A major tenet of WPDI’s work is that, when it comes to peacebuilding, there is no monopoly: all citizens can and should be peacemakers in their own ways. Further, no one is born with the capacity to successfully mediate conflicts either. Conflict resolution is a skill that anyone can learn, irrespective of their age or social status. Therefore, teaching conflict resolution is integral to our work. By disseminating those skills, we hope to create a grassroots movement that can foster peace around the world. After all, peace is contagious.
Tools for Successful Conflict Resolution
WPDI has designed comprehensive Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) curriculum, designed to be adapted and taught to a wide variety of people in a diversity array of contexts. We train young leaders from conflict and violence-affected places to mediate conflicts in their communities. We also train them to teach specific CRE modules in schools to children and teenagers. We additionally work with adults, training civil servants and local leaders in post-conflict settings or teachers in primary and secondary schools so that they can, in turn, convey values of non-violence and tolerance to their students. No matter who we train, WPDI places an emphasis on the importance of achieving inner peace in recognition of one’s identity; after all, if someone is not at peace with themselves, they cannot foster peace around them.
Fostering Cultures of Peace in Schools
WPDI’s CRE curricula can be implemented in schools across the world. It is designed to be integrated into core subjects like science, math, and social studies so that educators can teach CRE as an integrated dimension of learning. Over a multi-year process, students are first introduced to basic concepts concerning conflicts and how to identify them. Then, they learn about mediation and resolution techniques. Finally, students learn about advanced topics, such as restorative justice and victim-offender mediation. Overall, the program seeks to give students the ability to recognize sources of conflict as well as the skillset necessary to resolve them, without resorting to violence.