peace V conflict. education V ignorance.
- 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
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
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!