Peace Partners is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign. The
campaign is a global initiative that supports charities to raise money for their favourite
causes. This year, we are raising money for The Food for People programme, a flagship
initiative from The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), through our #givealatte for
To support this cause, Peace Partners is asking donors to donate the price of a coffee when
you buy a coffee. It’s really simple and every penny will go towards providing nutritious
meals for children and elderly people in Ghana, Nepal and India.
The Food for People programme was established in 2006 with the opening of a facility in
Bantoli, India, which provided daily meals for residents of a number of local villages. Since
its inception, the programme has gone from strength to strength, and today its support has
extended to communities in Ghana and Nepal.
This year, Giving Tuesday is on the 28 th November. You don’t have to wait until then to
support this worthy cause, just text GALA03 plus the amount you want donate (e.g GALA03
£3) to 70070 to donate the price of a coffee, cup of tea or any drink and let us know by
using #givealatte when you’ve donated. Your donation, no matter how small, will make a
TPRF recently published this blog featuring the experiences of long term Peace Partners collaborator Mary Dalgleish and other Peace Education volunteers at the ICPA conference in London. Below is a copy of the blog published on TPRF's website...
Mary Dalgleish is a volunteer with the Peace Education Program (PEP) in the UK. In this blog she writes about her experience presenting the program at the recent International Corrections and Prison’s Association conference in London.
Founded in 1998, the mission of the International Corrections and Prison’s Association (ICPA) is to promote and share ethical and effective correctional practices to enhance public safety and healthier communities worldwide. This year the ICPA selected London for its annual conference, entitled “Innovation in Rehabilitation: Building Better Futures.” The conference was hosted by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, October 22-27, 2017.The ICPA conference was first brought to my attention in May by the UK charity Peace Partners, which offered to sponsor a PEP presentation there. PEP was implemented at a London prison in May 2015 and has been running continuously at the facility twice a week since then. It has also been successfully implemented in several other UK prisons.
I spoke to PEP volunteer Tony McLean, who has been instrumental in promoting PEP to UK prisons, and he said that he would be happy to collaborate with me on this, should our proposal be accepted. I then set about writing an abstract titled “Innovation in Rehabilitation: Building Better Futures with Personal Peace
Education,” which I submitted to the ICPA’s selection team in June. The proposal was accepted as part of the agenda for October 23rd and I then started working on the presentation, with the help and advice of other PEP volunteers and The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) PEP team. Tony and I got together to rehearse and prepare several times before the event.We arrived early on the 23rd and attended the opening ceremony and a couple of the morning sessions.
Peace Education Programme (PEP), a flagship initiative from The Prem Rawat Foundation originated as a prison development programme, designed to support prisoners to explore the values of personal peace and inner resources and promote personal development and discovery. Having acquired considerable global success, PEP piloted in the UK at Thameside Prison in 2015. It was the success of this 20-session programme that led to its spread across the country. The PEP is currently running in 8 UK prisons
Peace Partners spoke with Carolyn Kean, volunteer leader of PEP in Leeds. Carolyn leads on the delivery of PEP in HMP Leeds alongside Andrea Walker and has been involved in the initiative since it came to the city in February this year.
PEP was introduced to Leeds through a charity called Catch22, which focuses on rehabilitation for prisoners and was quickly recognised for the difference it was making to the first cohort of prisoners that took part:
“The programme started as an initial block of ten sessions, each one exploring a different theme. These include inner strength, appreciation and clarity. This has now been increased to 20 as the value of the programme has become clear.”
Each session allows for periods of reflection and discussion, whilst absorbing the theme and exploring what it means for the individual.
“Prisoners benefit so much from this programme and you can see that so clearly because quite often they begin the course with incredibly low self-esteem. Watching them develop self-confidence and worth is incredibly rewarding for me as the person running the session, but also for all the people they have contact with and share these messages with.”
After a successful pilot, the programme was signed off to be used in the prison wing for more vulnerable inmates. The pilot focused on prisoners who were training to be mentors for others, and so were more conscious of their own development. The promotion of the programme to a different part of the prison is testament to its ability to support personal development and meaningful change.
It has been an incredible experience for Carolyn, who values the learning process she herself is going through as part of supporting the development of others. PEP in Leeds is very much still new and its future is looking bright, but Carolyn hopes that if it gains strong momentum it would also be a great encouragement for staff inside prisons to develop their own programmes.
At the moment, the tangible effects of PEP in the UK are undeniable and the programme has received encouraging feedback. Last year TPRF partnered with the Tutu Foundation in hosting a screening of the film 'Inside Peace' at the British Film Institute, with a keynote address given by founder Prem Rawat
The film, which documents the impact of PEP in Texas, was incredibly well received by attendees which included the governor of Thameside prison and numerous other representatives from UK Justice services.
Carolyn and Andrea will continue to drive the initiative within HMP Leeds, and together with a small team of volunteers, they will be ambassadors for a national campaign to promote the amazing work that PEP does with those that benefit from it so much.
Peace Partners is delighted to be involved with this inspiring programme and will be sponsoring a PEP presentation at the International Correctional Conference in October. You can find more information about the event here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=212615&tabid=613186
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..
UK taxpayers wishing to donate can also obtain Gift Aid on their donation by clicking here.
Peace Partners has now set up a donations page in Charity Checkout (our Partners who handle donations on our behalf) the proceeds of which will be forwarded to the The Prem Rawat Foundation Hurricane Harvey appeal fund.. UK taxpayers especially can benefit by donating via us by obtaining Gift Aid relief on all their donations.
UK donors can donate here.
Jake Frankel has written an article published on the Prem Rawat Foundation website giving more details about their appeal and you can read it here. (opens in a new window)
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.