The project "Peace Education meets Religion" aims to strengthen the peace education skills and competencies of religious or religiously motivated multipliers working in the formal and non-formal education sector.
An international series of workshops contributes to the sharpening of peace education in religious contexts. The basis of the workshop series is the manual "Peace Education meets Religion". Together with cooperation partners who have played a major role in the development of the manual, the manual is now to be introduced, applied and jointly developed further in different world regions.
In the implementation contexts of France and Cameroon, in addition to religious components in the respective conflict constellations, various peace efforts of the religious communities are clearly recognisable.
Due to the corona pandemic-related travel restrictions and uncertainties regarding larger face-to-face events, the measures planned for 2020 will be implemented web-based. For 2021 as well, web-based implementation is currently assumed.
"There is a need for specific peace education learning formats and materials for religious contexts worldwide," was the conclusion of the international workshop on "Religion and Peace Education" held in November 2018. 20 high-ranking representatives of various religious communities and organisations spent three days exchanging experiences of good practice with experts from the Berghof Foundation's peace education department. Based on external inputs, they discussed and debated the boundaries, commonalities and synergies between religion and peace education. The joint evaluation of the meeting showed (1) beyond the need for peace education learning formats and materials formulated at the outset, (2) the relevance of developing the skills of religiously motivated multipliers to teach peace education content and methods.
The workshop was initiated by the "Religion and Foreign Policy" department of the Federal Foreign Office as part of the programme "Responsibility of Religions for Peace".
Discussions and publications show that the link between religion and peace education has recently attracted increasing attention from practitioners, academics and political decision-makers. For many years, conferences have been emphasising the importance of peace education for sustainable conflict transformation in religious contexts and for the development of visions for a peaceful coexistence. A recent example is the declaration of the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace, published in August 2019, which affirms:
"We commit ourselves to prevent violent conflicts by promoting peace education – from early childhood to adults in all our religious communities – focusing on shared values, religious education and peace stories".
Against this background, the emerging manual "Peace Education meets Religion" is aimed primarily at multipliers who want to strengthen the peace potential of religions by inspiring and qualifying interested individuals and groups through peace education. This can be done at different levels and in different contexts and settings.
The project will primarily implement web-based peace education training formats, develop accompanying learning media and create virtual dialogue and meeting spaces for multipliers from different religious contexts worldwide. The interactive and dialogue-oriented online formats are aimed at qualifying multipliers in the form of "train the trainer" approaches. The strong involvement of local partners and their professional expertise ensures that the workshops are not only context- and target group-specific, but also conflict-sensitive. Thus, individual approaches are developed and implemented for the project regions. Supervision by the Berghof Foundation team and the partners is supplemented by peer-to-peer formats for the exchange of experiences.
An appropriate monitoring and evaluation concept helps to ensure that the valuable feedback from the key actors is recorded in a structured way. This enables them to participate directly in the further development of the manual. In the long term, this will ensure that the manual as well as all learning media and formats address the target group(s) in an appropriate manner.
The objectives of the project activities are:
1. to strengthen the peace education skills and competences of religious or religiously motivated multipliers working in the formal and non-formal education sector.
2. to contribute to the further development and sharpening of peace education in religious contexts.
3. to introduce, apply, and further develop the manual "Religion Meets Peace Education" in different regions of the world whose conflict constellations have religious components on the one hand, and in which peace efforts of the religious communities are recognisable on the other.
By September 2021 the manual "Peace Education meets Religion" will be finalised and made available for download in several languages on the Berghof Foundation’s website and the partner organisations' websites.
Key actors are religious or religiously motivated multipliers working in the formal and non-formal education sector.
In the French context, these will primarily be representatives and members of the partner organisation AISA International ONG and (group) leaders of the Scouts Musulmans de France.
In Cameroon they will be composed of three groups. Among them are members of different religions of the regional Council for Religions for Peace founded in 2019 and representatives of various groups led by women or young people who are committed to nonviolent and peaceful coexistence in Cameroon.
The project "Peace Education meets Religion - An International Series of Workshops and Qualification Courses" is funded by the Federal Foreign Office, Department for Religion and Foreign Policy, from April 2020 to September 2021.
The cooperation partners involved in the implementation are: