Contents:
About Ukuthula Peace Challenge
Peace Month - September 2000
Peace Month - September 2008
Youth Peace Forum
Ukuthula Peace Challenge Poster
Ukuthula Peace Challenge Poster from 2000


About Ukuthula Peace Challenge

A. The Ukuthula Peace Challenge was launched on the UN International Peace Day 1999 to celebrate the UN  International Year for a Culture of Peace in the year 2000. It was launched by the Durban chapter of World Conference on Religion and Peace  in association with a number of other organizations and under the patronage of His Worship the Mayor of Durban, Councillor Obed Mlaba.

The programme was to be multi-facetted with people from all sections of the community being involved. The Mission  Statement of the Ukuthula Challenge is:

The KwaZulu Natal Peace Challenge  seeks to overcome the violence which is pandemic in our province and to promote and create a Culture of Peace through the participation of all members of our society.

It also seeks to promote an awareness and acceptance of the UBUNTU Pledge as expounded by the members of the National Religious Leaders Forum  at a Moral Summit which was initiated by the then President Nelson Mandela and Deputy President Thabo Mbeki.

B.    WHO  ARE WE?

WCRP is an organization whose members include people from every faith community. In order to be as broad based as possible, we have set up partnerships with a number of community organizations and are also working with many more whose aims are creating a culture of peace in our Province as well as a knowledge of Human Rights, Gender Equality  and  AIDS Awareness! AIDS Prevention! And AIDS Destigmatisation!

The Council of Kwazulu Natal Jewry Human Rights Forum  is our main partner. The organization began in 1986 specifically as a supplementary teaching programme for black matriculants when schools in the townships were closed for long periods and large numbers of our young people were receiving little or no education. It has also been involved in teaching anti-prejudice programmes in schools for over ten years.

The University of Natal Drama and Performance Studies Programme and Siyaya Productions are groups which we have drawn into the project because of special talents that we felt would benefit all the stakeholders in the Ukuthula project. We continue to reach out and network with many others as we gain capacity.

We are currently working with Secondary Schools in the greater Durban area from all sections of the community. Through our school contacts in other regions of the province we hope to hold workshops and programmes throughout KZN in order to reach as many as possible of the +/- 2500 secondary schools in KZN.

C.   WHAT DOES THE PROGRAMME CONSIST OF?

The programme consists of a number of  projects, the main ones being:

1. HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE EDUCATION SYLLABUS

This consists of the following modules:

(i)   WHO AM I? WHO ARE YOU/ LET'S CELEBRATE TOGETHER!
This the first  module  in the series and begins with a programme dealing with self knowledge and understanding and looking at how our religion , culture and language shapes us as individuals and also as part of society. There are role-plays about our relationships within the family, with friends, within the school and the community.

We take a look at the religions and cultures of the community in  KZN. Zulus - Ancestral, Zionist and Shembe Church; Xhosas; Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam;  Judaism. The importance of Religion and Culture in our lives is seen as a major input in our lives. It can also be a very divisive one and as such, should be seen as an important part of Human Rights and an integral manifestation of the struggle for democracy. Depending on the Grade, this section could be part of Language, History, Drama, Art and  Music.
[Within school one might look at other language and cultural backgrounds.]

(ii )  TALKING WALLS  AND TELLING THE STORY   
Each school will be asked to create a "Talking Wall." The first module will facilitate aspects of this second module. The students tell their stories and also begin to look at the whole concept of Human Rights in South Africa and specifically, the section the Rights and Responsibilities of the Child as an introduction to the next module "The Two R's".

(iii) THE TWO R'S … THE RIGHT TO BE AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO DO
The formation of the UN, the UN Charter, and the International Declaration of Human Rights will be part of this module. We also suggest a Classroom Charter, possibly School Charter created by students.  We study the Bill of Rights on which our Constitution was based and look at our Constitution and what it means and finally Making Choices.

It is important to link up here with other programmes on Peace and Democracy, Religion, Culture, Health and the Environment etc.

(iv) WHEN RACISM BECOMES LAW
This is a study of the seeds of racism and prejudice, particularly from the perspective of the Holocaust and the Apartheid Regime. A special programme is available in the form of a two-part exhibition, one on the Holocaust and the other on Apartheid. It tells the story of two young people whose lives were influenced in drastic ways by legal racism, the two being Anne Frank and Nelson Mandela. We take a journey from their infancy to present times. We are also working on a video programme so that we can reach many more people. There will also be a comparison between the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany and the Apartheid Laws of   SA.

(v) PEACE! CONFLICT PREVENTION AND RESOLUTION!
Co-operation is better than conflict!  And the case for "Unity is Strength v. Co-operation in Diversity." This module is very much an interactive and discursive programme with a number of values clarification programmes as well as case studies to look at and work through the various choices that can be made. We encourage schools to create either a Peace Wall or a Peace Pole.

(vi) SAVE OUR WORLD 
Planet Earth: Our Home! This module deals with the many aspects of the environment viz.:

  • Recycling
  • Saving Tomorrow's World
  • Save the Rainforests
  • Pollution
  • Bad News Wrapped up in Protein
  • Only One Earth
  • Extinct creatures

(vi) SAVING OURSELVES
This module deals with the needs of the individual and what we should do to make us good human beings and good citizens of the world.

  • Creating a Culture of Peace
  • The Drug Problem
  • Heartbeat: the Rhythm of Health  … Stomp video and other exercises.
  • You are what you eat
  • Anorexia/Bulimia
  • Introduction to STD's and AIDS
  • Basic Life skills

(vii) THE EQUALITY CHALLENGE  - WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO WOMEN'S ISSUE
Here we deal with issues that particularly affect women, but also other issues pertaining to equality e.g. disability, minorities, homophobia, languages, etc.

(viii) KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A look at issues such as Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment, Stalking, Criminal Procedure in cases such as arrest etc. This is geared to Grade 12's and will not only look at the issues in the above topics, but also provide case studies which can either be role played or used in discussion or debate. There will also be a section dealing with what to do in a situation where one needs help and which organisations can be of assistance, e.g. in the case of sexual harassment one could go to the Gender Commission. Telephone numbers and addresses would also be given.

(ix) AIDS 2000
An interactive programme dealing with AIDS, particularly in the light of the International AIDS Conference being held in July in Durban this year. See separate document on the AIDS Challenge including the AIDS Quilt project.

(xi)   THE  GLOBAL  VILLAGE 
Our place in the world .The various organisations that help to create a better world for all.  A summary of all the work of the UN. Participating in the  Peace Challenge Poster, Poem and Picture Project.

IMPLEMENTATION
We have a group of facilitators who have been working together to create the programmes. With most of them we have some kind of catalyst programme, such as a dramatic presentation or a stand - up comedy or an exhibition or role-plays. Some of these programmes are complete, others are still being created or adapted.
The programme has been designed to follow on from one another. Obviously it should be used from Grade 8  through to Matric, but since many senior students have not had much Human Rights or Peace Education training, there might be a need to deal with some of the issues which  would usually be completed in the first two years  of Secondary school.

In future years, we hope that the course would be structured into five programmes, one for each year. How much or how little we do in any one school will depend on the time allocated. In some schools there is a period allocated for Human Rights and life skills. This would fit in perfectly in this niche. Other schools do not even have a guidance teacher or counsellor, net alone periods for Human Rights or Peace Education. This presents a problem but not an insurmountable one.

Some of the programmes can be adapted in English, Drama, Art and History classes. There are also aspects that could be used in a Biology or Geography class and finally there is always assembly to at least create a beginning.

NB:   Please note that each module will come with a complete pack consisting of the following:

  • Some form of catalyst or base to introduce the module. This might be in the form of a stand-up comedy "Stop at Green! Go at Red!" as in the case of women's issues in the Equality Challenge, a play in "Who am I? Who are you? Let's share together!", a video in a "Celebration of the Right To Be - the Multicultural Story" , as well as role plays, exhibitions and art programmes.
  • A teacher 's resource file.
  • A student fact file.
  • Activities and projects that may be used in the classroom or other venues as well as life situation case studies within each module.
  • A list of organisations and individuals that may be contacted for assistance or to come and speak to students.
  • A list of books, videos, exhibitions etc that may be useful.

Regular teacher workshops will be held (once a month) and we are also negotiating to have a central resource centre where teachers may come for help. This would be open at certain times in the afternoon or by appointment.

The first  programme will be available from the first week in the second term. Although initially the programme will only be available to a few schools in its  totality, it is hoped that eventually the programme will be accepted as part of the structured syllabus in the Life Skills  section of the new Curriculum 2005.

In the final analysis we would like to see a programme encompassing all levels of schooling from Grade 0 to Grade 12. Unfortunately, at the moment,  our funding has not enabled us to cover the complete syllabus. As stated above we hope to provide one programme for Junior schools  as a pilot study in the third term.

2.     PEACE POSTER POEM AND STORY PROJECT
Students are asked to draw or paint a poster for peace and to write a poem or story about their  experiences of violence or  visions and dreams of peace and the future of our land!

A selection of pictures poems and stories will be used to create a book called The KZN  Ukuthula Vision. It will include a brief history of how we have attempted to stem the tide of violence and create a culture of peace in our Province.

Every  picture, poem or story  will be used in booklets to be sent to young people in countries of conflict all over the world as a prayer and a sign of hope that we may all soon find our vision of peace.

3.   KZN YOUTH PEACE FORUM
On the 20th March in celebration of Human Rights Day we held a Youth Peace Conference to  which we invited representatives from many schools in the greater Durban area. The programme was a very interactive one with the youth being facilitated by young graduates from the University of Natal to give their input in regard to the syllabus and also what the Youth could do in terms of dealing with issues such as AIDS, Peace, Gender issues and Domestic violence. The young people requested that the Youth Forum become an ongoing programme and that it be extended to include as many of the schools of KZN as possible. They also gave us information on what they would like to see being organized for them and what they could do themselves in the way of peer education. Our next programme will be this month and is entitled "Pride and Prejudice" - it will deal with racism and other forms of prejudice.

4.UBUNTU PLEDGE AND CODE OF CONDUCT
Following upon the successful moral summit of the National Religious Leaders Forum and the creation of the UBUNTU Pledge and the Code of Conduct, we have taken up the call to ask every individual in KZN to sign the UBUNTU Pledge as part of their contribution to creating a culture of peace in the world. We are also asking every organization to sign the Code of Conduct. If every civil servant signed the pledge and every government organization had to sign the Code of Conduct and have it in  a prominent place in the their offices, perhaps there would not be so much corruption and the millions that are being defrauded could go towards alleviating the many problems that exist in our Province. Peace begins with each one of us. We need to take responsibility for it.

CONCLUSION
We have other ideas that we would like to see implemented particularly in the area of job creation and skills training, but at this stage we are not in a position to finance it. We do believe that until we deal with issues such as peace and violence, poverty and job creation, AIDS and the breakdown of the moral fabric of society we will not have true democracy and so many of our disadvantaged communities will continue to have no real quality of life.

Should anyone have any input into the project we would be very happy to hear from them, either on fax:  031 -- 2096538  or e.mail  -- meskinpd@iafrica.com  Similarly if any school or organisation is interested in joining the project we would be happy to discuss how this can be made possible. Please call Paddy Meskin at 031 - 2096572.
4 April 2000 /PDM


Peace Month September 2000

Press Release for International Peace Month

The month of September has been designated International Peace Month by United Nations in this UN International Year for a Culture of Peace.

During Peace Month , the annual International Day of Peace will take place on the third Tuesday of the month - the 19th September. More than 50 countries around the world will be celebrating Peace Day , also called "Hear the Children" day and preparing for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence.

In Kwazulu Natal, we have already launched the KZN Ukuthula Peace Challenge , a programme aimed at creating a culture of peace and nonviolence in our province through a variety of ways, including our pilot study peace education syllabus-'Teaching Peace and Tolerance' and the creation of our KZN Youth Peace Forum, which brings together student representatives from different schools to look at issues confronting young people today.The young people of the Forum are very busy preparing for Peace Month and in particular , Peace Day.

We hope that every single individual throughout Kwazulu Natal will commit themselves to doing at least one thing  for peace. The slogan is: "Peace begins with me! What am I doing for peace?"

Things to do for Peace Month and International Peace Day.

  • Plant a peace pole in your school or  community
  • Create artwork or theatre that evokes the spirit of peace
  • Start a community project
  • Hold a World Peace Ceremony using flags or cultural  or religious symbols
  • Participate in the United Nations International  Year for a Culture of  Peace (2000) and in the International Decade  of Peace and Nonviolence (2001 - 2010) for the children of the world
  •  Support the Nobel Peace Laureates Manifesto 2000 and sign the pledge
  • Develop a new project for youth to be shared with the rest of the world
  • Plan an event for Millenium Peace Day
  • Connect with International activities for young people. Be part of the World Peace Festival
  • Write a Peace Song or get your school to learn Peace songs like John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance"
  • Wear a peace ribbon (worn the same way as an AIDS red ribbon but in white) at all times , but particularly during Peace Month (September)
  • Get your newspapers to have a white Peace Ribbon on the front page of all papers during the month of September with the words "May Peace Prevail in KZN and on all the earth
  • Send in requests to your favourite radio stations to play peace songs during the month of September e.g. John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance!" Bob Marley's "Redemption", Soweto String Quartet's "Weeping"  and others. Research songs to be played and learned
  • Ask your school to have special Peace Assemblies during the month of September , but particularly during the Peace Prayer and Project week from the 15-22 September
  • Whenever you get the opportunity at a function or a special service say the short special prayer: " May peace prevail in Kwazulu Natal!  May peace prevail in South Africa!  May peace prevail on Earth!"
  • On International Peace Day ensure that the very least you do is observe the minutes' silence at 12.00 noon and recite the prayer above "May peace prevail…"You could also read poems, sing peace songs and dances from the various communities , religions and cultures.

INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE LAUNCH:
On the 14th September we shall be launching the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence as part of Peace Month. At the recently launched  KZN Religious Leaders Forum Launch held on the 21st June 2000, the religious leaders present felt that the religious community could make a great contribution to the cause of peace in our Province, and indeed, many are already doing so. It was agreed that we launch a programme to bring together all the different stakeholders in the province to look at how we can pool our resources to find solutions in five areas -

    a.) Poverty eradication
    b.) Employment creation
    c.) AIDS
    d.) Human Rights , peace and nonviolence education-
    e.) Moral and spiritual regeneration through the UBUNTU Pledge and Code of Conduct.

[It must be stated that earlier this year , at the UN Millenium Forum Conference called by the General Secretary, Kofi Annan,  to bring Civil Society together to look at issues that should be put forward to the General Assembly in September , a, b, c and d were all part of the discussions and resolutions. In fact, with regard to the issue of peace and human rights education, it was proposed that all heads of State be asked to sign and ratify that Peace and Human Rights education would be introduced to all schools in their land, from pre-school to tertiary level. It was felt that this was  the only way to prepare our young people for a society that was free from racism, free from gender discrimination, free from AIDS stigmas and prejudices and inclusive of all marginalised and prejudiced groups in our society. I hope that we shall certainly see this in our land.]

We are, therefore , holding a Peace breakfast ,  which we will be hosted by World Conference on Religion and Peace and the KZN Ukuthula Peace Challenge , to which representatives from religious leaders ,  politicians, businessmen, academics, media, NGO's, CBO's and Youth will be invited. The invitation details  are:
       
We believe that peace will not be achieved when there is still a large sector of our community who are completely marginalized and without many of the basic human rights.

SPECIAL WEEK OF PEACE PRAYERS AND PROJECTS:
The breakfast on the 14th will also see the launch of the Special Week of Peace Prayers and Projects. We are asking every religious organisation (Formal or  informal, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues , home cells, everyone) to include in all services during this week special prayers for peace. We are also encouraging all the above to initiate peace programmes or projects that may just be for an hour, a day or an ongoing programme. The slogan is "Peace begins with you! What are you doing for peace?"
We hope that most of the 8,000,000 residents of KZN will pick up the challenge and do something for peace.

INTERNATIONAL INTERFAITH PEACE DAY SERVICE - 19th SEPTEMBER 2000 at 11.45 -1.30
This year International Interfaith Peace Day is on Tuesday the 19th September and we shall be celebrating it on the steps of the City Hall as we did last year. This year we are also asking people to participate in the creating of Peace quilts. Many schools are already involved in making quilts. The "Peace quilts" will be used at the service and after the service they will be distributed to the needy, particularly the elderly and orphans.  We ask you to please publicise this through your newsletters and your organisational structures.

DESMOND TUTU PEACE LECTURE:

Our religious leaders will be  participating  in the special "Lighting of the Peace Lamps " at the Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture to be held on Saturday the 2nd September at the Durban Jewish Club at 8.00pm as part of the International Peace Month celebrations.

Many religious leaders  will participate in a processional at the beginning of the function to light a multitude of candles for peace as a symbol of peace spreading throughout our Province.

We hope that every person that reads about the Peace Month  will become one of the supporters and encouragers in the building of peace in Kwazulu Natal, in South Africa , in Africa and in the World.

We hope that the political leaders of our Province and our land will be in the forefront of participating in at least the International Day of Peace, even if it is only for a minutes' silence at 12.00noon for all those who have been killed as a result of some kind of violence and the reciting of the short peace prayer:

May peace prevail in Kwazulu Natal!
May peace prevail in South Africa!
May peace prevail in Africa!
May peace prevail on the whole earth!
And let us say , Amen.

Further information on the many aspects of Peace Month  may be obtained from Paddy or Gary Tel: 031 - 2096572 or 031 - 3327216 or  Fax: 031 - 2096538  or e.mail : meskinpd@iafrica.com


Peace Month September 2008

Things to do for Peace Month and International Peace Day.

NB: Activities should take place throughout the month of September

  • Plant a peace pole in your school or  community
  • Create artwork or theatre that evokes the spirit of peace
  • Start a community project
  • Hold a World Peace Ceremony using flags or cultural  or religious symbols
  • Participate in the United Nations International  Year for a Culture of  Peace (2000) and in the International Decade  of Peace and Nonviolence (2001 - 2010) for the children of the world
  •  Support the Nobel Peace Laureates Manifesto 2000 and sign the pledge
  • Develop a new project for youth to be shared with the rest of the world
  • Plan an event for Millenium Peace Day
  • Connect with International activities for young people. Be part of the World Peace Festival
  • Write a Peace Song or get your school to learn Peace songs like John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance"
  • Wear a peace ribbon (worn the same way as an AIDS red ribbon but in white) at all times , but particularly during Peace Month (September)
  • Get your newspapers to have a white Peace Ribbon on the front page of all papers during the month of September with the words "May Peace Prevail in KZN and on all the earth
  • Send in requests to your favourite radio stations to play peace songs during the month of September e.g. John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance!" Bob Marley's "Redemption", Soweto String Quartet's "Weeping"  and others. Research songs to be played and learned
  • Ask your school to have special Peace Assemblies during the month of September , but particularly during the Peace Prayer and Project week from the 15-22 September
  • Whenever you get the opportunity at a function or a special service say the short special prayer: " May peace prevail in Kwazulu Natal!  May peace prevail in South Africa!  May peace prevail on Earth!"
  • On International Peace Day ensure that the very least you do is observe the minutes' silence at 12.00 noon and recite the prayer above "May peace prevail…"You could also read poems, sing peace songs and dances from the various communities , religions and cultures.

 

 
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Paddy Meskin: President WCRP-SA
Tel: +27-31 3735404
Email: tba
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