As planning has continued, it has been great to see the support that has been coming in for the Peace Education Project this summer. Thanks to all those who have learned about the project and have become a part of the grassroots effort to build a sustainable future for the youth of Liberia.Peace Project Objectives
Monday, March 15, 2010
This year marks the last in the International Decade for a Culture of Peace organized and promoted by the United Nations and UNESCO. During the decade, numerous UN, government, and non-government organizations have developed programs and activities to promote a culture of peace. Peace is considered by the UN and researchers not only as the absence of violence, but the restructuring of culture to reflect human rights, social justice, respect for cultural differences, and education for all.
These aspects of peace must be taught, especially in areas where oppression, abuse, inequality, and war has occurred. In Liberia, these instances of violence occurred almost continually for 14 years, and some, especially inequality, still occur today. As students who grew up during war, and students who witness injustices, how do you express your feelings and frustrations in a constructive way? Or if you are Deaf in an unequal world, how do you know the options that could and should be available to you?
It is through the Human Rights Monitor and the staff at the Hope for the Deaf school that I plan to begin the process of teaching, promoting, and instilling in the lives of the students. Even though it is the last year in the Decade for a Culture of Peace, it is only the beginning for the students of Hope.
*In the photo above are children in a rural village who were known to be deaf. They do not know sign language, and have limited access to education.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to understand that others may have different beliefs, desires, and intentions than others. This ability is usually learned through interactions with family, and adults growing up, through incidental learning. At 18 months, children will look to adults for cues on how to react or think (ie: Should I be scared of that dog?). It is also through language development that children also learn the meaning behind one's actions.
According to Lundy (2002), hearing, normal developing, children are able to develop these skills by 4-5 years old, where as deaf children born to hearing parents may experience up to a 3 year delay in the development of ToM. This can be due to lack of communication between the child and adult (most often, child uses sign language while parent does not), and delay in language development. This can have a great impact on how deaf students interact with the people in their life. They may struggle with negotiating friendships, anticipating what other's think of one's actions, understanding misunderstandings, or understanding deception; all impacting how they respond with conflict.
With this in mind, the Peace Education Project aims to provide the staff at Hope for the Deaf the knowledge and skills needed to directly teach social skills so that a culture of peace may be evident among the students. This will allow the students with greater ability to interact within a hearing world, avoid violent conflict, as well as appreciate equality and human rights to promote their own status within their community.
Peace Education Project: If you would like to give donations to help provide materials and resources for the Peace Education Project this summer, please use the "Chip In" button on the side. 100% of the proceeds will go towards materials for the workshops for the teachers to use and keep for future reference.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Liberia is a small independent country in West Africa, with surprisingly strong connections to the United States. The following links provide background information about the country, as well as their history of war, and recent peace.
Liberian Embassy - Current and past information about the country
Diplomacy in Action - U.S. Department of State website provides background information, as well as historical relations with the U.S.
World Factbook - Further historical background
The Vice Guide to Liberia - A video series explaining the civil war in Liberia; I found this to be one of the easiest resources to understand the war but viewer beware, can be very graphic. It has also been found criticism by various Liberians and Liberian supporters such as Ceasefire Liberia. While the war was a major part of Liberian's history, post-war Liberia has many positive aspects and a warm and welcoming people.
These links tell the story of Hope for the Deaf in Liberia.
Missionary teaches deaf Liberian children how to communicate.
Hope for the Deaf Video
Enjoy! If you have questions, let me know.
Peace Education Workshop: If you would like to give donations to help provide materials and resources for the Peace Education Workshop this summer, please use the "Chip In" button on the side.