PEACE (Protect Environment Alongside Community Education) by youth
3rd Prize in 18-21 age group
by UwonKunda Mireille from Rwanda
There is no universal definition for peace, but according to the definition given by the Institution of Economics and Peace(IEP),they defined two types of peace which are: positive peace which is defined as attitudes, institutions and structures that lead to peaceful societies; it leads to mutual co-operation and help society move away from violence; while Negative peace or actual peace is defined as absence of violence and absence of fear of violence.
Nowadays the world is obsessed with focusing on factors and events that undermine negative peace and how to prevent them due to the rising of wars and other types of violence. To cope with how to engage with positive peace in our society can solve more problems and prevent more types of violence to occur. Youth can be one of the tools to avoid violences and crimes through contributing in educating the community about conflict resolution and environmental education in the course of peace education.
Peace education refers to educating people about peace. The main goal of this education is to create are violent, watching vio conditions for peace in the society where citizens can freely share concerns, be productive, have creative use of their time, enjoy human rights and manage conflicts without direct violences. Youth as the educators should not only concentrate on just stopping violence to create a positive classroom learning environment but also establishing within student’s minds a commitment to peace principles. Values like responsibility, respect, honesty, caring and fairness should be adopted by children at lower ages so as to help them to create a civilized and peaceful society as they grow up.
Peace education should not only be taught in school systems although it is known that it can improve the school climate, reduce bullying and violence in schools, and improve the student’s performance. Peace education could also be taught in religions since some of the biggest prophets ever existed in different religions had messages that promotes peace in the community. For example: JESUS Christ urged people to be charitable and to turn the other cheek toward enemies. Mohammed’s most messages involved overcoming forces of hatred which when directed outwards cause so much suffering and violence. MOSES whose ten commandments include “thou shalt not kill”. BUDDHA who taught that all human beings are brothers and LAO Tse whose Taoism promotes the harmony of opposites .All these wise words should be taught endlessly in our community to influence and drive them towards a peaceful life.
In addition to, Conflict resolution as another form of peace education should be enforced by the youth solving their conflicts or teaching the society how to resolve the conflict among them. The Patti & Lantieri resolving creativity approach which is RCCP(Resolving Conflict Creativity program) was one of the successful projects which were made to use by students in their schools while they were being taught social and emotional skills in the classrooms. Youths can also help people around the world to use this approach while teaching their students. Even though some children grow up living in miserable conditions like living in homes that are violent, watching violent videos and playing violent video games which can result into higher rates of aggressive and violent behaviours which causes conflicts in schools, they should be taught how to cope with their anger so that fighting should not be considered as a quick alternative to solve their conflicts; this could help them when they grow up. For example violent videos games and violent videos from televisions and social media should be restricted to children rather introducing friendly videos which teach how to cope with anger and manage conflicts with the intentions to make friendship in a peaceful way.
Not only children should be taught how to manage conflicts but also other people with different rage of ages should also be considered while teaching how Gender inequality lead to gender violences where if one type of gender is undermined it could lead to its violation, for example in some countries women are being undermined, the LGBTQ+ community are not being given their rights in the societies in some countries like Uganda and other Islamic states due to their beliefs and stereotypes which provoke some gender to have some of their rights. Youth should help in promoting multicultural understanding aimed at reducing stereotypes & hostilities between groups to avoid ethnic, religion and racial hatred.
Moreover, Environment education could also be considered as a roadmap to reach a peaceful destination to the future of our society. Although the world is facing some environmental crisis such as global warming, species extinction and adverse effects of polluting. These are the main causes of conflicts resulted from shortage of water, food and shelter due to mass migration of people from places where there presence of weather events like flood disasters. The rising of scarce resources after migrating leads to the poverty which easily transforms into family conflicts that will easily lead to riots and crime acts and definitely this sequence of actions will end in civil war. As the African continent is still dominant in these struggles, the government should not only address on ensuring how the tensions caused by climate policies are minimized but also to reduce conflicts that may arise due to climate changes impacts.
To sum up, the world needs the forces of youths in order to heal and recover from scars caused by wars, human rights violation and climate change crisis. And this could be possible due to the efforts made in teaching the community about peace education aiming to reduce conflicts caused by human behaviours and climate change effects, youth should teach the community how to cope with all those difficulties in order to build a better environment for the upcoming generations.