Peace Revolution Europe 2013 - Looking Back, Forward And Within -
The early part of 2014 is a good moment to look back at and reflect on the achievements and exciting projects which took place with Peace Revolution Europe over the previous year. The European office has been launched in April 2013. Since then, for the past nine months, the team of Peace Architects Tish Parmar from the UK and Anca Gliga from Romania have worked hard on their path of peace activism and peace building to promote inner peace in a variety of exciting projects around Europe. We are happy to share with you an overview of the European work, which ranged from three PIPOs-on-demand, in Poland, Ukraine and Romania, to one European Fellowship in Belgium, to trainings, conferences in a multitude of countries such as Spain, Italy, Poland, Canada, Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany, Croatia, Belgium, France, Switzerland and others.
Youth In Action Trainings
Thanks to the Youth in Action programme, funded by the European Union, Peace Revolution representatives were present in training courses in a variety of countries across Europe such as Italy, Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom. Themes included peace-building, peace education, gender discrimination, conflict resolution, youth work. More and the Peace Revolution representatives were able to link the importance of inner peace, meditation and self-development to these topics. They were also able to present the project and lead meditation workshops as well as networking with partners and organisations across Europe for future collaborations.
In one training in the UK, participants went into the centre of London to perform a meditation flash mob. http://www.peacerevolution.net/chill-news/topic-99968279/meditation-flash-mob-in-central-london-april-2013
Peace Revolution were able to apply and win scholarships to many high quality conferences to do with peace including the 6th GAMIP Nesting Peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the prestigious UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris, the 10th Human Rights Summit in Brussels, Tomorrow’s Europe conference on youth work and policy in Bonn, Germany and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s conference in Warsaw, Poland, and we were also present at the youth conference in Zagreb that marked Croatia’s adherence to the European Union.
The Peace Revolution representatives were also accepted on other events including Leadership Summer School in Sofia, Bulgaria with over 80 promising youth leaders and Tamera Summer University in Portugal with over 500 peace activists from around the world exploring sustainable peace models.http://www.peacerevolution.net/chill-news/topic-99978120/introducing-meditation-at-leadership-summer-school-2013
Furthermore, a Peace Revolution team was part of the Global Development Village at the 14th World Scout MOOT in Montreal, Canada. The MOOT takes place every four years and brings together around 3000 young international Scouts. Our team held 10 workshops on peace education, with a focus on inner peace.
In October 2013, 11 Peace Agents came together in Belgium to host the 4th European Fellowship. The previous three European Fellowships have been with smaller groups for only three days, yet this time, with 20 participants from around Europe, lasting 6 days, the European Fellowship set the new standard and planted many more seeds for future work within Europe.
“The meditation surpassed my expectations. It was very well organized and the monk and volunteers were a great help and motivation. I was a little concerned that I would be the "freak" in the group for not being a wild hippy but I found out that I couldn´t be further from the truth. The group was a great mix of intelligent and helpful people. I only feel that I would have liked a longer retreat!”
Rafael van Oppen Ardanaz- the Netherlands/Spain
“It went beyond my expectations, like a whole new reality. Many ideas and opportunities opened to me, I felt inspiration and motivation for living, and met beautiful people which I will be happy to see again.”
Mirjam Tkalčić Croatia
“I have never imagined that the retreat would be so powerful and interesting and nice and that it would change me so much. I became a better person and I think that it was lying somewhere inside me but now it finally appeared. Before the retreat I would never show my emotions and tell the people I love that I love them, and when I came back home I have told my mom that I love her, and she cried”
Vlatka Makovec, Croatia
PIPO on Demand2013 was also a year when Peace Agents who have attended the fellowships in Thailand were able to create PIPO-on-demand events in their own countries such as Ukraine, Romania and Poland.
These were the first European PIPOs!
After such a full and beautiful year, Anca and Tish look forward to what 2014 will bring. New PIPOs-on-demand are being prepared, as well as exciting new events and conferences. Probably one of the highlights of the year will be the return to Thailand as mentors for the next group of Peace Architects, as well as their own retraining which will help them continue their peace work in Europe.