year we are partnering with a university in the north of England to show the film again. For a flavour of what has been happening in the UK visit our website Peace Education Blog here.
A very recent TPRF video update about how the program is helping people in Colombia heal after five decades of civil war can be viewed below.
New stories from TPRF
The following TPRF blog article describes the impact of PEP on both some Miami-Dade County female inmates and volunteers alike; and can be read here. And all the latest reports and articles about current developments can be found on TPRF's website here
In 2014 a study commissioned from social research consultants Damooei Global Research analysed 365 worldwide surveys of participants in the programme, conducted in the previous 18 months. Author Dr. Jamshid Damooei reported that the results showed “a tremendous improvement with regard to believing that feeling peace is a possibility. Before the programme less than 42% believed that feeling peace was possible. After the programme, almost 100% believed that it was. Three quarters (74.3%) strongly feel that peace is a possibility in their lives.” The report, which includes a host of brief personal answers from survey respondents (from which our header quote is drawn), makes for fascinating and inspiring reading. You can download it from TPRF's website here.
Rukaya Iddris and her husband are pictured here with their eight children, all of whom eat at the Ghana Food for People facility.
During the early morning hours of January 9, more than 750 wide-eyed students from the village of Otinibi, Ghana returned to class after the holidays, ready to learn and catch up with their friends. When lunchtime came around, they had worked up quite an appetite, and because of the generosity of donors from around the world, they were greeted at the Food for People (FFP) kitchen by the smell of fresh local vegetables, rice, and fish stew. It was the opening day of 2018 at the “Canteen” as the locals fondly call it, and the kids beamed as they enjoyed their meals and shared their hopes for the year ahead.
You can read more about the Ghana Food For People facility and the children it serves here.
This year, Peace Partners is relaunching its campaign to raise funds through Give as you Live: a free way of supporting a worthwhile cause whilst shopping online!
It’s really simple: when you sign up to Give as you Live, you have access to over 4,000 retailers, which include Amazon, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s.
Once you have made a purchase online, the retailer will send a donation to Peace Partners through Give as you Live.
It will cost you absolutely nothing, but will make a massive difference in supporting causes we raise money for, such as Food for People, where £0.75p will feed a child one meal a day in some of the poorest parts of the world.
Through these donations, Give as you Live has raised over £9 million to support charities across the UK. Peace Partners is delighted to be part of its campaign to deliver much needed funds to incredible causes. We would love it if you could support ours!
Whether you are doing your weekly food shop, buying a Valentine’s gift or booking your next holiday, you can get so much more than what you pay for simply by shopping through Give as you Live and raising free funds for Peace Partners.
You can sign up to support Peace Partners here and start raising money as you shop straight away: giveasyoulive.com/join/peace-partners/1166456/0