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Training > Peace and Democratic Practices among Children

Background

How we train children to think and (re)act can play a vital role in the building of peace. As seen in the preamble to the 1945 UNECSO Constitution: "Since wars begin in the minds of men (and women), it is the minds of men (and women) that the defenses of peace must be constructed" (UNESCO 1945). The construction of mind starts in the childhood.

It is how their childhood has been trained that makes people war-lovers and peace-lovers. If we want a peaceful future we need to train children how problems can be resolved more effectively through peaceful means than violent means. We need to train them from their childhood how to put their demands peacefully, yet in strong and effective ways.

The culture of peace and democracy can be established in the society by creating an environment for children to practice them from their daily life. We need to teach and practice with them how to put forward one's ideas in assertive manner and in the same way how to listen and respect ideas different than one's own. For a democratic and peaceful society, it is very important that children practice cooperation rather than mare competition. It is very important to get children to practice positive and creative solutions rather than entangle into conflict and become destructive, just to defeat others.

The most important is that children learn to enjoy the beauty of life and appreciate the world around them. A happy mind is a peaceful mind.

Goal

To promote peace culture and democratic practices among children for a happy, peaceful and just world

Main Objective

To make the children able to enjoy the beauty of life and the world, appreciate oneself and the others, and to increase happiness and peacefulness in their lives

Specific Objectives

To make the children able to put demands/opinions in assertive but non-violent way

To make the children able to appreciate the opinions different than theirs and to resolve conflicts in positive way

To provide the skills of non-violent communication among children

To make the children able to deal with their daily life stress and tense situations in positive way and promote positive thinking in children

Major Contents

What are conflicts and how conflicts born and grow

What is peace and the ways to achieve it

How to appreciate oneself (develop self-acceptance) and how to accept others equally

How disagreements/conflicts can be managed in creative way? How to agree to disagree?

Non-Violent Communications (Empathetic listening, Authentic Speaking, Curious Questioning)

How to put one's demands and opinions in effective and positive way. How to negotiate and play win-win

How to manage stress and emotions for positive results

Teaching of different ways of thinking (teaching thinking of Edward the Bono)

Ways to see and enjoy beauty in life and the world and the ways to promote happiness and peace in mind

Target Group

This training can be impart at two levels :

  • a) Trainers Training for teachers, child facilitators and NGO workers who work directly with children.
  • b) Child club leaders, members and children in general (age 14 to 18)

Time:

Four days (basic) and follow up of two days after six months and follow up of two days after six months