eBulletin 28th February 2019
 
 

Supporting a world where all human beings have access to sufficient clean water, nutritious food and personal peace

 
Welcome to our latest eBulletin

This month we have a number of recent news items and we include the second part of Nick Crabb’s interview with Max Whittle about the Kifubon project. Amongst exciting developments reported is a National Lottery Community Fund award to Peace Partners for peace education projects; the letter of acceptance states "receiving this award is a mark of quality of the work you are doing in your community".

Many of the items featured in this newsletter can also be viewed on the news page of Peace Partners website: www.peacepartners.co.uk/news.


Thank you for your continuing support, which is much appreciated.


Warm regards
the Peace Partners team

News ...  

Inside Peace in Falmouth, Cornwall
 

Peace Partners has been supporting screenings of the Peace Education Programme (PEP) documentary ‘Inside Peace’, both through our own forum in central London and more recently through a series of university presentations. We are pleased to include a report by Alan Plummer on a screening that took place this month in Falmouth, Cornwall .

On a wet and stormy night in February more than 80 people from all over Cornwall came to the Poly Arts Centre in Falmouth to watch a screening of the multi-award winning film Inside Peace. The film very movingly documents the transformation taking place in the lives of some of the inmates in a Texas Prison as they experience The Peace Education Program (PEP) and begin to make positive choices in their lives


The film screening was extensively publicised by the Peace Education team in Cornwall. A wide variety of people attended, including representatives from local organisations, as well as many people with no previous knowledge of the Peace Education Programme (PEP). 

Following the screening there was an opportunity during the break for people to pop into an exhibition showing how a PEP works, to ask questions and to register an interest in attending a PEP, or in having one facilitated for their organisation. A healthy interest was also taken in the well-stocked cake stall, which did a roaring trade!

Two volunteers, Liz Norris and Andrew Spiers, who have been running PEPs in a prison setting, and Pauline Cook, representing Peace Partners, very kindly drove down from Somerset and Devon to form a panel of speakers for the Question and Answer session which followed the break.

This was a really lively session and, as well as focusing on PEP in a prison setting, there were questions raised about the possibilities for PEP being supported in other settings, such as with young people.  In fact so animated was the discussion that it had to be drawn to a close to prevent us all being locked in the Poly for the night!

A number of individuals, and at least one organisation working with troubled younger people, expressed their interest in having a PEP facilitated. This interest will be followed up by the local Peace Education Cornwall team with a view to making it happen in the very near future.

As well as being an enjoyable 'movie' experience in itself, the evening was a perfect introduction to the Peace Education Programme for people who have never come across it before.

On a personal note I would recommend anybody to watch this film: Inside Peace. I was moved and so impressed by the intelligence and the insight shown by the inmates profiled, and by the warm human responses evoked in such an uncompromising situation.

read this article on our website here

Watch some responses to the screening:

Peace Partners awarded National Lottery Funding
 
We are delighted to announce that Peace Partners has successfully applied for a funding award from the National Lottery Community Fund

The grant is in the Awards for All category. The letter of acceptance states 'receiving this award is a mark of quality of the work you are doing in your community'. Peace Partners director Juli Hammersley said "the application is for Peace Education Projects and it will really help us expand and move forward with peace education in the UK" 

The funding enables us to create activities that will reach into communities and make a real difference to people’s lives.

Peace Education Programme open sessions in Manchester extended  
 
An additional further ten Friday dates in March, April, and May have been announced for the Peace Education Programme (PEP) being hosted by Peace Talks Manchester

Sessions take place at lunchtimes 1 - 2pm at the Nexus Art Cafe, 2 Dale Street, Manchester
Find out more about PEP at the Nexus Art Cafe here

Introduction event held in Reigate, Surrey
 

On Sunday 3rd. February, at the Friends Meeting House in Reigate, a presentation about the work of Peace Partners was successfully hosted by local supporters of The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) 
Thirty people, including several Peace Partners volunteers, attended the two and a half hour event, which featured a number of short video films about TPRF initiatives Food for People and The Peace Education Programme, both of which Peace Partners are supporting. 

The fundraising segment included an interesting short talk by financial adviser David Windsor about the potential of gift aided donations, and there was an opportunity to donate on the day towards the TPRF initiatives. There were some truly generous donors, in total an amazing £1171 was raised (and this excludes several regular monthly pledge amounts). Many people mentioned afterwards how much they had enjoyed the event.

We would like to say thank you to all the team involved in organising the event, and to everyone who attended what was a wonderful afternoon, which concluded with an extra round of applause for our MC and presenter Barbara André
 and her very informative, thoughtful and heartfelt approach!
 
read this article on our website here

Peace Partners attend Gangs and Youth Crime Conference


Members of the Peace Partners team attended the Westminster Insight Tackling Gangs and Youth Crime Conference in central London on the 23rd January. This a a report by one of the attendees, Barbara André.

What a day! I hadn’t thought a lot about this conference, and hadn’t even looked at the website beforehand to find out more as I knew that I wouldn’t know any of the speakers anyway.

I expected this to be a very long and possibly tiring day, and I was surprised how fast the time went by because the contributions were very interesting. The speakers were from different backgrounds and also viewpoints on the subject, as they are working for completely different organisations or public services, but one can say that all of them were incredibly passionate about it. They were personally engaged, and some even had personal experiences in this field and had been involved in gangs themselves at some point in time during their lives. We heard touching stories of how they were able to eventually turn their lives completely around.

Some of the contributions were rather shocking, opening our eyes to the extent of this situation and the ever more growing areas in the UK where gangs are becoming a problem. It is far from being solely a London issue any more; on the contrary the existing gangs are currently now targeting specific rural areas. Their tactics are nothing short of shocking. Something else which was frightening: the way the gang members exhibit their violence is becoming more and more brutal.

It was also interesting to hear that this is no longer mainly a problem concerning boys or young male adults, but many girls and woman are being ‘sucked into’ gang activities, and are consequently suffering in multiple ways. The age range of gang members seems to be shifting more and more to ever younger kids. Another myth which was exploded was that it is only kids born into a poor family who are prone to get involved with gangs, nowadays it is often middle-class children. Many of the speakers pointed out what a huge role social media is playing in helping gangs to expand in size at an alarming rate. It was made clear that it seems incredibly difficult, or even impossible, for a gang member to leave the gang for good, especially as social media is ever present.

I personally was particularly interested in the reasons why a young person would want to join a gang. One reason which was mentioned by everyone was when a boy or girl gets banned from school; another big reason is too little attention given by the parents; the geographical area where the kids get brought up; poverty; and the well thought out tactics of the gang leaders to entice a young person to get on board, be it by offering drugs for free, making promises that they will become rich and earn lots of money, or blackmailing them in some other way.

It was certainly a very insightful day. The only thing I missed was a discussion on how this malady could be stopped, or at least limited.



read this article on our website here
 
Recent article
 

Interview with Max Whittle about the Kifubon project: part two
 






Nick Crabb, a Peace Partners volunteer living in Japan, recently interviewed Max Whittle, an integral member of the Kifubon project since its inception. We are very pleased to present the second part of Nick’s interview.

The first part featured in last month’s eBulletin. You can read the full interview on our website here.

 

To help create a culture of empathy and compassion, the Kifubon Project has now donated over 15,000 books to a variety of settings in Japan and the rest of the world. I spoke to Max Whittle about the Kifubon Project, how it is run and the challenges it has faced ...

How can people donate money to the Kifubon Project? How does the process work in Japan?

Originally, Bunya publishing received donations mainly from within Japan, but also from outside, via the Kifubon homepage. There are now other Kifubon projects that have taken up the mantle in different countries.

In Japan, books are donated to hospitals, prisons and orphanages, as well as nurseries, schools, high schools and universities. In particular, boards of education have ordered large numbers of books, as they consider the messages of empathy, compassion and mutual understanding to be part of their curriculum. Further, bullying is a huge problem in Japan, with bullies and those bullied lacking a level of comfort and respect for themselves. We have sent books to schools across Japan, and in many cases received messages of thanks from them.

Sending books to so many places sounds like a massive undertaking. How is the project structured and run?

The set-up is simple with Bunya publishing running a website for the two books, Splitting the Arrow and the Pot with the Hole. People can then donate the books to institutions, as well as suggest new institutions or avenues for the project. Bunya have a warehouse for storage and an internal communication network to send books where they are needed. Bunya publishing also have a PR representative when sending the books to new places or institutions.

What kind of challenges has the Kifubon Project faced?

At the beginning of the project, there was a lot of red tape. Of course you cannot just send books into an education system or prison. You need permission, at the very least from the people running the institution and sometimes from the government itself. In Japan, our PR representative visited the board of education and those running prisons in the government to get approval. We've since used this process for all the institutions that we send books to. Once in place, the process is relatively simple.

Another challenge is that Bunya publishing has to package and send thousands of books, while also making a profit and ends meet. However, we receive letters thanking us for the books. We received one such letter from a person in prison, who could not see a way out and had lost hope and the will to live. They saw a blue book in the library and took it from the shelf. As they read the book, they became filled with hope. They then signed up for an Inner Peace class, where, by coincidence, they saw a video of Prem Rawat giving teachings on peace. For the first time in a long time, they breathed some hope. Letters like these are our reward for the whole system working, and make everything worthwhile.

That's a very moving story, and I'm glad that some of the peace comes back to you and the great work you do. Thank you very much for your time Max.


In the UK the Kifubon project is called Bedrock Books. So far nearly  a thousand books have been donated to prisons, family refuges and children's hospitals in the UK. The new title 'Peace is Possible' (an English language version of Splitting the Arrow) will be published in the UK in the summer of 2019. Prior to publication and once published, there will be several ways to support the UK Kifubon project. To find out more write to info@bedrockbooks.org.

If you would like to donate one or more copies of this forthcoming book via the Kifubon project, you can do so now as Bedrock Books will be pre-ordering copies of the new title. Please go to the 
funding page for Bedrock Books. 
You can find out more about the UK Kifubon project here
 
Volunteering
 
We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us move forward with our projects making a difference to the lives of many. We work hard to make sure volunteers learn new skills and receive the support they need. You are a vital part of the team. Current opportunities include:
Webmaster
Are you creative and imaginative, with experience in web design? This could be the perfect opportunity for you to take on a leading role in ensuring the Peace Partners website is fully functional and providing an insight into the work of the charity.

Partnership Assistant
​This is the perfect opportunity for a volunteer who is enthusiastic and enjoys creating new connections and developing partnerships, expanding our current partnership base through creating invitations and communications.

​Community Fundraisers
​Work within local communities to raise the profile of The Peace Education Programme and the work of Peace Partners in this field along with our fundraising effort for humanitarian relief and the Food for People initiatives.



We are delighted to welcome a new volunteer, Madison Gough, to the team in the role of Social Media Promotions Assistant. Madison is currently doing a postgraduate degree course at Birmingham University.

 
Find out more about our current vacancies here
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