March 18, 2019

Peace Action Ideas

Building sustainable peace and addressing structures of injustice requires empowering students of all ages to recognize themselves as active agents of transformation, as peacebuilders, in their classrooms and communities. In 2018, we shared a lesson plan “Peace Action Contest”, where we invited students to share creative advocacy and awareness-raising campaign ideas that contribute to promoting cultures of peace, starting at the most local level, their school, but taking into account global challenges, such as poverty, gender inequality, and climate change. Here are a few of the creative responses we received:

—————————–

“Working Daily to Build Peace at School”

Grade: Led by 8th, 9th and 10th grade classrooms, with entire school participating in final activity

School: San Estanislao de Kostka, Salamanca, Spain

Goal: To promote active and non-violent attitudes in daily life.

Activity:

Developed through 4 sessions:

First session: We held a meeting in which we became aware of the difference between peace and non-violence. We shared on issues of violence at school and we had the chance to make a commitment to become “agents of non-violence” in our school and community. We drew the peace symbol with henna on our forearms as a sign of our commitment.

Second session: In each primary grade class, students were invited to reflect on the life of Gandhi and they made different crafts with non-violence related themes. In high school classrooms, we made a collage with headlines from bad news from newspapers and were invited to transform them into good news.

Third session: Each class throughout our school learned and practiced the dance that we were going to perform the next day through a flash mob. They were invited to search for a quote to include in the video

Fourth session: We recorded the flashmob. Each class did their dance. Some of them showing the quotes of people who inspire us. As well as the teachers, the “Parents Association” and “Administrative and Support Staff” were also invited to participate.

Here is the final result: 

How will your awareness-raising/advocacy campaign bring global peace and non-violence awareness to your community?

This activity helped us become aware of the difference between peaceful and non-violent attitudes. Students in primary school learned about the School day for Non-violence and Peace and the life of Gandhi. In secondary level classrooms, we read news that show bad attitudes that are also reflected sometimes at school too. We also learned how people in the field of science had awareness of peace issues (such as Einstein or Pasteur).

Materials Needed:

Crafts material
Newspapers for the collage
Video camera

Contact: Luis Delgado, [email protected]

—————————–

“Watch Me”

Grade: 11th grade

School: Villa Maria Academy High School, United States

Goal: To give students a positive outlet to express the challenges of environmental issues, social inequality, and gender inequality that they want to see changed and to give them a chance to do something positive as a community.

Activity:

Students will be educated in the areas of environmental care, social inequality, and gender inequality and asked what they want to do with the information they have learned. We will organize a presentation and invite our school community.

We will have students write down their commitment on 2 pieces of paper. One will go in their pocket, so they always remember, and the other we will post on our campaign bulletin board. They will then be asked to try to fulfill that commitment over the next 3 months. We will encourage them with a planning sheet to come up with ideas.

For example: a student says that they want to help stop pollution: They will then decide how they are going to do that (create a service project, change their habits, etc.) and document the steps that they are taking toward their commitment over three months. We will be there each step of the way to help the student accomplish their goals by meeting monthly to stay connected. We will all be working as one to cover all the issues we see. At the end of the three months, they will reflect and share what they have done. They will also make a commitment to continue their efforts.

We will then compile everything into a video in hopes to inspire others in the community to join in. In addition, a newspaper or magazine will be created to showcase the work that is being down with this campaign. This campaign will be on-going. We will also be participating in the campaign in addition to facilitating.

How will your awareness-raising/advocacy campaign bring global peace and non-violence awareness to your community?

Many community members will have the chance to peacefully create change in the community while making others aware of what needs to be done. Our hopes is to eventually spread this campaign to outside of just our school. Creating change is a ripple effect. Once one person does it, many more will. The awareness that our community will gain is going to be extraordinary.

Contact: Anna Rago, [email protected]

 

Photo: Txuo Rodríguez, SJ