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Organization: International Buddhist Society
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: April 29 2005,03:10 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

Our organization has seen a dramatic progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade. For our inner peace education program called "the Path of Progress Ethics Quiz Contest", one of the key indicator of the progress is the number of participants that have arisen from 3 millions in 2001 to over 4 millions in 2005. Also, the number of schools participated have increased from over 9,000 schools to about 13,000 schools in 2005 from every part of the country. Many schools have reported higher percentage of positive behavioral changes in participants than non-participants by surveys, in-depth interviews and workshops. In addition, our instructor/ educator participation in the inner peace education program have jumped from only 2,000 persons in 2001 to over 50,000 persons in 2005 which results in the substantial demand for intensive inner peace studies during summer vacation. †
Besides, another progress is that we have received more recognition and cooperation from government sector and public at large. For instance, since 2003, our Prime Minister has awarded the plaque of distinction to the winner and the Minister of Education has been the special advisor of the program and also has awarded certificates.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

The first obstacle is the limited budget compared to the large scope of operation we have done. We canít collect any fees from participants in our program because schools donít have much money to pay us. Therefore we have been seeking for donation since the beginning of the project but hardly find from private sector.
Secondly, the lack of instructors/ educators who understand and have experiences in the peace building methodologies due to the lack of government support in this field. For an inner peace education to succeed in a long run, teachers play an important role. However, most of them are lack of knowledge and experiences in the process of peace building. They donít know how to develop their own methodologies for peace studies for their students.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

We started the year 2001 with the "Annual Award Presentation Ceremony for Peace Winners" from the Path of Progress Ethics Quiz Contest Peace Education Program. Itís a good opportunity to promote a culture of peace in front of almost 100,000 attendants. After that, during summer vacation, we have had the "Inner Peace Camp" for university students which provides meditation sessions, peace talks, workshops and games. This sort of camp is one of the most successful ways in the sustainable peace building methodologies because itís all about personal experience. Each year, we have at least 1,000 young people passing in the process and become our network of peace volunteers. Then the printing of the peace books called "the 38 Blessings of Life" of about 300,000 free copies and other educational tools in the learning process of inner peace was distributed before the opening of school semester in May. As we know that family is the smallest unit in society but the most critical unit being ignored in the development of peace and nonviolence. Therefore, the "Filial Piety Camp" has been designated for university students to show the significance of understanding, love and gratitude to their parents. Followed by the "Leadership Training Program" for young peace volunteers which includes workshops and discussions to help them learn their own peace methodologies in different circumstances. Later, some of them form and lead in the peace clubs in their institutes to do many peace activities. Before the "Annual Ethics Quiz Contest" begins, the "Peace Seminar" must occur. This is the big gathering of young peace lovers around the country who dedicate to work for our peace education program. They will be assigned to held peace examination in local communities where as they needed to be tested before. The tests are in forms of paper examination and workshop. Besides, they learn from one another of how peace can be achieved in peace and non-peace environment.
In 2002, we launched "IBS magazine" as a peace media targeted at instructors participated in our program. However, we closed it later due to high cost of production and delivery and put more emphasis on developing our web site, www.ibscenter.net.
In 2003, we held the meeting of the Education for Peace Globalnet; Building a Culture of Peace, during 14-15 February with Globalnet and Dhammakaya Foundation. In this meeting, we invited one participant of our peace program to talk about his life. He was only 15 when he was addicted to drug and became the drug seller. He later turned himself toward peace education by his instructorís advice. Before finishing his high school, he was elected the President. Whatís his turning point? (see more details in www.ibscenter.net) Before the end of 2003, we initiated the party without alcohol called the "Alternative Drinks Party". We tried to convene the message to young people that we can still have lots of fun without alcohol. Because we strongly believe that alcohol is the cause of violence and prevents the progress of peace in every society. Unexpectedly, the event attracted hundreds of young people from 30 organizations and also the Minister of Public Health. Finally, we were invited to introduce our own recipe of non-alcoholic and herbal drinks at the government house. Also, we were interviewed in many TV shows, radios, newspapers and magazines. Six months after that success, we formed the No NA club which stands for "No Nicotine & Alcohol for a Better Life" and received donation from government agencies. †
At the beginning of 2004, we held the meeting called "Universal Values in Peace Education" with Dhammakaya Foundation. Under our philosophy, people share same values of peace especially inner peace no matter what they are, Buddhist, Christian or Muslim. By that, we invited many educators and peace activists from UN Agency, United States, Germany and India to discuss and exchange the ideas of peace education through plenary sessions and workshops in order to develop the universal book of peace that are applicable and acceptable for every country. Six months later, we decided to cooperate with DMC channel to produce many peace programs via satellite technology such as †peace drama, peace newstalk and peace variety talk show. Until now, we have expanded audiences to about 10,000 schools nationwide. Feedback was quite desirable but still needed an improvement. Before greeting for a new year, Thailand was hit by Tsunami disaster. Our organization sent out staffs to help managing the lighting ceremony held to commemorate for victims.
This year, 2005, we held another international meeting with Dhammakaya Foundation which was a progress from last yearís meeting under the theme "Saving Humanity". Saving Humanity, in our sense, means Saving humanís mind from violence, selfish, hatred and so on. In order to save oneís mind, one needed to go through the process of personal transformation. From the excerpt of the universal book of peace "The transformation in this context is a process of converting something that is bad into something that is good. †It is the conversion of harm into benefit. †It is the conversion of something archaic into something modern. †What is important is the conversion of something wrong into something right, proper, and decent. †Therefore, the crux of ĎManís Personal Transformationí is the conversion of human frailty into human decency". Last but not least, in March, we joined the peaceful protest with 128 organizations to prevent the biggest alcoholic company in Thailand to register in the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The outcome was quite admirable that the SET declared to postpone the registration. †Most significantly, we educated people to be aware of the negative effects of alcohol itself to oneís health and alcohol-related accidents to societyís health. As long as we donít realize that alcohol is legally conscious destructive substances, we canít stop violence and crimes from our family and society.



ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

We would like to advice that the most significant factor toward world peace starts with the action of each and every individual. World peace can be achieved only when the mind of each individual is filled up with peace. However, the question lies on how to reach that state of mind, a mind at peace. Meditation is the answer. It is about the process of purifying the mind, regardless of races, religions or nationalities, which is required for each and every human being in order to talk the same language, language of peace. Therefore, before any peace meetings begin, we think meditation has to play a role in order to guarantee the desirable results for every party. Why do we say that? Because peace can not occur by Talking rather by Doing. Just spare minutes to close your eyes and imagine a light of peace within yourself. Thatís it! At least during those minutes, peace in that room is achieved unnoticeably. By that, people will gradually learn and understand by themselves a true meaning of peace. Peace starts when you stop for a while. Stop in this term is not negative. Instead itís the process of recharging peace to the mind. And, if possible, everyone involved in the process of peace building must practice peace in their daily lives. If so, peace is not too difficult to reach during a decade of peace and nonviolence. Please encourage yourself and others around you to know the word ďINNER PEACEĒ. Peace starts from within.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

Committee on Education, Religion, Arts and Culture of the Senate, Thailand
Dhammakaya Foundation
Thai Health Promotion Foundation
Globalnet
Children of the Earth

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

We plan to put more emphasis on intensive inner peace programs for students, university students, instructors and educators as it is the sustainable peace building process, a lifelong one. Also, we will improve our present production of TV shows and try to produce more diversified programs in a DMC Peace Satellite Channel to attract more viewers.

Postal address of organization

23/2 Moo 7 Klong Sam, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 Thailand

E-mail address of organization

worakate@hotmail.com, fa@innerpeace-edu.net

Website address of organization

www.innerpeace-edu.net, www.ibscenter.net

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a culture of peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Sustainable development

Highest priority country of action (or international)

Thailand

Second priority country of action (or international)

International
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Organization: International Buddhist Society

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