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People Making Peace Project in Brazil Receives Funding from UNESCO

By Andre Porto

Andre Porto, URI Regional Coordinator for South America, reports on a new partnership called “People Making Peace”, which has recently received a small development grant from United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

I am happy to share with you that UNESCO has approved a small grant for the project People Making Peace which is a result of partnerships between URI, Viva Rio, Palas Athena Association, UNIPAZ, Afroreggae, American University's Peace Institute and UNESCO (all took part during the Global Assembly 2002). A meaningful fact is that the approval from UNESCO took place at the same day the War on Iraq has atarted.

The project, PEOPLE MAKING PEACE was created in order to enable individuals to peacefully resolve conflicts and build peace in their communities. The project's partner institutions have put together a multimedia kit of methodologies, tools and projects developed to facilitate the practice of a culture of peace. Teachers, volunteers, religious and community leaders, young people, police officers and others will be trained using the various instruments offered in the Peace Kit and on the website. Everyone will be invited to participate in the Peacemakers Network which will promote the exchange of experiences through both gatherings and the Internet.

Unesco is supporting the project's initial phase. It is a seed money (R$ 50.000 = US$ 15.000) that will enable us to do the creation workshop, produce the prototype and train teachers of two UNESCO programs in Rio within public schools and youth prisons. In fact, this way we will have the opportunity to have a pilot stage and check out the impact of the project.

We are sure that with the prototype in hands it will be much easier to fundraise for accomplishing the rest of the project! It is also great that UNESCO itself is sponsoring the project. They really loved it and want to see it spreading worldwide. Two Brazilian minitries, Education and Justice, are also looking forward to send one represantative each to the workshop in order to follow up and get closer with our initiative.

Thanks for your attention,

Andre Porto - URI regional coordinator

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