Practicing Peace at Ivan Goran Kovacic School!

Peaceful Schools has received a delightful letter from our member school in Niska Banja, Serbia, Ivan Goran Kovacic School. It always gives us great pleasure seeing what each school is doing to create their own culture of peace and we’d like to share their hard work with you!

Over the past school year Ivan Goran Kovacic School has participated in activities that promote empathy, acceptance and friendship. Some of their successes have been fundraising money for students that come from low income families, building skills for peaceful conflict resolution through theatre and creating their own tree of friendship to celebrate their school’s love and kindness! These are only a handful of the many other activities the school has participated in over the past year, below are a few pictures highlighting their work.

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Malala Yousafzai – selected as a PSI Peer Mediator

PSI has a large number of member schools in Pakistan. Malala’s school, the Khushal Girls’ School is one of them.  Malala was selected to participate in a peer mediation training workshop under the leadership of PSI’s regional Coordinator in Pakistan, Nadeem Ghazi.  We hope that she will be back home soon to support the youth of Pakistan.

Malala with Nadeem Ghazi and her father

Member Schools Promote Peace!

Photo of Kells Elementary’s Peace Ambassadors’ poster used during their No Name Calling Week to encourage fellow students to not call each other names!

Kells Elementary

Photo of Apple of God’s Eye International Academy trying out January’s monthly idea “The Helping Hands Tree” in their school!

 

Apple of Gods Eye School2Apple of Gods Eye School 1

PSI and Saint Mary’s Sign an MOU

As of September 21st 2012 Peaceful Schools International has a new home! On International Peace Day PSI celebrated by formalizing the arrangement with Saint Mary’s University, in Halifax Nova Scotia, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. Both parties are very excited about the new dimension of partnership and the beautiful new office that PSI now calls home!

Here is a link highlighting the event and grand opening: http://www.smu.ca/newsreleases/2012/september/home-sweet-peaceful-home.html

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Above: Saint Mary’s President Dr. Colin Dodds and Heather Harris, President of Peaceful School International

Beyond the Troubles, Belfast 2012

Beyond the Troubles

February 16th can’t come quickly enough for 14 Saint Mary’s students. On that day, they’ll be bound for Belfast to participate in the 7th annual Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project, an initiative designed to promote conflict resolution practices in schools in Canada and Northern Ireland.

International Development Studies student Emily Anderson is especially excited about this year’s peace education initiative and looks forward to working with elementary school children from Catholic and Protestant schools. Emily has been involved with the project for three years, first as a workshop facilitator and then as the Student Coordinator for the program. She credits the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project with inspiring her graduate thesis on peace education in post-conflict societies.

Conceived and organized by Saint Mary’s University’s Conflict Resolution Advisor, Bridget E. Brownlow, the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project is rooted in Saint Mary’s belief in the importance and relevance of engaged and experiential learning. In preparation for their 10 days in Belfast, students receive training in conflict resolution and have the opportunity to facilitate conflict resolution workshops with children and youth in local schools.

“I’m very encouraged by the commitment of our students to peace education, locally and internationally. I am also encouraged by the commitment and support of Saint Mary’s University as an active and dedicated member of Peaceful Schools International,” says Brownlow.

This year’s trip to Belfast will be similar in many ways to past years, but there are some unique differences. For one thing, there is an increase in the number of schools involved. As well, this year the Saint Mary’s contingent will be joined by a small group of IDS students from Dalhousie University under the leadership of Chris Walker, a Saint Mary’s IDS graduate and former project participant.

Another first is that this year’s trip will be documented by film maker Jeff Cusack. Inspired by the grim scenes he witnessed as a participant in the 2010 project in Northern Ireland, Cusack is returning to Belfast to capture this year’s trip in a documentary entitled “Belfast: Students in Conflict”.  The former editor of the SMU Journal, Cusack plans to filter the continuing struggles of Northern Ireland through the gut-level reactions of this year’s participants. According to Cusack, the lessons of Northern Ireland need to be understood now more than ever.

The Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project is made possible by a number of supporters including Saint Mary’s University, Peaceful Schools International, The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax, “An Cumann” (the Irish Association of Nova Scotia), The Estate of Patrick Power, Oxford School, Cornwallis Junior High, St. Mary’s Elementary and Inglis Street Elementary.