We would like to share a copy of this letter of appreciation from The Prem Rawat Foundation about Peace Partners supporters' contributions to the Opening Possibilities Appeal.
July 18, 2019
Dear Peace Partners,
On behalf of The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), I would like to thank you for your donations toward the “Opening Possibilities" appeal.
Your April 15 wire transfer of US$3,075 was received and deposited. At your request, the donation was used for matching funds and allocated to the “Opening Possibilities” appeal accordingly:
Your July 1 wire transfer of US$5,000 was received and deposited. At your request, the donation was applied to the “Opening Possibilities” appeal and allocated accordingly:
Peace Partners’ donations were a large factor in making the appeal such a success. TPRF supporters really appreciate their contributions being matched, and your $3,075 was helpful in receiving many donations from others. Your second contribution of $5,000 was huge in the Foundation surpassing the goal of $150,000. The appeal total raised ended up at $169,996, just under $20,000 over the goal!!!
TPRF’s second (and final) major appeal of the year will launch December 2 and end December 31. If Peace Partners would like to be part of the December appeal match, please let me know.
To each and every one of you donating to Peace Partners, your kind, generous, ongoing donations make an incredible difference in lives around the world. On behalf of these people and the Foundation, thank you so very much.
Marci Klein Development Director
A report by Alan Plummer
Finishing with celebratory cake and the presentation of attendance certificates the first Peace Education Programme in Cornwall concluded at the end of May. The programme was presented at the Fish Factory Arts Space in Penryn.
It has been a valuable learning experience for the team in Cornwall, and has given them the confidence to present the programme again in different settings. As one team member remarked "It's an inspiration to see how the material speaks for itself and needs no embellishment. People come, listen, and by and large go home happy. And come again the next week".
Overall 31 people attended at least a part of the 10 week programme, ten of whom were consistent attenders throughout. From a nil base, with promotion largely through the Eventbrite website, this was felt by the team to be a good outcome.
There were many positive comments made by attendees and one of them is planning to put on a Peace Education Programme for her employees as part of her company's health and wellbeing policy. Another commented "I got lots out of the programme, ultimately that happiness is a choice and that life is worth it. It's short, keeps things simple”.
The Peace Education team in Cornwall has already approached Falmouth University (CUC) to promote a showing of the documentary Inside Peace in the Autumn. This will be followed by a further Peace Education Programme on campus beginning in January.
Through promotion at the University it feels like an exciting new chapter is beginning with the potential to reach a wider and younger audience in the future.
It was so exciting, and such a big step forward in recognition for Peace Partners, to receive the news in March of the award of a grant of £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund. This grant continues to enable Peace Partners to extend its support of community and youth projects and for the facilitation of Peace Education Programmes.
Coincidently this year is also the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery and a UK-wide series of celebratory and awareness raising events is planned, leading up to the actual Lottery birthday on 19th November. Since 1994 more than £40 billion has been raised by the Lottery Fund and used to support an enormously diverse range of community activities throughout the UK.
It is a great opportunity to remind everyone of our grant and what it is being used for. Ways in which Peace Partners is becoming involved in the celebrations include:
As grateful recipients of lottery funding we are very happy to join in with the National Lottery 25th birthday celebrations and to raise awareness of the National Lottery.
A quarterly report by Didge Hatcher and Chris Waite, UK Community PEP Advisers
In early March 2019, Peace Partners charity received almost £10K of National Lottery funding to help work with community and youth organisations to enable them to organise and facilitate the TPRF Peace Education Programme (PEP), throughout the UK. As a result, we are making the PEP workshops more widely available to the community irrespective of religion, age, gender, race, or any issues they may be experiencing such as poor mental health or homelessness. This is in collaboration with our partners and organisations who have a similar purpose; for them to share across their networks and social media; on the Peace Partners’ website and through e-bulletins and mailings.
Peace Partners has been working closely with communities affected by gang violence in South London and this is an area where we have recently concentrated our efforts to facilitate and run the Peace Education Programme. We have appealed to members of the wider community, youth leaders and organisations working with vulnerable people and community projects, to talk to us about becoming involved and for them to find out more about setting up this programme in their own organisations. To this end, in April we ran an event in Croydon with three different workshops, of which an introduction to the PEP was one. Several representatives were invited to attend and some spoke about their own efforts in their communities, including the Tutu Foundation, Ubuntu Round Table Project and Shanika Benjamin’s Young People Insight. There was a lot of enthusiastic interest in the PEP presentation from these people and from many other representatives and attendees.
Called a Conflict Resolution Workshop, this event led on to a five-week Training PEP, held specifically for those organisations who had shown interest. Several attendees from these organisations signed up and two completed the course after attending most of the ten workshops. This training PEP was also attended by participants who were familiar with the material and wanted to be clear about how to facilitate a PEP. We are very pleased to be able to expand our PEP teams to cope with the expected demand.
St Mungos is a UK charity that has three recovery colleges, offering a wide range of courses, they cater for adults who are vulnerable to homelessness and mental health issues. The PEP collection was trialled at one of their London bases in the Spring Term and was deemed to be the most popular course at the college. A second course is now running during the summer term and we hope to continue these courses into the future. Organisers at the college are encouraging us to take the PEP to their other London base, also into their hostels. At the same time the base in Bristol is very interested in running the PEP in the Autumn term. An experienced facilitator will set up an introduction to PEP for staff and some potential students. This partly came about through a recommendation from a London based St Mungos worker. We plan to offer the PEP to other homeless charities and have already had an enthusiastic response from a branch in Croydon.
Other UK wide efforts have included reaching out to people in different areas who have put on their own PEP or would like to do so. Cornwall is notable in that a small team put in a lot of work promoting the PEP to communities in the Falmouth area by showing the film ‘Peace is Possible’ which 80 people attended, followed up with a successful Peace Education Programme with 9 regular attendees. They hope to repeat this success at Falmouth University (Combined Universities of Cornwall) later this year.
Peace Partners offers information about TPRF resources and financial support where needed. The Trustees have developed an application process for small requests for money and a more in-depth process for larger amounts, such as the grant awarded to Celebrate Life Events in May. This money supported their efforts to introduce PEPs to a younger audience in London through music, art and dance. Peace Partners have contributed smaller amounts towards PEP materials costs to individuals running PEPs in prisons and in the community such as the St Mungo’s PEP.
In May we screened ‘Peace is Inevitable’ at a small cinema in Croydon with approx. 40 attendees, some of the interested organisations from the Conflict Resolution Workshop attended. A tutor from Goldsmiths Teacher Training College saw the film and is now considering the PEP as a course for teachers, she also commented that she would let her MP know that the PEP is vital to help with knife crime. This is typical of the regular comments and enquiries we receive from many parts of the UK.
Quotes from a PEP participant from the homeless community at St Mungos:
“Life is sacred; when I realise that life is special, when I come from gratitude to be alive, I welcome every moment. I see the world differently. Life is beautiful. I realise I have a gift which needs to be cherished, this realisation is empowering. Life is worth living.”
“Today I woke up brimming with happiness; I looked forward to attending the 2nd week of the Peace Education Programme. I shared my poem with the group and it was well received.”