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Reflecting on the Critical Need of Ethics Education to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Learning to Live Together Programme

As part of the 10th-anniversary celebrations of the Learning to Live Together Programme, Arigatou International - Geneva organized a series of seminars in Bosnia and, Herzegovina, Colombia, Israel, and Sri Lanka to foster reflections about the critical need for learning to live together in contemporary societies and amidst violence, discrimination, populism and violent ideologies. 

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Reflections on Education for Peace

By Prof. Dr. Alicia Cabezudo*

Education for peace and respect for human rights become particularly relevant today as the values that they entail are conflicted by daily violence, the horrors of war and the slow destruction of values such as solidarity, cooperation and respect for the other – situations that shake us daily.

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Santa’s Helpers - ‘Let’s give gifts even when it’s not a holiday!’

Santa’s Helpers is a group of five children aged 13 to 18, from Sombor, Serbia, who has been collecting gift packs and donating them to vulnerable children during Christmas and New Year’s for several years. However, during 2020 with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, something changed.

The children behind the project, all active at the Sombor Educational Center (SEC), were motivated to initiate change in their local community in terms of ending child poverty.

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Science Education and Ethical Values: Introducing Ethics and Religion into the Science Classroom and -11 May 2010

*Collection of papers exploring how ethical and religious values may be integrated into science education, arguing that many of the models of science are incompatible with ethical insights *Analyzes this situation and recommends positive steps whereby schools, teacher training colleges, universities and churches can play a creative role in introducing desirable social values and participatory social goals into science education *Result of a workshop organized by the Church and Society Sub-unit of the World Council of Churches and the Free University in Amsterdam

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Shaping Peace Together - Celebrating the International Day of Peace

Every year, the 21st of September marks the International Day of Peace. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a universally shared date in which all citizens of the world re-commit to Peace above all and to set aside differences to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. In recognition of the goals of Peace Day a webinar was organized by the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM), the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Kenya (MoEST). The theme of this year's Day of Peace was "Shaping Peace Together".

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Sharing Best Practices for Peacebuilding at the Pan-African Symposium on Education, Resilience and Social Cohesion

It is well know that a good educational system can have a strong impact in creating a culture of peace and overcoming poverty. Education can reduce inequalities and contribute to social inclusion while fostering economic development, peace and stability. On the other hand, a weak education system can reinforce exclusion and fuel marginalization, alienation, conflicts and violent extremism.

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Sharing Good Practices in the III Scholas Chairs International Congress in Jerusalem

Arigatou International was invited to the III Scholas Chairs International Congress which took place in Jerusalem, Israel from 2 to 5 July 2017, bringing together academics from the Scholas Chairs program, diplomats, religious authorities and governments to promote cooperation and learning based on the idea of education as one of the main tools for social change. In addition, 50 youth from five continents representing the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths, joined the academics in the debates as a way to emphasize their key role in the renewal of education.

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Strategic Planning to Further Value-Based Education for Children

Arigatou International Geneva held a three-day strategic planning meeting to identify the achievements of Ethics Education for Children during the last year; share the status and progress of its diverse projects; develop concrete indicators of success for 2018 as well as a plan of action to allow the Geneva office to move towards the achievement of the strategic areas identified in 2017.

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Strengthening Families in Chennai, India

Mrs. Prabha Karthik coordinated during a period of ten months an ethics education program with families in Chennai, India. Prabha shares in this interview with us her journey using the Learning to Live Together Programme to support parents on strengthening their parenting skills.

The program used the educational framework, approach and methodologies of the Learning to Live Together manual. Activities were customized to parents with the purpose of creating spaces to discuss about values, spirituality, interfaith learning, the rights of the child and how to create safe environments for children.

This work is part of the Strengthening Family Systems programme of Arigatou International Geneva.

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Strengthening Leaders in Times of Covid-19

“Everyone needs to be educated ‒ the leaders, the public, the children, the youth, the elite and the masses. Formal education as well as non-formal education has a great role to play in bringing about peace and disarmament in the present-day world. We are all members of one human family. United we stand and divided we fall.” 

Dr. M. Aram, 

Founder President, Shanti Ashram

With Dr. Aram’s words as a reference line for the discussions, the series of webinars titled “Leaders Dialogue – Active Peace Building for Community Cohesion in the Midst of COVID-19” kicked off on Tuesday, 22 July 2020. The Leaders Dialogue aimed at listening to one another and sharing notes from leadership experiences, guided by the premise that leaders multiply leaders. In unprecedented times like the COVID 19 Pandemic or in everyday encounters, such dialogue creates an environment of reflection, mutual learning and recommitment to action, active peacebuilding, and community cohesion. 

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Tackling Bullying and Violence in Schools Through Value-based Education in Indonesia

The Learning to Live Together Programme (LTLT) was first introduced to Indonesia during a facilitator training workshop conducted by GNRC South Asia and Arigatou International – Geneva, in partnership with the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO in 2012 and with the help of Ms. Wati Wardani and Mr. Fendra Kusmani. Since then, it has reached more than 1,000 children in more than 30 schools in the country.

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The Challenges Facing Educational Systems

I would like to share nine (9) brief points. The first three are conceptual and addresses what we mean by social cohesion. The second three points relate to my broad diagnosis of the root causes of deadly conflict and violence, which is the anti-thesis of social harmony. Lastly, I conclude by sharing three modest suggestions as to how we can contribute to building a culture of social cohesion.

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The Dawning of an Interreligious Community of Practice in Dominican Republic

An Ethics Education Community of Practice (CoP) took off in Dominican Republic bringing together facilitators from five different locations and with very diverse religious backgrounds. In their first meeting, the participants shared their experiences on the implementation of the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programme and joined their knowledge and new learnings to plan for the upcoming sessions.

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The Learning to Live Together as part of a National Capacity Building Workshop on Global Citizenship for Bhutanese Teachers

Between 24 and 27 December 2014 a Teacher Training Workshop was held for teachers in Phuntsholing Higher Secondary School in the Phuntsholing district of Bhutan, organized by the Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO.  30 teachers from 20 districts attended the workshop. The workshop introduced the participants to the pedagogical concepts and principles of Global Citizenship Education. The program also helped teachers to develop knowledge and skills to prepare young learners for global challenges.  During the workshop, participants reflected about ethics education and education for sustainable development.  The workshop’s main aim was to train teachers on the pedagogical concepts and principles of Global Citizenship Education and build a deeper understanding and realization on the need for integrating and implementing the ideas of Global Citizenship Educaiton in the formal schooling system. 

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The Learning to Live Together as part of the Culture of Peace Formation Program with the Civil Military Operations Group of the Philippine Army

Between 18 and 19 August 2014, 25 members of the Civil Military Operations Group of the Philippines Army took part in a workshop about peace education in the framework of the the Culture of Peace Formation organized by our partner Teach Peace Build Peace Movement. Ms Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, President of the Movement, shares:  "It is necessary to work with members of the military on issues of peace so they can reach out to children affected by conflicts. The Learning to Live Together Approach, content and methodologies was used extensively to achieve the goals of the program".

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The Learning to Live Together Manual is Now Available in Swahili

In June 2016, Arigatou International Geneva, in collaboration with the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Tanzania, launched the 'Kujifunza Kuishi Pamoja' – the Swahili language version of the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) manual. This new release aims to support the dissemination of the LTLT programme, reaching new communities in their own language and spreading quality ethics education among children, youth, families, schools and communities throughout the Eastern African region.

Swahili is one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa. It serves as a national language for Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, and it is broadly used in Zanzibar, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, the Comoro Islands and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has more than 11 million native speakers and about 120 million secondary speakers.

A ceremony to officially launch the manual was held on 15 June in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Speakers included Sister Jean Pruitt, GNRC Tanzania Founder, Mr. Charles Mwaniki from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Kenya; Mr. Suchith Abeyewickreme, Representative from Arigatou International Geneva, and Ms. Pauline Haiba Mandisa, LTLT trained teacher from Tana River County, Kenya.  Peace Club members received the manual with appreciation. 

The manual can be seen and downloaded HERE.

“Of course, we are pleased to have this book in Kiswahili, as it will serve as a guide for our children and young people to learn how to coexist, especially at a time when our country continues to witness erosion of peace and harmony.”

Joyce Mdachi

Youth Education Expert and Community Engagement Officer, GNRC - Tanzania.

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The Learning to Live Together Programme as part of the Curriculum in Cape Town

Arigatou International Geneva, in collaboration with the Cape Town Holocaust Center and the Western Cape Town Education Department, organized a Basic Training Workshop on how to use the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programme.

The workshop took place in Cape Town from 29 June to 1 July 2015 and targeted 22 Life Orientation teachers working directly with children and eight subject advisors, who support the teachers at schools and monitor the implementation of the curriculum. Both groups committed to integrate the Learning to Live Together Programme into the Life Orientation (LO) curriculum in order to implement it systematically in schools.

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The Moral Compass -10 May 2010

*Offers many examples of good and bad, right and wrong, in great works from literature and in exemplary stories from history *Organized by the stages along life's journey, moving from the first character lessons taught in home, which shape the way chidlren see life, to the countless choices that call the virtues into play as they grow older

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The New Learning to Live Together Manual for Children Ages 6 to 11 is Available!

Nurturing ethical values and children’s spiritual development can make a difference in the lives of children, their families, and their communities. With this in mind and responding to the needs of our partners in the field, Arigatou International – Geneva adapted its Learning to Live Together program for the middle childhood years. After a two-year-long process, the adaptation of the program was launched on 23 November 2021, during the Transforming Education Symposium.

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The Role of Children and Youth in the Prevention of Exclusion, Hatred, and Violence

In its constant efforts to promote children and youth participation in topics that affect them, Arigatou International Geneva, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Morocco and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in Geneva, UNICEF, and the Kofi Annan Foundation organized an event titled: “Learning to Live Together: Enhancing Children and Youth Participation to Prevent Exclusion, Hatred and Violence”.

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Third Online Course on Ethics Education for Children Reaches Educators from 32 Countries

Following the success of Arigatou International’s previous online courses, the third round of Ethics Education for Children: A Transformative Pedagogy for Learning to Live Together was conducted from 15-28 June 2021. Sixty-six participants from different countries joined the course, offering a diversity-rich environment that helped prompt fruitful dialogues and a diverse exchange of experiences.

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Violence Against Children as a Pressing Issue: Insights from the Facilitator Training Workshop in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Bosnia Herzegovina, in collaboration with Arigatou International - Geneva, organized a Facilitator Training Workshop on the Learning to Live Together Programme, which took place on 27 to 30 September 2018 and brought together 22 educators from primary and secondary schools, religious communities, and other organizations.

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Violence against Children in Latin America and the Caribbean

Mrs. Mercedes Román, is the former GNRC Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean and is currently Ethics Education Advisor for the region.

The term “violence against children” refers to very diverse situations. The report of the United Nation’s General Secretary (2006), takes the definition from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 19: “... all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse”, synthesized by David G. Gil as: “situations that prevent the fulfilment of their innate human potential” (Violence Against Children, Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 33, No. 44) The classification made by the Report on Violence from the World Health Organization, WHO (2003) on types of violence –self-inflicted, interpersonal and collective- helps to understand what we are talking about when we refer to violence against children in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

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We Are All Refugees

By Dr. Angelos Vallianatos

Let’s face the facts: 13.5 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance. 6.6 million are displaced within Syria, and 4.6 million Syrians are refugees. Half are children. From the beginning of the civil war in Syria, over 12.000 children have died.  Children affected by the Syrian conflict are at risk of becoming ill, malnourished, abused, or exploited. Millions have been forced to quit school.

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Workshop in Rome: Students Feel Empowered to Help Create a Culture of Encounter in their Communities

Arigatou International – Geneva, together with Scholas Occurrentes and Ashoka - Italy, carried out a three-day workshop for a group of 15 teachers and 25 students from three secondary schools in Rome, Italy.

The workshop, held on 6-8 April 2021, is part of “Creating a Culture of Encounter,” a collaborative project being held in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, that seeks to empower youth through education to challenge xenophobia, discrimination and exclusion in Europe.

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Workshop on Ethics Education for Children and Youth: Towards a Transformative Pedagogy to Tackle the Challenges of Learning to Live Together

Within the framework of a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between Arigatou International Geneva and Globethics.net, Arigatou International Geneva participated in the international conference Managing and Teaching Ethics in Higher Education: Policy, Skills, and Resources, organized by Globethics.net, from 4 to 6 June at Bossey, Switzerland.

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Workshop on Peace and Resilience Building in Cameroon to Help Tackling Violent Extremism in Africa

A four-day capacity building workshop was carried out in Douala, Cameroon on Transformative Pedagogy to Build Peace and Resilience, and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Africa.

The workshop, held from 10 to 13 May 2022, was organized by the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa – IICBA in collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Yaoundé and Arigatou International – Geneva. This activity is part of the project “Peace and Resilience Building and the Prevention of Violent Extremism in Africa through Teacher Training” led by UNESCO IICBA and supported by the Government of Japan.

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World Innovation Summit for Education in Paris

In February, Arigatou International – Geneva attended the World Innovation Summit for Education, or WISE@Paris, which was held in Paris on 20-21 February 2019. WISE is an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative thinking, debate, and purposeful action for new approaches to education, launched in 2009 by the Qatar Foundation.

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Young 'Peace Club' Leaders Get Trained to Carry Out Ethics Education Programs in Tanzania.

The GNRC Peace Clubs are a revolutionary initiative that brings together children and youth from different cultural and religious backgrounds to enable mutual understanding and build a culture of peace in Tanzania. To date, 118 Peace Clubs have been established in the country, carrying out different activities like ethics education programs, music and arts projects, weekly forums, discussions between clubs and celebrations of relevant international days.

In order to strengthen the engagement and empowerment of children through the GNRC Peace Clubs, youth leaders participated in a four-day Training Workshop to become facilitators of the Learning to Live Together programme.

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Youth Empowerment for Resilience, Peacebuilding and the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education in the Sahel – A Multilateral Collaboration

In the framework of its collaboration with UNESCO, Arigatou International – Geneva lead a training workshop on how to integrate transformative pedagogies into education systems as a tool for promoting peacebuilding, resilience and the prevention of violent extremism.

The workshop, which was organized from 6 to 10 May 2019, by UNESCO's Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) and the “Institut de la Francophonie pour l'éducation et la formation” took place in Niamey, Niger, bringing together representatives of the Ministries of Primary and Secondary Education of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

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Youth-produced media: platforms for social inclusion

By Jordi Torrent

We only really hear about youth when the news media communicate to us about entertainment, sports, or crime.  But we seldom facilitate venues and opportunities for youth to significantly express themselves in a way that their visions and voices are really heard, and taken into consideration, by the adults. Adults who are making the decisions about the world young people themselves are living in. Taking the key decisions that are shaping the world youth will, in a short period of time, be asked to manage.

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