On 24th January 2021, over 2 400 attendees from 70 countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan joined an online inter-continental peace conference organized by international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL).
Under the theme, “The Role of Peace Education in Building a Peaceful World”, the event aimed to raise the awareness of peace education around the world and to establish a global platform for educators to implement peace education in the school curriculums.
Following congratulatory messages from social, educational, religious, and political figures including President of Court of Appeal of Cairo, Former President of the UN Human Rights Council, Former Adviser of the Ministry of Education of Guatemala, Archbishop Emeritus of Davao Archdiocese of the Philippines. Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL delivered his commemorative message. Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL then delivered his commemorative message and declared:
“Today, Mindanao is no longer a place of conflict; rather, it has become a model of peace to which the world looks. Once, the people of this region used to point guns at each other— now, they share food while sitting at the same table, despite their differences in religion and ideologies.”
Chairman Lee also added that students who were once trained to kill were now learning the precious value of life and peace through HWPL Peace Education.
In 2014, Chairman Lee of HWPL brokered the Mindanao Peace Agreement between the local government and civil society leaders to overcome the 50 years of conflict that resulted in approximately 120,000 victims in the region. Since then, the Province of Maguindanao in the Philippines has commemorated the 24th of January as HWPL Peace Day.
Dr Ronald Adamat, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines (CHED), who has made an effort to implement HWPL Peace Education by integrating peace education into the relevant higher education curricula, addressed the value of HWPL Peace Day and the progress of the peace education in the Philippines.
“Youth will fight for peace but are not given yet enough skills, understanding, or opportunity to talk for peace. I wholeheartedly support HWPL Peace Education. It raises awareness for our youth to become peacemakers – the much-needed values of the youth. Future leaders must effect change in the world’s positive transformation. Our children need to be educated on how peacebuilding works effectively. Through education, the building of a truly peaceful world can one day become a reality.”
HWPL Peace Education, consisting of 12 lessons, aims to equip the educators and students with the value of peace by raising awareness of the importance of fostering a culture of peace. Since 2016, more than 200 educational institutions in 34 countries, including India, Israel, and the Philippines, have been designated as HWPL Peace Academies and Ministries of Education from nine countries have signed MOAs for implementation of peace education.