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peace V conflict. education V ignorance.

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  • Pamela McLean
    I am not a peace worker. I don t see myself as having any input regarding issues of peace and/or conflict resolution. However I do believe
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2009
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      I am not a peace worker. I don't see myself as having any input regarding issues of peace and/or conflict resolution.

      However I do believe education/training/the sharing of knowledge has a role.

      I believe that when people are well educated it brings benefits. I mean people who are really educated in their minds - so they have useful knowledge and are able to think creatively and independently (Many people get this education better in "the university of life' rather than in some formal institutions where students are taught to collect lots of certificates but have not been taught to be confident independent learners). Minciu Sodas has many such people and they are working to help their communities.

      I believe that if our minds are trained then we are better able to analyse problems and address issues in ways that can bring solutions, rather than automatically responding to problems with anger and violence.

      I believe that poverty and hopelessness  feed anger and violence and that education, training, and the sharing of knowledge can help us to overcome poverty and hopelessness. I believe that even if we do not have many resources we can help each other by sharing knowledge.

      Dadamac is trying to become a focus for good ideas and useful knowledge that can be tried and tested at Attachab eco-village, If the ideas prove useful and affordable (with the people at Attachab) they will be shared with other people. Initially these will be people in other locations around Attachab, connected with John Dada, because it is easy to share information with them. However we will also try to find ways to share the good ideas and useful knowledge with other people and organsations that John and I know Face to Face and through the Internet. We will try to raise money to bring people to Attachb to see for themselves shat is beign tried. We will try to put information on the Internet (though Dadamac, adn Minciu Sodas etc) to share it with other people. All these things will taek time, so do not expect to see anything for some time yet, but know that we are hoping to have useful ideas and knowledge that will be useful to people who set up local ecucation/training initiatives - perhaps a Pyramid of Learning or something - growing out of the Pyramid fo Peace - or maybe it needs a name that is more organic.

      Ken has some good ideas on this - about change and organisc growth of organisations, like a tree grows. It is some time since we have had the opportunity to really share out plans. I hope to explore with him how much what I describe overlaps what he plans to do. Maybe his ideas of what he wants to put in place would provide an umbrella in Kenya for implementing what Dadamac is trying to do in Nigiera.

      But as I said before - Don't hold your breath - we have much more groundwork to do before we will have anything to show - but we are plodding on.


      2009/3/8 Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...>

      Thank you for intense and helpful discussion about what the Pyramid of
      Peace http://www.pyramidofpeace.net meant for us and what we might like
      to do in the future. Thank you especially to Peter Ongele and Samwel
      Kongere for your thoughtful letters.

      I appreciate that we're inclined towards different approaches, but we've
      all worked together most impressively. So I'm sharing my thoughts how I
      want to proceed and how we might make the most of different approaches.

      In Chicago, my grandmother and I lived in a neighborhood into which
      gangs were establishing themselves. I organized a block club. The
      neighbors were all afraid of one house that was a "crack house" with
      dozens of youths who allegedly sold and used crack cocaine. I said that
      we should have our next block club meeting there. I ended up going
      there with one of my neighbors, and the mother of the house,
      interestingly enough, agreed. On the day of the meeting, none of the
      neighbors came, except for me, and all of the youth were gone, too. It
      was just me, the mother, the grandmother and a few young girls and their
      babies. And I explained my "two handed" strategy. That on the one
      hand, our block club should do everything to reach out and help their
      family. And on the other hand, we should methodically, step by step,
      through the city's legal system work to shut them down so they would
      lose their house. They were amazed that we might do both at the same
      time. It's completely disarming. It also strengthens the hand of the
      people inside the house who might bring some order.

      In that spirit, I would like us to pursue our different approaches each
      in their best way.

      One approach is the "volunteer fire department" approach. I encouraged
      that last year and I would like to do more of that. The goal is to
      provide independent peacemakers with as much authority as they might
      possibly exercise.

      Another approach might be called a "talking circles" approach. The goal
      is to include everybody and hear every point of view until everyone is
      heard, and build a space for consensus, which might blossom into peace

      The two approaches can be very supportive of each other. I would like
      to see a system where "talking circles" foster friendships and
      solidarity, decide on long term priorities, work as the treasury and
      collect and dedicate funds, and foster what is orderly. The "voluntary
      fire departments" would work in the gaps, engage enemies, and address
      what is chaotic.

      Janet Feldman, Pamela McLean, Kennedy Owino and others have written
      about both approaches. I tried to support both approaches last year
      with my draft of a "Constitution for Humanity"
      where the Stewardship Councils were for a "talking circles" approach and
      the Command Structure was for a "volunteer fire department" approach and
      also there were Cultural Congresses for fostering cultures, tribe by
      tribe, ancient and modern.

      Dennis Kimambo is very supportive and comfortable with my approach and
      leadership. I propose that he and I work at Fighting Peacefully to
      develop further the "volunteer fire department" approach, but also that
      we support a team for a "talking circles" approach. For example, Janet
      and Kennedy and Pamela might work together on peace centers. Rachel
      Wambui Kungu, as a peacemaker, might help bridge both of our
      approaches. Rachel and I and Pamela and Samwel and others could hammer
      out the implications in London.

      I have already written a proposal to host a Grundtvig workshop in Lithuania
      that centers around the "volunteer fire department" that I'm familiar
      with. I plan to write a proposal to the leader of a Palestinian mobile
      phone company to fund work to organize and coach Palestinians, Israelis
      and others to practice working together online to support peace efforts
      around the world, such as in Zimbabwe. I would appreciate and support
      parallel efforts that foster "talking circles", such as "pads for peace".

      I also expect this week to write a letter to Kofi Annan, which will
      benefit greatly from our input so far and in coming days. I will write
      as my own person and not be shy to acknowledge my own work, which is
      also to cherish all of our work. I had the opportunity at the Open
      Davos Forum to ask of him one question for all to hear. He knows
      plenty about the world's problems, but I offered a new solution, which
      he agreed to support by forwarding my letter. My solution is that when
      people like us, who have such meek resources, apply our moral sense to
      respond to an emergency, and when "persons" like global corporations,
      who have such vast resources, neglect to act because they have no moral
      sense, then ultimately those corporations should be willing to pay what
      it would have cost them if they would have done what they should have.
      I find it is helpful to offer this solution because it appreciates the
      moral strength and material weakness of those who responded, and also
      offers to include those of material strength and moral weakness who
      might yet act and thereby grow. For this purpose, I will insist that we
      take a low-key approach, because we are public, but have no need for
      extra publicity, nor do we offer any. Indeed, as peacemakers we reached
      out to include violent people, and they and we are vulnerable because we
      embrace each other. Any corporate leaders that appreciate my logic, and
      contribute towards our replenishment, will not gain publicity, and will
      not simply do the right thing, but will also show by their contribution
      towards the past that they we might call on each other in the future.
      Kofi Annan worked closely with the Kenya business community, and I will
      ask their help to find global corporations that might appreciate my
      logic. We responded to a global problem, a potential genocide or civil
      war, that called for leadership from around the world, not just the
      region, and we should be replenished accordingly. I will ask for
      myself, but also express my hope that this just be a first step towards
      a general principle of replenishment for those who might accept that.
      My own estimates are that it would be fair if I receive $35,000 (of
      which $10,000 I gave away, $15,000 for my work at a corporate rate,
      $10,000 for the use of our online system), and just for the sake of
      scale, my opinion is that $100,000 for the Pyramid of Peace online team
      and $150,000 for the on-the-ground team would be fair replenishment, and
      I estimate $5,000,000 for all of Kenya, a very small amount of money.
      It would be quite surprising to get any contributions, but I think that
      these ideas might some day have great impact. They have enormous value
      in preparing and assuring in our world's uncertain future that
      individuals are ready and willing to respond to emergencies in every way
      they can. Just as soldiers receive land and pensions and health care,
      and armies are replenished with weapons, so might we be replenished. I
      am a rare individual who might apply my moral integrity and spend my
      moral capital towards such a profound solution.

      Thank you, Kennedy, Peter, Kenneth and all for reaching out to Kenya's
      Internally Displaced Persons. You are aware of the great need for
      help. I think it's fair to distinguish between global and regional
      challenges. Kenya's post-election turmoil was a challenge that clearly
      required global leadership wherever it may come. Kenya's IDP challenge
      I believe requires regional leadership. They are questions of a
      different nature. Last year the distinction was very clear, but time
      passes and so I remind us, and I also acknowledge the difference in our
      perspectives, yours in Kenya and mine from far away.

      I grew up comfortably, like most people in California, but I knew that
      my parents and grandparents didn't. My grandfather was executed during
      World War II and many of my grandparent's relatives were exiled to
      Siberia. My parents as children lived through five years of war and
      five years in refugee camps in Germany until finally they came to
      America in 1950.

      I share my imagination of such camps. If you put Dennis Kimambo,
      Kennedy Owino or Rachel Wambui Kungu in a camp for five years, then you
      will end up with hundreds of people active in community theatre,
      acrobatics, peacemaking and well prepared for life. Lithuanian refugee
      camps were crowded and poor but people had free time and they made good
      use of it, there was a flourishing of culture and learning because there
      was a national resolve to work towards independence which was, in fact,
      achieved 40 years later. Other people might turn to black marketeering,
      thievery, drugs and gangs.

      So the IDP camps may be an opportunity. I ask our Kenyans for
      leadership on a larger vision, but also, small projects. Yes, we can
      help a person. But it's a chance for a "talking circle" to bring
      together people of different tribes and circumstances to help that
      person or people. We might also help elders of various tribes foster
      their tribal cultures so that they are healthy and vibrant, so that
      people in the camps spend their time well and that tribes play a
      positive role.

      Replenishment for last year's emergency response and seeking funds for
      this year's priorities do not have to be linked. This money from
      different sources for different purposes. They work alongside each
      other like the two hands.

      Thank you for heartfelt letters and I look forward to more!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas

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