I was a participant in the annual peacebuilding training of MPI in 2018. Going through the list of courses offered, I had great difficulty in choosing just one course for each of the three weeks I was enrolled in. All of them were equally appealing! Finally, I settled for the following ones:
Week 1: Mainstreaming Peace Education in Communities and Schools
Week 2: Field-Based Course on Grassroots Peacebuilding in Mindanao
Week 3: Arts Approaches to Community-Based Peacebuilding
As I was participating in these courses, my imagination was on fire! I felt a lot of energy and wanted to do many things upon returning to Sri Lanka.
I would like to share about one idea that was conceived during the 2018 Annual Peacebuilding Training and implemented in 2019. I wanted to offer peacebuilders in Sri Lanka the same opportunity that I had, to learn about mainstreaming peace education in communities and schools with Orson Sargado and Kathy Matsui.
So, together with some partners working along the same line, I planned a week-long workshop. It was held in Mannar, Sri Lanka, in November of 2019. MPI was present in the person of Orson Sargado, a member of MPI's board of trustees and a facilitator for the Annual Peacebuilding Training.
Orson was one of the lead facilitators. The program had 35 participants who have been involved in peacebuilding in various parts of Sri Lanka. Overall, it was a very successful workshop. My thanks to MPI for providing me the background to conceive this idea and for the presence of Orson from MPI as a facilitator.
J.M. Joseph Jeyaseelan, CMF is a Catholic priest and a member of the Congregation of Claretian Missionaries and author of the book Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Post-war Sri Lanka: through the Healing of Memories and the Role of the Catholic Church.