Ecuadorian gang members filmed a message specifically for the gangs of London for Peace Partners’ Waves of Change forum hosted in London this June.
The video shows gang members talking about the benefits of the Prem Rawat Foundation’s Peace Education Programme.
The gang came together at the close of the video to chorus: “We want to say to the youth of London: peace is inevitable.”
Waves of Change explored the root causes of youth related violence in London, inviting activists, artists and community leaders to speak on the subject.
Peace Partner’s Event and Team Coordinator Wendy Martin spoke about the video shown of the Ecuadorian gang members.
She said: “There was another short video screened that was made two years later [after the featured documentary] that showed how they had truly turned their lives around.
“They were still going to school and working with kids and working for peace.”
She added: “This little program they did, it wasn’t just a flash in the pan. So I thought: ‘this thing is really potent.’”
The Waves of Change forum also featured the UK premiere of The Prem Rawat Foundation documentary on the Peace Education Program: Peace is Inevitable.
The documentary shows how the Peace Education Program (PEP) helped Ecuadorian gang members to transform their lives from a cycle of conflict to a search for peace.
The Peace is Inevitable UK premiere followed Prem Rawat’s recent announcement to offer PEP to all Londoner’s over 14 to help curb the rise of violent crime.
Community leader Bob Turgitts said: “It was good to see the video of what guys are doing in a foreign country, the structure is different because the life lived in the streets of London is different from Ecuador, but the concept’s good.”
Forum attendee and PEP participant Elijah Mochia gave a first-hand account of the Peace Education Program.
He said: “It was the cornerstone of the bridge I used to crossover into my new mindset and lifestyle,”
“You just need to want to find peace, and this is the place to go and do it.”
While Waves of Change allowed partners and community leaders to showcase their essential work, it also provided the opportunity for networking and inspiration.
An initiative has recently started for Croydon community groups to sign up to a pledge to peace, directly inspired by Richard Outram’s Pledge to Peace presentation at the forum.
In addition Peace Partners continue to support the Peace Education Program in the UK, and are making good progress in setting up a PEP program for the homeless.
Overall, the Waves of Change forum proved to be an inspiring and progressive collaboration which brought charities and community groups together to join in their work towards peace.