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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The Ethical Challenge of the Current Refugee Crisis in Europe

By Barry van Driel

From July 6 to July 15,1938 more than 30 countries gathered in Évian-les-Bains in France to discuss the plight of German and Austrian Jews, and to look for solutions for a growing refugee problem. The Jews of Germany (and Austria) had been stripped of their basic human rights and were desperate to find safe havens. Multiple states had migration quotas in place but none (the Dominican Republic was willing to take refugees but for large sums of money) were willing to raise their quotas to take in these refugees. Reasons given were the aftermath of the Great Depression, unemployment, etc. Though many representatives were sympathetic to the plight of the Jewish refugees in their rhetoric, their message was clear: this is not our problem and we take no responsibility; all of this mixed into a lethal cocktail of fear, hatred and distrust.

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Ethics Education in Romanian Schools: The Value of Training and Continuous Education

Laura Molnar is a trainer of the Learning to Live Together Programme (LTLT) and has become the driving force behind its implementation in the Romanian formal education system.

Laura comes from a little mountain town in Transylvania, Romania, but she is currently based in Bucharest. Her journey with the LTLT Programme started in 2009 when, while working as a psychologist for disadvantaged children, she was trained in a basic workshop in Geneva. With this new set of knowledge and skills, she started implementing the LTLT approach with the children she worked with. One year later she was selected to participate in the International Train the Trainers course organized by Arigatou International Geneva, which led her to a certification as a LTLT trainer.

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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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Outcomes and Learnings from the Pilot Program in Kenya

The Pilot Program to implement the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programme in the Tana River County came to an end, delivering positive outcomes, particularly in relation to its impact on children, teachers and the communities.

The initiative, which took off in September 2014, was developed by Arigatou International Geneva, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Kenya (MoEST) and UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, reaching 657 children between 9 and 17 years old.

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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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Reflections on the panel on “Education to prevent xenophobia, Islamophobia, in South Africa”

By Ilham Nasser, Ph.D.


My trip to Cape Town was an eye opening experience on many fronts. I gained new knowledge on the political atmosphere and transformation in South Africa, it’s socio economic conditions, the education system and interfaith initiatives. The trip was enriching and energizing to someone like me who has roots in the Middle East and has a great amount of despair about what is going on there. The occupation of Palestine, and the wars in Syria, and Yemen are cases in point. I travelled to Cape Town to attend a meeting of the Interfaith Council on Ethics for Children Council a project of Arigatou International. The highlight of my trip was when our host, Dr. Imam Rashied Omar organized a panel presentation and roundtable discussion with educators, and teachers who work in areas of interfaith and intercultural education as part of the Council meeting.

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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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