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Special Topic: Peace Education

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This fall, our very own founder Dr. Hetty van Gurp will be teaching a course on peace education at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, N.S. Registration is open now!

 Exciting New Courses Available Fall’15 at Saint Mary’s UniversityScreen Shot 2015-06-09 at 2.16.55 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-09 at 2.17.28 PM

Saint Mary’s University Conflict Resolution Society

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project - Faces

This year our Northern Ireland Project is taking on a new face! Take a look at this article posted onto Saint Mary’s website to learn more about the workshops our students will be performing in classrooms in both Halifax and Belfast over the next few months. We are so proud to have such an innovative group of young people working with us this year!

SMU Article

PSI WORKSHOP: School-wide Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports Workshop

November 18, 2014 – Saint Mary’s University – Halifax, Nova Scotia

School-wide Positive Behaviour Workshop


SMU Poli Sci Human Rights Seminar

Attached on the link below is a poster for an upcoming course on Human Rights which is to be offered to Saint Mary`s students this Winter Semester. For any questions, there is contact information provided on the link below!

Human Rights Poster

Peace Week 2014

World Learning Grammar SchoolAgha Khan SchoolPeace Week 2014imagesT7EE6YMA

We would like to share some pictures of the wonderful peace activities which took place at Aga Khan, Ghulaman-e-Abbas and World Learning Grammar School this past week; three of the many schools who participated in Peace Week 2014.

Peace in Pugwash

In August, our Program Coordinator attended the second annual PeacemakeHers Conference at the Thinker’s Lodge in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. For more information on this wonderful Conference and some of the inspirational efforts being made in the name of peace by young Nova Scotian women, please take the time to read this article!

Sexual violence ‘not natural’

Mental Health and Bullying

It is important to understand that bullying is not something we can tell a victim to merely ‘fight back’ or ‘ignore’. This article examines the very serious implications which can arise from bullying and which should always be taken into consideration when attempting to address such issues in your school community.

Also, please visit this link to educate yourself and those around you on what constitutes as the Definition of Bullying.

Member School Activity

This link will deliver you to an informative article from 2010 written in French by Catherine Girard to promote the positive impact of Peaceful Schools International in some of our Montréal Member Schools. We would like to thank Catherine Girard for her supportive words on our efforts to encourage a peaceful learning environment in schools across the globe.

SMU’s New Course on Restorative Justice

The Sociology and Criminology Department at Saint Mary’s is now offering a course on Restorative Justice. For more information please contact the number or e-mail address provided on the poster.

Restorative Justice

Pink Shirt Day Fundraiser!

A BIG thank-you to Kells Elementary School in Montreal, Quebec!

On Pink Shirt Day, students from this member school made a donation of $2 each to come to school wearing a pink shirt!   The students participated in a number of anti-bullying-themed activities throughout the day –  most unique of which was collaboratively creating a mural made up of QR codes.  When a QR code is scanned, the viewer is linked to a video of one of our students giving a positive and inspirational message!



PSI and General John De Chastelain in Belfast!

PSI is proud to share that General John De Chastelain, from PSI’s International Advisory Board, was able to join us in Belfast this year to celebrate 10 years of the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project, in partnership with Saint Mary’s University and Barnardo’s Children Charity!!

This years trip focused on building on our Belfast relationships and program development. Below is a link to some brief footage of our celebration conference in Stormont , Northern Ireland’s Parliament, that kicked off our week in Belfast!  This conference included the speakers:  Representatives from the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Education Minister John O’Dowd, Director of Barnardo’s Northern Ireland Lynda Wilson, Founder of PSI Dr. Hetty Van Gurp, General John De Chastelain, President of Saint Mary’s University Dr. Colin Dodds, Associate Dean of Arts of Saint Mary’s University Dr. Don Naulls and Principal of John Paul II Primary School Raymond Hunter.

Click here to watch footage

Choir at Stormont Photo 1 Jan 2014

Cross Community Choir in Stormont joining in on the celebrations!

PSI & Barnardo's MAIN PHOTO + Boys Model Jan 2014

Conference speakers and students from Boys Model!

Through-out the week we were also able to facilitate workshops at local primary schools, and even had John Paul II Primary School facilitate a workshop for us! Quite the treat for the representatives and facilitators of PSI and SMU!

PSI board member, Rick Lewis and John Lenney also joined us on our trip to Belfast. While there, with the assistance of Saint Mary’s University student facilitators, Erin, Emily, Kristie and Cait, and the presence of Dr. Hetty Van Gurp, Dr. Naulls, SMU conflict resolution advisor Bridget Brownlow, PSI board member Sherri Hassanali and the honourable General John De Chastelain, the two facilitated a wonderful workshop with Student Mentors from Boys Model School. Below is press coverage of the event:

PSI at Boys Model School, Press Release

Belfast Telegraph 31.01.14 PSI Workshop

More highlights of the week were presenting at the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, facilitating workshops at tSleibhe Dhuibh Irish Language Primary School and Malvern Primary School, and working towards building a network of peace all around!

Peaceful Schools International and Saint Mary’s University

Here is a news interview with PSI program coordinator Erin McIntosh and former PSI student coordinator Cait Dix from Halifax, Nova Scotia, celebrating and discussing 10 years of Peaceful Schools International’s Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project in partnership with Saint Mary’s University and Barnardo’s Children Charity UK. Both girls have been involved with PSI over the past number years and are proud of the hard work students and supporters from both sides of the Atlantic ocean have put in to make the initiative such a success! We’re looking forward to the future development of the program!

Click here to watch the news interview


Also, founder of Peaceful Schools International, Hetty Van Gurp, wrote a letter to a local Halifax news paper expressing her pride for the students involved in the program and the program itself.

Click here to read Hetty’s letter

photoHere is a picture of the facilitators for this year’s project! From left: SMU Student and PSI Program Coordinator, Erin McIntosh; SMU Alumni and PSI Volunteer Facilitator Kristie Mailman; SMU Alumni, PSI Senior Program Coordinator and Board Secretary, Emily Anderson; and SMU Alumni and Former PSI Student Coordinator Cait Dix. Congrats ladies!



PEWO & DOSTI with the support of PSI celebrated   “No Name Calling Week as a Social Action Project” on December 14

PSI’s regional coordinator for Pakistan, Nadeem Ghazi, shared with us the news of their recent DOSTI monthly event. On December 14 2013 they celebrated “No Name Calling Week”. A workshop was facilitated by youth worker Kashan regarding how name calling can be hurtful and how it is important to use our words in positive ways! Over 14 DOSTI registered schools and 140 students altogether participated in “No Name Calling Week”. Keep up the amazing work!
To see a video of the event check out this link!
For schools who are interested in celebrating their own “No Name Calling Week” here is the activity they used:
The “No Name Calling” Oath:
Students signed an agreement, taking an oath by raising hand and agreeing to not hurt others with their words or hands for a  minimum of a week.
Expression through Art:
Students expressed their feelings on how bad words can hurt others through the universal language of Art. The art can be displayed as a tool in their schools to help create a culture of peace and remind students of the power of words.
Try to make “No Name Calling Week” an annual event at your school!

Star Models Maticulation School, India

On the first Monday of every month PSI member school, Star Models Matriculation School, participate in peace activities! Congratulations too all the staff and students of Star Models Matriculation School on helping creating a culture of peace!

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BENCH BUDDIES – Helping Make Recess More Inclusive!

Check out this article on Bench Buddies, maybe your own school could benefit from a bench buddy system!

PSI WORKSHOP – School Climate: Complex but Manageable

School Climate Flyer (1)

PSI WORKSHOP – Ethical Negotiations: When Relationships Matter As Much As Outcomes


News from PSI’s Nakamah Kawaleh Peace Education Program in Sierra Leone

Congratulations to the students of Newfoundland’s Leary’s Brook Junior High School, who organized a leadership conference promoting social consciousness and awareness and through this raised over $4,500 for their partners in Sierra Leone’s PSI member schools! The funds will cover costs for nursery school materials and teachers’ salaries and enable many PSI member school students to continue on to through junior and senior high school.

Student leaders hosted the Eastern School District Junior High Leadership Conference with two hundred students to promote activism, self-esteem and global awareness. Throughout the year, the committee worked diligently on decorations, meal plans, workshops, guest speakers, donations, opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies, dance, registration packages, schedules, name tags, kit bags, t-shirt design, etc.  Students spent their Easter vacation in school with me planning and finishing up last minute details.   Delegates attended a lecture, as well as a question/answer session, with ambassador for peace Mr. Remzi Cej.  As well, they participated in workshops geared toward showing them how to take action in their community. These included Passive to Active, Outrage, Equality For All, Engaging Your Audience and Global Issues.  They also attended workshops in Sign Language, Introduction to Judo, Introduction to Rugby, Improv, Wheelchair Basketball and more.

All profit from the conference was sent to Sierra Leone. As well, recognizing their responsibility to the local community, students donated left-over food to Choices For Youth, Naomi Centre Shelter for Female Youth, and The Single Parents Association.

It was such a rewarding endeavour and will make a tremendous long-term difference in the lives of students in Newfoundland and in Sierra Leone.