Learning to Live Together: The role of education in preventing violent extremism

By: Rev. Dr Hans Ucko

Whenever I hear words such as “violent extremism”, it is as if I am drained and a feeling of fatigue overpowers me. The words conjure up images of dead and wounded children and young people. Children as victims. There is Alan Kurdî, the little boy found drowned on the beach in Turkey. There is Omran Daqneesh, the little boy covered in dust in the ambulance in Aleppo wiping away blood from his face. The first victims of war and conflict are children. Political and religious rhetoric advocating violence is attracting and motivating individuals or groups but there is nothing that could justify violence against children.

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Arigatou International at the Week for Peace and Sustainable Development organized by UNESCO

Arigatou International was invited by UNESCO to contribute to the UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development that took place in Ottawa, Canada, from 6 to 10 March. The event was a unique platform for discussion on two key programs of the Education Sector, namely Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education, and their practical contribution in achieving Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education. The Week focused on the issue of teachers and teacher training, and highlighted best practices.

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Interfaith Council Annual Meeting: Moving the Ethics Education for Children Agenda Forward

As in previous years, the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children held its annual meeting to help strategize and provide recommendations for the next period. This time, the meeting took place from 10 to 14 August 2017 in Coimbatore, India where the headquarters of Shanti Ashram, a long-time partner of Arigatou International Geneva, is located.

At the meeting, members of the Interfaith Council had the opportunity to review achievements and challenges of Arigatou International Geneva during the last year, reflect on relevant topics regarding Ethics Education for Children, and exchange views on the strategic plan for the next three years, providing technical recommendations as well as rationale-related inputs.

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Enriching the Knowledge Base on Intercultural and Interfaith Education at the IAIE Conference

Arigatou International Geneva participated in the Annual Conference of the International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE) under the theme: Education Theory and Practice in Challenging Times: Cultivating an Ethos of Social Justice, Respect, and Diversity.

The conference, held from 12 to 16 June 2017, took place in Angers, France and was organized by Université Catholique de l'Ouest in collaboration with IAIE and the support of the Korean Association for Multicultural Education.

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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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Multiplying Efforts Across Dominican Republic

34 participants coming from each of the 31 provinces of Dominican Republic gathered in Santo Domingo from 2 to 4 June 2017 to go through a Facilitator Training Workshop of the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programme. The workshop allowed participants to acquire new knowledge and develop specific skills to foster dialogue, understanding, and respect in at-risk areas throughout the country.

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Sharing Values - A hermeneutics for Global Ethics

Author: Edited by Ariane Hentsch Cisneros and Shanta Premawardhana

As global ethics emerges as an important answer to the common issues facing humankind, we cannot spare an inquiry on the process leading to a consensus on global values. If we are to break political, economic, ideological, cultural, religious and gender-based patterns of domination in the debate on global ethics, we must ensure that all parties to the dialogue are able to express their values freely and in their own fashion. The book provides indications of the current studies on the hermeneutics of intercultural dialogue on ethics, with an attempt to formulate priorities for future implementation of this dialogue. These include using our own religious resources to foster dialogue on ethics, searching in the transcendental or the holistic for a solution to moral diversity, dealing with the deep concern caused by colonization and imperialism, and addressing the mutual challenges of traditionalism and modernism. Also presented are the “Globethics.net Principles on Sharing Values across Cultures and Religions”.

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Link: http://www.globethics.net/documents/4289936/13403236/GlobalSeries_4_SharingValues_text.pdf/6162b4a5-5cd2-4af6-bdc5-70699b69d923

Ethics and the Golden Rule

Author: Harry J. Gensler

It is commonly accepted that the golden rule—most often formulated as "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"—is a unifying element between many diverse religious traditions, both Eastern and Western. Its influence also extends beyond such traditions, since many non-religious individuals hold up the golden rule as central to their lives.

Yet, while it is extraordinarily important and widespread, the golden rule is often dismissed by scholars as a vague proverb that quickly leads to absurdities when one attempts to formulate it in clear terms. In this book, Harry J. Gensler defends the golden rule and addresses all of the major philosophic objections, pointing out several common misunderstanding and misapplications. Gensler first discusses golden-rule reasoning and how to avoid the main pitfalls. He then relates the golden rule to world religions and history, and to areas like moral education, egoism, evolution, society, racism, business, and medicine. The book ends with a discussion of theoretical issues (like whether all morality reduces to the golden rule, which the author argues against). 

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Ethics Education Workshop at Catholic University of Eastern Africa

Arigatou International Geneva facilitated a workshop on Ethics Education for 100 professionals from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and several other higher education institutions in Kenya on 15 March 2018. The workshop is part of a conference jointly organized by Globethics.net and the Catholic University of Eastern Africa on Integrating Ethics in Higher Education that took place from 13-16 March 2018 at CUEA, Kenya. 

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Towards a World of Peace: The Promise of Early Childhood Development

According to the series on ‘Advancing Early Childhood Development: From Science to Scale,’ that was recently published in The Lancet (2017), the world’s oldest and best known medical journal, we know that unfortunately, an estimated 250 million children under five years of age in low and middle income countries and emerging economies will face inequalities and fail to reach their full development potential. This is because they grow up with a broad range of risk factors that include poverty, poor health, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as inadequate care and learning opportunities.(1)

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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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Faith for Social and Behavior Change Initiative

As part of its continuous engagement with UNICEF, Arigatou International was invited to participate at the global workshop Faith for Social and Behavior Change in Bangkok from 10-12 July 2018. The workshop was organized by UNICEF in collaboration with Religions for Peace, the Joint Learning Initiative, and Rissho Kosei-kai, bringing together 80 participants from UNICEF country offices and faith-based organizations, from more than 30 countries.

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Towards an Inclusive Peace Education Framework to Restore Relationships

In July 2018, the Caux Forum convened a series of training workshops under the thematic Towards an Inclusive Peace which addressed the topic of Restoring Communities and Advancing justice. The workshops looked at the topic of reintegration of those who have been radicalized and are either being prosecuted or returning voluntarily to their communities, through a restorative justice lens.

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Panel Discussion in Tunis: Another Perspective on Migration and the Role of Education in Resilience

This year marks the 70th anniversary since the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. It is in this context that the Ninth International Forum of NGOs, in partnership with UNESCO, took place in Tunis, from 26 to 27 September. The Conference was hosted by the Arab Institute for Human Rights, with the theme ‘Another perspective on Migration’, which aimed to discuss human mobility and its impacts on building sustainable peace and development.

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Challenging Discrimination and Xenophobia with Education: A Discussion in Light of the 39th Human Rights Council Session

Education can be a tool for refugee or migrant children to integrate into their new host societies, and has the potential to empower them to lead a joyful and fruitful life. It is with this idea in mind that a panel discussion on Empowering Youth Through Education: Challenging Xenophobia, Discrimination, and Exclusion among Youth in Europe was held, reflecting on the role of education in fostering more inclusive societies and empowering youth.

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