Tuesday Programs (Noon): Scottish Rite Cathedral • Offices: 401 E. Michigan St., • Indianapolis, IN 46204 • Phone (317) 631-3733 • Fax (317) 631-4530
WSC Births Ghana Peace Learning Initiative
Inspired by the work of the Indianapolis Peace Learning Center’s work with the Savannah La Mar Rotary in Jamaica, Rotarian, George Okantey met with Tim Nation, director and co-founder of the Indianapolis Peace Learning Center (PLC) to begin exploratory conversations to replicate the best practices work of PLC in Ghana. In December 2011 Rotarian George Okantey traveled to his home country of Ghana to explore project possibilities with two Ghana Rotary Clubs.
The Accra Rotary Club seems the most enthusiastic and the best fit especially because their projects are well aligned with the goals and objectives of International Rotary.
Current conflict reduction training programs in Ghana, conducted by organizations such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Kofi Annan International Training Center (KAITC), and the West African Civic Society Institute, have centered on chieftaincy disputes, governance, water and land issues.
The Ghana Peace Initiative, a program which is being sponsored by the Indianapolis Rotary World Service Committee, will focus on grass-root, youth, and primary and secondary schools in Ghana. In collaboration with the Accra Rotary Club, we will select four schools and train forty-eight teachers by July 2015. The selection of schools will be completed this fall and the first 12 teachers will attend a 4-Day train-the-trainer retreat in March 2013. Instruction in the classroom will begin in April 2013 and at least one hundred students will benefit from the first class. In addition to equipping teachers with tools and competencies to manage conflict, we will also teach them facilitation and leadership skills that will enable them to manage their classes more effectively and foster their own professional growth. The curriculum for student instruction will be a culturally relevant PLC curriculum that focuses on examination and understanding of the root causes of conflict and effective ways to manage, lead and accept it as an opportunity to learn and grow. To that end, we invite Rotary friends with experience and knowledge in this area to help us shape and direct the program, and support it by volunteering to visit training sites in Ghana and help with instruction.
The Ghana Peace Initiative curriculum will include tried and tested resources from the Indianapolis Peace Learning Center. We will also expand the learning by including materials from the Arbinger Institute, as our focus will be researching and teaching the root causes of conflict and creating best practice processes that help people in developing economies, like Ghana, to thrive.
The outcomes we envision will include ongoing educational and training support to marginalized groups that are at risk of violence or persecution. Our objective is to have our Peace curriculum incorporated into the school curricula and to conduct quarterly webinars for Program Leaders that will support an annual symposium.
Communities thrive when they are at peace. It is our intention to introduce and show the benefits of negotiating peace and of learning better ways to resolve differences when different alternatives and interests exist. By creating an atmosphere that encourages critical thinking and consideration of the views of others, we hope to enable the development of trusting relationships that will lead to improved and caring interpersonal relationships. It is in such an atmosphere of peace and trust that we can create entrepreneurial opportunities for youth. Through fundraising and increased partnership relationships, we hope to eventually engage a benefactor who will donate a building in which the Ghana Peace Learning Center will be established. We will provide an ongoing educator exchange program between Indianapolis and Ghana.