Peace Education through the lives of Peace Heroes
WHAT IS PEACE EDUCATION?
It is difficult to precisely define peace education because it is a very broad theme. However, the accepted definition of peace education is to acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes, behavior and values that are essential for the reduction and elimination of all forms of violence. Peace education also attempts to empower learners to gain and promote peaceful co-existence, tolerance, justice and a culture of peace. Compassion, equality, interdependence, diversity, sustainability and nonviolence are other values and principles that peace education strives to promote. Peace Museum Vienna’s peace education program is in line with the lives and professional careers of its peace heroes. PMV is determined to teach visitors, students and general public the knowledge, skills and values that peace heroes have followed and applied in their lives. Who are our target groups of peace education?
1- School students
School students are the primary targets of peace education because they are tomorrow’s leaders. If PMV manages to achieve its goal of passing on an understanding of peace through the values and dedication of peace heroes to the students, it would mean a positive move towards peace. The examples set by peace heroes can be interesting and educational for students and the school may choose which peace heroes they would like to explore during their peace education sessions.
2- Tourist groups
The PMV-Tours are intended to educate people about peace heroes, peace values, and the possibilities for engagement in various activities that can create a better environment and future for all of us. We strive to inspire visitors with the lives and contributions of peace heroes, and we hope that after a tour they will be eager to read more about these heroes, or to do something positive for their family, friends, and their community. Peace is a multidimensional phenomenon that can start from oneself. PMV is located in a part of Vienna, which attracts a lot tourism. About 2000 tourists pass the street on which the Peace Museum lies, on a daily basis. A good number of these tourists visit us when they pass by. Therefore, it is a convenient destination for a tourist group. Tours may be arranged according to PMV tourist manual and based on demand.
Donors are vital to PMV’’s Mission: peace education. There are several ways of supporting and donating to PMV. Events such as peace kitchens, film evenings, and exhibitions are just a few examples. Approaching a potential donor is in itself educational to the donor who may sponsor our events, peace kitchens, etc. Donors are invited to either choose a particular peace hero or ask PMV for suggestions. Please see the PMV’s Donor Package for detailed information.
We collaborate with various artists to organize different events and exhibitions closely related to the subject of peace. “Kunst gegen Gewalt” (Art against Violence) group is one of the many art groups that PMV has cooperated with in the past.
By Ali Ahmad
9 April 2015
“Peace is not just a word. It is about being content with ourselves, being kind and polite and not being jealous,” reflected Lina, a teenage student from the school of Economic and Tourism in Vienna. She believes that wars start when countries become jealous.
Peace Museum Vienna conducted a session on peace education through the lives of peace heroes in particular the civil rights movement under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. More than a dozen Austrian teenage attended the session, which was conducted by our Peace Hero Dr. Ali Ahmad Safi. The hour-long session was followed by a discussion in which participants reflected on what peace meant to each one of them and what they could do for peace.
These young Austrian students at the Pannoneum School of Economic and Tourism visited Peace Museum Vienna on Thursday 9 April as a part of their coursework. Since they study civil rights movements and Martin Luther Kind Jr., they sought to learn about Peace Museum Vienna’s unique peace heroes and windows for peace. Many of our peace heroes were leading successful nonviolent civil resistance such Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi among others.
Mag. Daniela Steiner who was leading the group said they were delighted to see King Jr. as one of PMV’s peace heroes. She pledged to invite Peace Museum Vienna experts to conduct sessions at her school in the future.
For Ms. Steiner, peace means respecting others. “All humans are making mistakes but we need to apologize for our mistakes,” she said. Lucas, one of the students, compared peace to darkness. He believed that in darkness, “we are equal and we don’t distinguish people because of their race, gender, religion or color.” “Peace will materialize when we see all people as equal,” Lucas concluded the session.