a comprehensive tool-kit for youth associations
Why shall we engage in peace education and global learning?

Peace goes beyond the absence of war. To be genuine, peace must manifest itself at all levels of society and in all aspects of life. Peace, therefore, stands for the opposite of all forms of violence, exploitation or injustice. Ultimately, it is characterized by the presence and active realization of positive human values such as justice, freedom, equality, equity, solidarity, respect, tolerance, cooperation, compassion and dignity. Peace means a fully developed life, where one lives in harmony with oneself, with society and with nature.

Globalization has added and aggravated an important set of challenges to the realization of this vision: increasing poverty and inequalities; overconsumption causing environmental damage and scarcity of resources, leading to increased flows of migration and tensions; economic exploitation; persisting racism and xenophobia; human rights abuses; to name just a few.

All of these global challenges of the 21st century require a constructive and creative response. They are not a fatality against which we have no alternative. On the other hand, peace does not come for free - it needs to be constructed intentionally through a deliberate, collective and transformative learning process that includes all members of society.

Therefore, the vision of peace education and global learning is to see peace as a commonly agreed goal of society that is consciously and pro-actively being pursued and promoted in all spheres of life. Even though most people agree to support the ideals of peace, their realization is often scarcely reflected in daily behavior. Ideally though, the enhancement and promotion of peace gradually becomes a guiding principle of all our actions and reflections.

In this sense, the main objective is to raise the awareness about our choices, about the impact of our actions, and about the responsibility which we carry for our acts. Peace education and global learning aim to make us acknowledge and consider that we contribute to change and create the world around us, and to empower us to think and act accordingly. If we want to be at peace, let us explore, learn and practice it.

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