"If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."

~Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dates Set

Dates have been set for the Peace Education Project this summer.
Arrival: July 11th
Workshop Part 1: July 13-16
Workshop Part 2: July 20-23
Family & Community Day: TBA

Logistics are starting to come together, as well as the materials that we will be using. Look forward to information on topics that will be covered.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Liberia, Child Soldiers & Peace

Recently, I found a couple of videos about a young Liberian who was a child soldier during the civil war. He became a refugee in Ghana, went through counseling and training, then returned to his home country. As in other countries, child soldiers were heavily used during Liberia's crisis. For youth who were involved in the war and do not receive rehabilitation, like Augustine, face isolation and torment from past experiences. While rehabilitation programs exist in the country, it may take years to reach all the youth that were affected.

I also created a video of my own.

The Peace Education Project aims to bring a piece of the rehabilitation process to Hope for the Deaf school, providing the students with language, knowledge, and a safe environment to have their voice heard so that they may participate in the rebuilding of their country.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thank you!

It is great to see the support that continues to come in. I have officially reached my goal (and then some) for funds for the workshops specifically. I cannot describe how much I appreciate your willingness to become a part of the peace story in Liberia.

As much as it is important to have further training for the staff at Hope, it is also important for the school to have supplies and materials, and for the staff to receive income for their work. Since there is no public education services readily available for students with disabilities in Liberia, private schools serving persons with disabilities are found within religious organizations, as well as non-government organizations. This means that they most likely choose high fees for the students to attend, or run on very little to maintain an educational environment. The Hope for the Deaf School is technically under the umbrella of the Liberian Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The school has held the believe that education should be accessible for deaf students and has kept their fees low compared to other schools in Monrovia. They run on sporadic donations by generous people in and outside Liberia. Staff income and funds for materials happen by chance. Staff morale is typically low, and it is often difficult to come to work to teach everyday (especially if it costs more than a weeks pay to travel to work). It is through their determination and passion for education that they continue to work, though pay is little.

With this in mind, if you would like to give to the school for staff salary and materials, please continue to use the Chip In button or give through the UMC Advance. When I go, I will give the funds directly to the school.

If you would have any questions, please leave a comment.

Stay tuned for further development of the Peace Education Project.