Local capacity-building programs offer educators training that enables them to better promote cross-cultural understanding, civic engagement, critical thinking, and the peaceful transformation of conflict through classrooms, schools, and youth organizations.
Model Schools Initiative
The Model Schools Initiative was designed as a three-year program to introduce five key components of a peaceful learning environment—multiple perspectives, effective communication, decision-making and problem-solving, peaceful resolution of conflict, and civic engagement—into both Israeli and Palestinian schools.
“My team and I faced many obstacles, but the workshops gave us ideas to build on our plans …We were successful. The Prime Minister honored our project, and it is in a book of examples for other schools.”
—Palestinian school principal, participant in the Model Schools Initiative
Peaceful Learning Environments
Seeds of Peace conducts workshops focused on creating peaceful learning environments for Palestinian students in schools throughout Gaza and the West Bank, including Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem, Bethlehem and Ramallah.
Topics have included: communication skills; active learning; mechanisms for coping with and mitigating violence in schools; drama as a tool for self-expression; cross-cultural understanding, leadership and civic engagement; and peer mediation and community service. Along the way, educators gain practical skills for transforming the culture of their schools into more positive, peaceful places for their students.
“Before this program I was just going along living my life and teaching, I really knew nothing about this type of thing. I promised myself after the program that I would change my school.
“I started with my students right away. In the beginning it was very hard for them and me—there were times I wanted to stop, but didn’t. Some of the teachers also put up barriers, but after the first semester they could tell that my students were totally different.
“On the last day of school, one of my students gave me a letter of thanks that I will never forget. It made me cry. Now, three years later, I am principal of my school so it is easier to implement all of this. I want this country to live in peace—I want to stop the conflict through the schools.” —Jihad (Palestinian Educator)