Peace Education in San Miguel
By Jean Paul Peretz
“It is not the world; it is you that need peace.” This provocative statement can raise eyebrows, especially in a country like Mexico where violence is so prevalent.
Peace Education Program presentation
Tue, Jan 6, 5pm
Rinconada de la Aldea 29, San Antonio
But if you start thinking about it, what is the world? It is people. Who creates violence and wars? People. So who needs peace? Animals? Plants? Rocks? Of course not, it is people. The question is, how? The Peace Education Program (PEP), offered by the Prem Rawat Foundation, is based on the principles that peace already resides inside each human being and that every human being has the right to experience it.
This innovative educational program is facilitated by volunteers, with a curriculum that consists of 10 videos, each focusing on a particular theme. The purpose of the PEP is to help participants discover their own inner resources — innate tools for living such as inner strength, dignity, choice, and hope — and the possibility of personal peace.
These free, interactive workshops are non-religious and non-sectarian. The content of each theme is based on excerpts from Prem Rawat’s international talks.
Started in 2007 in a prison in San Antonio, TX, it is now offered around the world.
In 2013 over 2,700 workshops were conducted for more than 121,000 participants in various venues including colleges, universities and adult education institutions; community centers; hospices; parolee, prison and correctional facilities; retirement communities and nursing homes; and veterans and youth groups. It really changes lives. According to the chief warden of the San Antonio prison, out of the 750 inmates who attended the PEP, only three returned to jail. The usual recidivism rate is over 55 percent. I have personally listened to some of the ex-inmates who graduated tell their story at a conference. I can attest that not one eye in the room, including theirs and mine, was dry.
In San Miguel, six volunteers have already facilitated eight PEP courses at IMA, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic; the Municipal Police Force; the local prison; and general public groups. At the rehab clinic a young patient come in so strung out that he could not sit up and listen. After a few sessions, he said: “I feel like my heart is starting to work again.” There are lots of great stories such as the gang members in Ibarra, Ecuador who took the PEP after several young people died in gang wars. In 2013, after a visit by Prem Rawat, they walked in the annual Christmas parade carrying candles and a sign that read, “Peace is not only possible, it is inevitable.”
The PEP is not just for troubled people. Everyone can use more peace in their lives. Peace is achievable in the world. When people value and understand peace and enjoy their lives, nations really thrive. If you would like to find out more or sign up for a forming class, come to the next information session or visit www.tprf.org.