Peace Education and Action for Impact (PEAI) is a peacebuilding and leadership program created & led by World BEYOND War. 

Project planning and implementation are carried out in collaboration with the Rotary Action Group for Peace, Rotarians, and locally-embedded partners.

PEAI was piloted in 2021, benefitting young people and communities in 12 countries across four continents. The next program will take place in 2023.

Today, there are more young people on the planet than ever before.  

Of the 7.3 billion people across the globe, 1.8 billion are between the ages of 10 and 24. This generation is the largest and fastest growing demographic on the planet. To build sustainable peace and development, we need the meaningful participation of all generations. Although increasing numbers of youth worldwide are striving for peace and related areas of progress, far too many young people find themselves routinely excluded from peace and security decision-making and action processes that affect them and their communities. Against this backdrop, equipping young people with the tools, networks, and support to build and sustain peace is one of the largest, most global, and important, challenges facing humanity.

Given this context and the need to bridge the gap between the study of peace and the practice of peacebuilding, World BEYOND War created a program, in collaboration with the Rotary Action Group for Peace, entitled, “Peace Education and Action for Impact’. Building on a successful pilot in 2021, the program aims to connect and support new generations of leaders – youth and adults – equipped to work towards a more just, resilient, and sustainable world. 

Peace Education and Action for Impact is a leadership program aimed at preparing young people to advance positive change in themselves, their communities, and beyond.  A wider purpose of the program is to respond to gaps in the peacebuilding field and to contribute to the global Sustaining Peace and Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS) agendas.

The program spans 18-weeks and addresses the knowing, being, and doing of peacebuilding. More specifically, the program is organized around two main parts – peace education and peace action – and involves youth-led, intergenerational, and cross-cultural learning, dialogue, and action across North-South divides.

Please note that the program is open to participants by invitation only. Apply through your country sponsor.

The first pilot in 2021 worked with 12 countries from four continents across multiple North-South sites. Africa: Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Sudan; Europe: Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine; North America and South America: Canada, USA; Colombia, and Venezuela.

Building on this work, the PEAI experience will be available to more countries across the globe in 2023. 

    – Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana;

    – Asia: India, Iraq, The Philippines;

    – Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guernsey

    – North America: Haiti

Yes. $300 per participant. (this fee covers 9-weeks of online peace education, dialogue, and reflection; 9-weeks of training, mentoring, and support related to peace action; and a relational-developmental focus throughout). Scroll down to pay.

In 2021, we launched the program in 12 countries (Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, South Sudan, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela).

Key achievements 2021:

  • Built the capacity of 120 young peacebuilders in Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America, enabling them to acquire fundamental knowledge and skills related to peacebuilding and leadership.
  • Trained the first cohort of adult professionals (30+) to act as in-country team coordinators and mentors.
  • Coordinated 12 country teams with over 100 hours of guided support to successfully complete more than 15 youth-led peace projects designed to address urgent community needs.
 

Cameroon. Conducted 4 in-person focus groups and an online survey with youth and women to gather their views on impediments to their involvement in the peace process and suggestions for ways that they be included. The report has been shared with participants and governmental and organizational leaders who work with women and youth.

Canada: Conducted interviews and produced a short video on youth homelessness in Canada and how to address it.

Colombia: Implemented ten projects with youth throughout Colombia promoting a vision of Colombia as a multicultural society in a territory of peace. Projects included film screenings, art workshops, urban gardening, and recording a podcast.

Kenya. Facilitated three workshops for over one hundred children, youth and community members to develop their peacebuilding competencies through a combination of education, arts, play, and cultural activities.

Nigeria. Conducted surveys to understand public perception around school kidnapping and leverage the results to produce policy brief to influence policy makers and the general public around community-centred approaches to security and school kidnapping.

Russia/Ukraine. Delivered two workshops in Russia and one in Ukraine for elementary schools to enhance relationships and build students’ peacebuilding and dialogue capacities. 

Serbia: Conducted surveys and created a pocket guide and newsletter aimed at helping Rotarians to both understand the importance of negative and positive peace and what they need to know and do in order to work towards them.

South Sudan: Delivered full-day peace training for south Sudanese urban refugee youth now living in Kenya to develop their skills in community leadership and becoming agents of positive peace

Turkey: Held a series of bilingual seminars and discussion groups on building positive peace and using the language of peace

USA: Created a collaborative Album – The Peace Achords – aimed at imparting some of the key strategies toward effecting a more peaceful planet, from exploring the systems at play to how one finds peace with him/herself and others.

Venezuela. Conducted an online survey of youth living in condominiums in partnership with micondominio.com to explore youth involvement in leadership with the goal of setting up active listening training sessions in 1-2 condominiums to facilitate problem- solving and increase youth involvement.

Testimony from Past Participants

Program Model, Process, and Content

Part I: Peace Education

Part II: Peace Action

PEAI - Part I
PEAI-PartII-description

Part 1 of the program equips young people (18-35) and adult supporters with foundational knowledge, socio-emotional competencies, and skills for establishing a just and sustainable peace. It includes a 9-week online course that enables participants to explore the knowing, being, and doing of peacebuilding.

The six weekly modules cover:

  • An introduction to peacebuilding
  • Understanding systems and their influence on war and peace
  • Peaceful ways of being with self
  • Peaceful ways of being with others
  • Designing and implementing peace projects
  • Monitoring and evaluating peace projects

 

Please note the module titles and their contents are subject to change during course development.

Part I is an online course.  This course is 100% online and most interactions are not live or scheduled, so you can take part whenever it works for you. Weekly content includes a mix of text, image, video, and audio information. Facilitators and participants utilise online discussion forums to go over each week’s content, as well as to provide feedback on optional assignment submissions. Country project teams meet online regularly to process content and share ideas.

The course also includes three 1-hour optional zoom calls which are designed to facilitate a more interactive and real-time learning experience. Participation in one or more of the optional zoom calls is required to earn a Certificate of Completion.

Accessing the course. Prior to the start date, you will be sent instructions on how to access the course.

Facilitators:

  • Module 1: Introduction to peacebuilding (Feb 6-12) — Dr. Serena Clark
  • Module 2: Understanding systems and their influence on war and peace (Feb 13-19) – Dr. Yurii Sheliazhenko

    Country Project Team Reflection (Feb 20-26)

  • Module 3: Peaceful ways of being with self (Feb 27-Marc 3) – Nino Lotishvili
  • Module 4: Peaceful ways of being with others (Marc 6-12) – Dr. Victoria Radel

    Country Project Team Reflection Meeting (Mar 13-19)

  • Module 5: Designing and implementing peace projects (Mar 20-26) – Greta Zarro
  • Module 6: Monitoring and evaluating peace projects (Mar 27-Apr 2) — Lauren Caffaro

    Country Project Team Reflection Meeting
     (Apr 3-9)


The goal of the Country Project Team Reflection Meetings are:

  • To advance intergenerational coopertation by bringing youth and adults together to grow, individually and collectively, and dialgue with eachn other around the topics explored in the course modules.
  • To co-creates speaces for supprting youth agency, leardership, and innovation by encouraging young people to take the lead in facilitating the Country Project Team Reflection Meetings.  


World BEYOND War (WBW) Education Director Dr Phill Gittins and other WBW members will be available throughout Part I to provide further input and support

You decide how much time and how deeply you engage in PEAI.

At a minimum, you should plan to devote 4-10 hours a week to the course.

You can expect to spend 1-3 hours reviewing the weekly content (text and videos). You then have opportunities to engage in online dialogue with peers and experts. This is where the real richness of the learning occurs, where we have the opportunity to explore new ideas, strategies, and visions for building a more peaceful world together. Engagement in these discussions is required for earning both certificates (see Table 1 below). Depending on your level of engagement with the online discussion you can expect to add another 1-3 hours a week.

Additionally, participants are encouraged to engage in weekly reflections (1 hour per week) with their country project teams (dates and times to be arranged by individual country project teams). 

Finally, all participants are encouraged to complete all six optional assignments. This is an opportunity to deepen and apply the ideas explored each week to practical possibilities. Expect another 1-3 hours a week to complete the assignments, which will be submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for certification.

Part II of the program builds on Part I. Over the 9-weeks, participants will work in their country teams to develop, implement, and communicate high-impact peace projects.

Throughout the 9-weeks, participants will engage in ten core activities:

  • Research
  • In-country team meetings
  • Stakeholder meetings
  • Whole programme meetings
  • Peace project mentor training
  • Implementation of peace projects
  • Ongoing mentoring and project check-ins
  • Community celebrations/public events
  • Evaluations of the impact of the work
  • Producing accounts of the projects.
 

Each team will design a project that addresses one or more of the following strategies for establishing a just and sustainable peace: Demilitarizing Security, Managing Conflict Without Violence, and Creating a Culture of Peace.

The projects can be local, national, regional, or global in scope.

Part II is focussed on real-world peacebuilding interventions led by youth.

Participants work together in their country team to design, implement, monitor, evaluate, and communicate a high-impact peace project.

In addition to participating in weekly country team meetings, Part II includes online ‘reflection groups’ with other country teams to share best practices, encourage reflection, and elicit feedback. Participation in one or more of the ‘reflection groups’ is required as partial fulfilment for becoming a Certified Peacebuilder.

Country teams meet once a week (across the 9-weeks) to undertake and produce an account of a youth-led peace project.

World BEYOND War (WBW) Education Director Dr Phill Gittins, and other colleagues (from WBW, Rotary, etc) will be on-hand throughout, helping to support teams to carry out their projects effectively.

How much time you spend and how deeply you engage is up to you.

Participants should plan to dedicate between 3-8 hours a week working on their project over the 9-weeks of Part II. 

During this time, participants will work in intergenerational teams (10 young people and 2 mentors) to study an issue affecting their community and then develop and implement an action plan that aims to address this issue via a peace project. 

Young people will benefit from mentoring and guidance throughout the project in terms of both the project management process and the production of accounts that explain the project results. There is no magic formula for doing and communicating peace projects, and (in the PEAI program) only one general rule that we encourage teams to follow, namely that the process is led by and with young people in collaboration with adults (more about this in Part of the program, especially Modules 5 and 6). 

Throughout this process, teams will present at online ‘reflections groups’ to support cross-cultural sharing and learning. 

At the end of the 9-weeks, teams will present their work at end-of-programme events.

How to Become Certified

The program offers two types of Certificates: the Certificate of Completion and the Certified Peacebuilder (Table 1 below).

Part I. Participants must complete all six optional weekly assignments and participate in one or more of the optional zoom calls to receive a Certificate of Completion. Facilitators will return the assignment to the participants with feedback. Submissions and feedback can be shared with everyone taking the course or kept private between a participant and the facilitator, at the participant’s choice. Submissions must be completed by the conclusion of Part I.

Part II. To become a Certified Peacebuilder participants must demonstrate that they have worked individually and collectively as a team to undertake and produce an account of a peace project. Participation in weekly check-ins with country teams, as well as two or more of the ‘reflection groups’ is also required for certification. 

Certificates will be signed on behalf of World BEYOND War and the Rotary Action Group for Peace. Projects must be completed by the conclusion of Part II.

Table 1: Types of Certificates
x indicates elements of the program that participants are required to either complete or demonstrate to receive the relevant certificate.

Part I: Peace Education Part II: Peace Action
Essential Components
Certificate of Completion
Certified Peacebuilder
Demonstrate engagement throughout the course
X
X
Complete all six optional assignments
X
X
Participate in one or more of the optional zoom calls
X
X
Demonstrate ability to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate a peace project
X
Participate in weekly check-ins with country teams
X
Participate in two or more of the ‘reflection groups’
X
Demonstrate ability to produce an account of a peace project that explains the process/impact
X
Demonstrate ability to present work for peace to diverse audiences
X

How to Pay

$150 covers education and $150 action for one participant. $3000 covers a team of ten plus two mentors.

Registration for the 2023 program is only through your country sponsor. We do welcome donations to the program which will help to fund the 2023 program and expand it in the future. In order to donate by cheque, follow the steps below.

  1. Email Dr Phill Gittins (phill@worldbeyondwar.org) and tell him: 
  2. Make the check out to World BEYOND War and send it to World BEYOND War 513 E Main St #1484 Charlottesville VA 22902 USA.
  3. Make a note on the check that the donation is to go towards the ‘Peace Education and Action for Impact’ programme and state the specific country team. For example, Peace Education and Action for Impact program, Iraq.

 

The amounts are in U.S. dollars and need to be converted to/from other currencies.

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