“Do one good thing every day that everyone else is scared to do” — Leymah Gbowee
In honor of International Day of Peace, celebrated on September 21st, it gives me great pleasure to share a couple of short videos from two of our peace heroes, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia, and Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish from Gaza, Palestine. These messages are directed towards all students of the Peace Heroes Curriculum.
For a description of our interaction with Leymah Gbowee during the women’s peace march that took place in October 2016, please read the blog post entitled “When Lives Collide.”
For a description of Dr. Abuelaish’s visit to one of our pilot schools in March 2017, please read the blog post entitled “Brave Is.”
May these messages of peace inspire each and every one of us to continue to play our part – big or small – in bringing hope to people, both near and far.
What happened during the year in this regard is significant: the students came to understand that anyone can be a peace hero, even (and especially) those within their immediate sphere of influence. They learned about famous people “out there,” but in the process they grasped the most important message embedded in these people’s stories – that “peace begins with me”
When we started the pilot program a year ago, we asked some of the schools to perform pre- and post-assessments on students so we could document the way in which their perceptions about peace and peace heroes changed throughout the year. The questions we suggested were simple ones, like what is peace and how does the word peace make you feel; is peace weak or strong; who is a hero, and so forth. Once the pre-assessments were completed, I set them aside until the end of the school year, when we would have the opportunity to compare them to the post-assessments, which would consist of the exact same questions as those given at the beginning of the year.
Needless to say, I was curious to see what this exercise might reveal, but it wasn’t until the end of the school year that I finally had the opportunity to make the comparison. Continue reading “One Year On”