Here are some of PSI’s past and present projects:
Sports for Peace
We have received wonderful news from our regional coordinator in Pakistan, Nadeem Ghazi, about the success of the “Sports for Peace” project by the name of DOSTI(Friendship) with the partnership of British Council Pakistan.
Some of the highlights of the program has been their work in various conflict areas with 1000 students from the ages 12- 18 years old.
This involved 8 schools in sports for peace activities, especially soccer! Their target is to involve 2000 youth in conflict communities and areas of city in the two year project. They have developed a board of advisory members from the local leadership and community members, for which they will be arranging thematic sessions to teach them about conflict and resolution skills.
This two-year project was made possible by a generous grant from the United States Institute of peace (USIP).
Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi is increasingly rife with ethnic and sectarian violence. Endemic violence affects youth in particular, as they learn to use hostile action as the principal way to resolve conflict. Education plays a primary role in the attitudinal development of youth, but Karachi schools have yet to teach Pakistani youth how to effectively handle and mitigate local conflict.
Reflecting the Institute’s commitment to utilizing cost-effective approaches to empower others with knowledge, skills and resources that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict, USIP supports Pakistani nonprofit organizations working to provide students with the ability to manage conflict and generate conditions that engender peace. With the support of USIP, Peaceful Schools International (PSI) is working on education programs in 25 Karachi schools that will equip students with the knowledge and skills required to reject violence and resolve conflict peacefully. PSI is also creating a supplementary school project that linksstudents in Pakistan and Canada to encourage cross-cultural communication and understanding.
Over the past two years, more than 390 teachers and 100 administrators and policymakers have attended PSI’s peace education workshops. The workshops provide an interactive opportunity for participants to understand the tenets of peace education and how peace education is best integrated into classroom curriculum and school activities, while using a training-of-trainers model to prompt participants to share their emerging knowledge and skills with colleagues. Additionally, parent workshops are underway that feature an overview of the peace education initiatives being conducted in their children’s schools, as well as positive discipline strategies for use outside of the classroom.
PSI has already felt the impact of their work through the interest it has generated in the target communities. PSI is ramping up their partnership with the Sindh governmental Education Office to expand peace education to schools throughout the province and has introduced peace education to the Memon Education Board that administers 143 local schools.
PSI has also shared their peace education course and teaching methods with other organizations working in Pakistan, such as CARE International and the Zareef Khan Foundation (ZKF). Care International will initiate peace education at 16 schools in Swat District and ZKF is training teachers working in Peshawar. A Peaceful Schools Guidebook is being produced to serve as the basis for future peace education courses in Pakistan.
While the immediate effects of peace education are evident in students’ improved behavior, USIP and PSI are providing youth in Pakistan with a deeper behavioral foundation that ultimately encourages nonviolent conflict resolution and contributes to a more peaceful society in the long term.
A handbook for schools in Pakistan was written for this project. Creating A Culture of Peace: A Practical Guide for Schools contains ideas and activties that are culturally appropriate for schools in Pakistan. The ideas were tested in the pilot schools that particpated in this project.
You can download the book in English Creating a Culture of Peace: A Practical Guide for Schools April 2012
Northern Ireland Project
This year we are celebrating 10 years of Saint Mary’s Universities Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project done in partnership with PSI. In the past 10 years over 100 local university students have participated in the program! Each year a group of Saint Mary’s students create and facilitate workshops in Halifax while diligently fundraising to make their way to Belfast in order to work in Integrated, State, Catholic Maintained and Irish Language schools respectively. By providing students with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to resolve conflicts peacefully, Saint Mary’s students and PSI hope to build a sustainable culture of peace within a wide range of schools in Northern Ireland.
In the past 2 years Dalhousie University has also development its own Conflict Resolution Project in Northern Ireland. PSI is excited to see how university student’s initiatives for peace education continue to grow in our province.
From 2007 to March 2010, PSI was involved in a project in Sierra Leone called Education for Sustainable Peace and Development in Post-war Northern Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone, recovering from eleven years of devastating civil war, is a small West African country that is designated by the UN as the second “least liveable country in the world”. Children in Sierra Leone were most affected by the war. Most schools were destroyed and materials and books lost. This is, however, a time of rebuilding and regenerating. It is also a time of great hope and possibility as people are deeply committed to ensuring long-lasting peace, development and education.
The Education for Sustainable Peace and Development in Post-war Northern Sierra Leone project is designed to improve the well-being and quality of life of marginalized girls, boys, women, and men in the post-war Northern Province of Sierra Leone through supporting integrated basic and peace education and agricultural and economic development, enabling community members to become active change agents who advocate for good governance and respect for human rights. This project was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and was a partnership with the Sierra Leonean NGO, the Centre for Development and Peace Education (cdpeace). This CIDA-funded project has now come to an end but PSI is continuing its peace education work in Sierra Leone through the Nakamah Kawaleh Peace Education Fund.