News


SPW2016 Schools’ Peace 2016: Dialogues for Peace
Schools’ Peace Week 2016 was a fantastic success with our best ever participation numbers – 264 schools from across the globe participated! We had schools in New Zealand, Pakistan, China, the USA, Jordan and New Caledonia participating. To read more about the event, please click here.

Helen CaldicottDr Helen Caldicott Lecture - Noted physician, anti-nuclear activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr Helen Caldicott is visiting New Zealand from Australia, courtesy of the New Zealand Peace Foundation. For further details please contact info@peacefoundation.org.nz

Please book online using the links below:

Wellington - Sunday, 13th November 7:00pm @ St. Andrew's Centre

Auckland - Tuesday, 15th November 7:30pm @ AUT University 

 


Obituary

Joan MacdonaldJoan Macdonald : a previous president of the Peace Foundation and tireless peace and social justice campaigner in New Zealand, Asia/Pacific and globally, died in Auckland, 12 August 2016 aged 83 years.
A celebration of Joan’s life will be held on Friday 19th August at 2:00pm, at Te Mahurehure Cultural Marae, 65 – 73 Premier Ave, Point Chevalier.
Peace Foundation members,
Please send your reflections and memories regarding Joan to dale@zenergyglobal.com and they will be collated and posted on our website.

 


Christopher Le Breton on NZ's Peace Foundation taking Peace to all schools locally, then globally?

Crowdfunding
 

 

 

MEDIA ALERT
1 August 2016

Hiroshima Day in Browns Bay
 
A ceremonial pohtukawa tree for peace will be planted on 6th August at the Browns Bay Beach Reserve to honour the victims of Hiroshima where the first nuclear weapon was used. It was followed by a second bomb on Nakasaki in Japan. This is the third time a tree has been planted on this site which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Nuclear Free New Zealand and the Auckland Peace City Declaration of 2012. It is marked by an impressive plaque* and thus the Peace Tree must be replanted on this spot says Laurie Ross, Community volunteer with the Peace Foundation.
 
The original tree died and the replacement tree was recently found to be chopped down. Local Browns Bay resident Michael King reported this to the Peace Foundation who has arranged with the council for a new tree to be provided. Ross and King decided to organise a community event to participate in the ceremonial replanting which reinforces our culture as a Peace City and Nuclear Free country. The event features Japanese Taiko drummers plus other musicians with origami paper crane-making for the children. Members of the Hibiscus and East Coast Bays Local Board are invited as well as MP Murray McCully. Local schools, the Soka Gakkai Buddhist group as well as representatives of the Japanese community may speak.
 
People throughout New Zealand and the world hold commemorations to remember what happened in 1945 and to reaffirm their determination that it should never be allowed to happen again. It is important to realise that there are still 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world which could be set off by technical error, miscalculation, terrorism or deliberate government policy. Even if less than 100 weapons were used it would result in billions of people dying instantly and millions more in slow death from radiation sickness or famine from nuclear winter.
 
This is why it is so important to reinforce our commitment to New Zealand's Nuclear Free Zone of 1987 and to encourage people around the world to continue working for abolition of nuclear weapons. In August New Zealand will have an opportunity to support the majority of Non-Nuclear nations at the UN who wish to begin negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. This will be a major step in the process leading to the Nuclear weapon states reaching an agreement in future for dismantling and elimination of their nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
 
New Zealanders in the Browns Bay community have an opportunity to think globally and act locally as we did in the 1980s. Come along to create a breakthrough in a 'Nuclear Free Chain Reaction' activity that is being done by small groups around the world. It will be filmed and circulated as part of the international movement for Nuclear Disarmament.
 

This is not a protest-this is positive Peace Action by the People. For more information, contact Laurie Ross ph: 818 0696 or Michael King ph: 021 2148597


Nadeem Ghazi works with several peace education and learning projects in Pakistan, he is the president of Peace Education Welfare
Organization (PEWO) in Karachi. Photo: Private.
Nadeem Ghazi, a former intern in the office in Auckland, has taken Peace Foundation peer mediation tools back to Pakistan.
 
What are the main obstacles to peace education in Pakistan?
Pakistan is facing tremendous challenges in the education sector, with 25 million children not attending schools at all. Official records show that this figure has remained mostly unchanged since 2005. There are also incidences of hate speech and references to violence in the school curriculum.  The government of Pakistan is trying to remove those words and parts from school books.
 
Peace education is a very new concept in Pakistan, we have to be careful that in ensuring that it’s integrated with Islamic and Pakistani culture, so that people receive a clear message about peace education, rather than interpreting it as part of any Western agenda, because then it could be perceived as a threat.
 
Given that education itself is threatened by violent conflict in Pakistan, what role could children and schools play as drivers of peace?
We need to work on mindsets, as for more than two decades, our people have been in war and I believe that we need to bring basic education to every child. Peace education is the only solution to unlearn all violence, hate speech and extremism and instead teach children skills for how to be kind, caring and live well together.
 
Education is the only hope for Pakistan. The country has a history of suffering from violence, extremism and especially youth has been targeted. One way to help break the cycle of violence is to actively teach young people how to live together peacefully. Young people are especially at risk from conflict and extremist influences, but they also have great capacity to learn how to practice peace. The best way to teach them this is through peace education programs that integrate knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to prevent violence and resolve conflict peacefully with everyday lessons taught to children and youth in schools and communities.
 
What have been the major benefits that you’ve seen peace education bring to your region?
Pakistan has a young population, more than 60% of the country’s 175 million people are under 24 years of age. Young people, since they represent such a large share of our inhabitants, are an important factor for social change in our country. Hence, initiatives aimed at young people can potentially have great impact in our society.
 
Our recent experiences with the peace education programmes in schools show that there have been significant positive changes with less incidents of violence and bullying. The Peace Foundation supports schools in Pakistan to develop young peace leaders through teaching conflict resolution skills that help schools promote and maintain a “culture of peace”. For instance, both the Cool Schools and Leadership through Peer Mediators (LtPM) have been valuable additions to the peace education efforts we are implementing in Pakistani schools.
 
In Pakistan, peace education is especially important because we have seen an increase in the involvement of young people, both as victims and perpetrators, in conflict situations around the country. Also, the majority of the suicide bombings conducted over the years have been carried out by teenage boys, mostly school aged boys.If we can reach these children with peace education, we could create major changes in these violent contexts.
 
What is the outlook for peace education in Pakistan?
The educational situation here is on the verge of collapse. According to some reports,  23 million students are out of school and also find themselves without the financial capabilities to access education.
 
At the moment, the peace education initiatives are mainly on a grassroots level with a clear need to be nurtured and embraced in order to surge as a regional and national phenomenon. My organization’s goal is to convince policymakers that peace education is necessary on all levels: from local communities to a nation-wide school curriculum.  Unfortunately, the Government of Pakistan isn’t allocating as much funds as we would have hoped for education, and peace education in particular. We rely heavily on non-profit organizations in order to pursue our peace education programmes in Pakistani schools, but the funds are not enough for us to extend this initiative to a national level.
 
You engaged in a literature project for children in your region, where students from Massey University in New Zealand sent books to Pakistan, how did this impact your community?
Education is an urgent need in Pakistan. Many people are struggling in poverty-stricken communities where they cannot access education. The books donated by students from Massey University and shipped to Pakistan were extraordinarily well-received by our communities here. It has provided children with a library that is free, a knowledge bank where they can engage in reading and acquire knowledge in many different subjects. Reading for peace is an integrally educational and peaceful initiative, the idea is to provide children with the tools they need - a wide range of books - so that they can broaden their horizons and acquire new perspectives.
 
People oftentimes donate money. However, this doesn’t always have a long lasting impact. On the other hand, this reading initiative is helpful in a way that many purely financial donations aren’t. These books will last for a long time, and they are already proving themselves to be a valuable asset for students in underprivileged areas that cannot afford buying books and for schools that don’t have the funds to create libraries.

By: Sandra Segall


 

Creating Spaces for Dialogue and Change

More than 340 students participated in The Peace Foundation's event 'Youth Talk' on May 25th at Westlake Girls High School. Youth Talk is part of the national initiative Youth Week NZ, organised by Ara Taiohi, and this year's theme was "Giving back is giving forward" - Aroha Mai, Aroha Atu. "The discussions covered various issues including the media's influence on world problems, the pitfalls of campaign work, how to maintain momentum in a campaign, and many other thought-provoking questions," Westlake students Rhiana Merota, Kasey Lui and Izzy Sheild stated. "It was an awesome experience and we would like to thank the coordinator Lucy Stewart from The Peace Foundation for organising this inspirational event."

      

      

 


Pink Shirt Day 2016: Speaking up against bullying

In support of Pink Shirt Day Aotearoa 2016, part of The Peace Foundation team got their pink t-shirts on and headed down to BaristaCats Café in central Auckland: because who are better anti-bullying ambassadors than cats?

       



Peacebuilding in Peaceful Countries: Here's Why It's Necessary

Domestic abuse was at the top of the agenda when Laurie Ross, a Peace Foundation member and long-term peacebuilding advocate, listed some of the major challenges to peace in New Zealand. “The high rate of domestic violence, child abuse and violent crime is the major indication that we are not properly identifying, employing and investing in the right methods for cultivating and reinforcing a non-violent peaceful society,” she says. In order to combat this trend read more...

Celebrating The Peace Foundation's 41st Anniversary

On May 23 and 24, The Peace Foundation celebrated its 41st birthday. The dates marked more than four decades of peacebuilding initiatives. The organization celebrated this anniversary both in Auckland and Wellington, where several peace scholars and peace education supporters presentations gave speeches on the challenges to peace in New Zealand, as well as the Foundation's achievements and prospects for the future of peacebuilding and disarmament in New Zealand and the world.

We are preparing a high level, far reaching crowdfunding campaign to inspire people across New Zealand to support expanding peer mediation into schools from the far north to the far south. We'd love your help. Take the opportunity to make a difference to help reduce violence in our schools and communities: become a member of The Peace Foundation and stay up-to-date with our work through Facebook. 

     
     



School's Peace Week is approaching rapidly, this year's theme is "Dialogues for Peace", highlighting the importance of communicating for peace. Schools from all over New Zealand will participate in the peace education activities. Last year, more than a hundred schools in New Zealand and overseas participated in the event. 
 

Register