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“Peace is an action concept, involving a constant shaping and reshaping of understandings, situations and behaviours in a constantly changing lifeworld, to sustain wellbeing for all.”
– Elise Boulding
What is the Aim of The Peaceful Village Program?
The Peaceful Village is a program facilitated by the Manitoba School Improvement Program (MSIP). The Peaceful Village is an ideal, a location, and an educational process where school and community members work in solidarity to enrich the lives of all members of the 'village'. The creation of the program comes from our belief that the school shares much of the responsibility for the continuous renewal of the community in which it is situated. The villagers invest their hopes for a better world in the school because the primary aim of public education is to help young people to actualize the villagers' collective understanding of what it means to live together peacefully in a democratic society.
The Peaceful Village honours the unique characteristics of each community. Program facilitators strive to include as many voices as possible throughout the implementation process. The collaboration begins with an intense participatory action research project to identify a community’s greatest strengths and needs. Program facilitators work with educators and partner with community members to discuss and then act on the most important issues facing young people and their families.
What Does The Peaceful Village Look Like?
See Consultation Diagrams
The Peaceful Village will look different in each school community but the heart of the program will remain the same. We will start with the question, “Do all members of our community have the enjoyment of economic and social justice, equality and the entire range of human rights and fundamental freedoms within society?” (United Nations, 1996). The initial answers to this question would begin to situate the action research and inform the ways in which the school could better help the community address important issues related to equity and justice.
Describe the Spirit of the Work
“If you are here to help me then you are wasting your time, but if you are here because your liberation is bound up in mine then let us begin.”
– Lily Walker
Where are the Inaugural Peaceful Villages Located?
The inaugural Peaceful Villages are located in the Gordon Bell and the Hugh John Macdonald school communities which are located in the inner city of Winnipeg.
What is the Focus of The Peaceful Village Program for the Hugh John Macdonald and Gordon Bell High School Communities?
The focus of The Peaceful Village program at Hugh John Macdonald School and its partner school Gordon Bell is the reduction of the constraints that confront newcomer families living in Winnipeg’s inner city. The ‘drop out’ or ‘fall out’ rates of beginner EAL students are high. Many newcomers who come to Winnipeg from war torn countries have very gruelling transmigration experiences and arrive in their new homes facing numerous settlement challenges. Newcomer families are often unfamiliar with the Canadian schooling system and they face many difficulties when trying to advocate for their sons and daughters in the school system.
The Peaceful Village at Hugh John Macdonald
At Hugh John Macdonald School The Peaceful Village centers around 3 major initiatives.
1. The Enrichment Learning Center (ELC) – The Educated Village
- The ELC will be open to students from 3:30 to 6:30, Monday to Thursday.
- Teachers and community volunteers will prepare exciting learning activities to help students build their conversational and academic English vocabularies.
- Learning activities will also focus on using the arts to deal with issues related to trauma and loss.
- Students will receive help with their homework.
- Caring adult mentors will provide social and emotional support as students adjust to their new lives in Canada.
- Grade nine students who successfully complete the program will earn $1000.00 towards a post secondary education program of their choice.
2. Passion Projects - The Village Artists
- Students will identify a community issue that is important to them.
- Each student will receive funding to explore an artistic passion that will also help them to better understand the community issue they identified.
- At the end of the school year, the school community will gather to celebrate the completion of the Passion Projects and to better understand the issues facing young people in their community.
3. The Village Kitchen
- The Village Kitchen project is designed to foster relationships between newcomer families, other community members, and school staff.
- Once every 3 weeks, students alongside their family members and other community members will come together to learn about each other as they prepare a meal together.
- The program will utilize cultural culinary arts and principles of healthy eating and living to enrich relationships across generations and between different cultural groups.
- Meals and recipes will originate from many different cultures.
- During and after meal preparation, participants will be invited to discuss important school and community issues that impact students, caregivers, and families.
- Each Village Kitchen will culminate with a storytelling activity.
- The Village Kitchen endeavours to renew the existing Parent Council.