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South and Central Asian Editorial Consultancy (SCAEC)

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education

The Business of Peace in Vadodara, India

 

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Young Indians (Yi) Vadodara, the youth wing of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), hosted The Business of Peace interactive session about the necessity of developing means of inter-cultural communication and education to bring about peace in the world on Saturday, October 22 at iPlex from 4 pm to 6 pm, which was changed on that day to 5 pm to 7 pm because of the Prime Minister’s visit to the city and restrictions on traffic movement. In spite of such setbacks, the event received a good attendance and enthusiastic participants engaged in discussions even after the session.

The speakers were Prof Robert McNulty who is member of the Steering Committee of the UN Global Compact Business For Peace initiative and founder of the people-to-people peacebuilding initiative called Pax Populi; Waleed Hussain, News Editor of MidDay newspaper in Mumbai and Sayed Khalid Sadaat, an Afghan student who is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication (FJC) of M S University, Vadodara. Before coming to India, Sadaat worked at one of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations in Afghanistan called the Jesuit Refugee Service where he supervised projects on women’s empowerment and girls’ education. Kirthi Jayakumar, the founder of the Chennai-based Red Elephant Foundation and winner of the US Presidential Services Medal in 2011, also participated through a virtual presentation.

Dr McNulty spoke about how Pax Populi has helped in peace education in war-torn Afghanistan and then focussed on how businesses could help improve the bilateral relations between India-Pakistan. Mr Hussain, whose story was a part of the Bollywood film, Airlift, talked about the difficulties he faced as a 12-year-old Kuwaiti refugee and how the media shapes perceptions and opinions. He insisted that we should be responsible when sharing or forwarding something on social media because the consequences of an irresponsible forward can be very harmful. Mr Sadaat spoke about the system of education in Afghanistan and how the international community can help rebuild a nation. Ms Jayakumar discussed the Gender Based Violence (GBV) world map she has made to ensure that women in 197 countries get access to help if they are in situations where they face violence.

Participating students in the audience engaged with the speakers before and after with the event. The Business of Peace session provided ideas about how technology, education and corporate partnerships across borders can actually help make the world a more peaceful place.

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Pax Populi: Travelling to Kandahar to Advance Peace Through Education

In November 2015, Dr. Robert McNulty, the founder and executive director of Applied Ethics and its people-to-people peacebuilding program, Pax Populi, traveled to Kandahar, Afghanistan, to visit the Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies (KIMS), which is a partner school of Pax Populi Academy. KIMS and its leader, staff, and students are a testimony to courage and dedication to education for peace. This talk describes the trip and comments on its significance.

Do check out the video here.

 

The Story of Watermelons: Manohar Parrikar

I am from the village of Parra in Goa, hence we are called Parrikars. My village is famous for its watermelons. When I was a child, the farmers would organise a watermelon-eating contest at the end of the harvest season in May. All the kids would be invited to eat as many watermelons as they wanted. Years later, I went to IIT Mumbai to study engineering. I went back to my village after 6.5 years. I went to the market looking for watermelons. They were all gone. The ones that were there were so small. I went to see the farmer who hosted the watermelon-eating contest. His son had taken over. He would host the contest but there was a difference. When the older farmer gave us watermelons to eat he would ask us to spit out the seeds into a bowl. We were told not to bite into the seeds. He was collecting the seeds for his next crop. We were unpaid child labourers, actually. He kept his best watermelons for the contest and he got the best seeds which would yield even bigger watermelons the next year. His son, when he took over, realised that the larger watermelons would fetch more money in the market so he sold the larger ones and kept the smaller ones for the contest. The next year, the watermelons were smaller, the year later even small. In watermelons the generation is one year. In seven years, Parra’s best watermelons were finished. In humans, generations change after 25 years. It will take us 200 years to figure what we were doing wrong while educating our children.

(Excerpt from a speech by India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at an event hosted by the Federation of Gujarat Industries in Vadodara, India on 11 September, 2016. Transcription by Eisha Sarkar)

The Song of the Dead

Eisha Sarkar

International Writing Program 2016, The University of Iowa, USA

The Song of the Dead

The faces, the places

The many races

Speeches, lectures

Many campuses

Across the oceans

I travelled so far

A student, a learner

Of customs, habits

My two degrees

An exemplary record

I could have landed

A job in a law firm

Then came a call

From my ‘home’

A tug at my heart

I returned to Kabul

A city in ruins

I gathered the pieces:

The detritus of war

I watched the young:

Eyes full of hope

Then came the desire

To rebuild a nation

My tool in hand:

A good education

And so I taught

Classes and classes

Building a nation

From its pieces

Then one day

I heard the ‘crackers

A celebration of sorts,

I smiled and thought

I walked to the window

And saw those men

“This ain’t the crackers,”

I told my students

They worried, they texted

The door pushed open

The students screamed

Entered a gunman

I tried to speak

He pulled the trigger

I fell down, ’twas all over

Twelve dead, they counted

An attack on education

In a disturbed nation

Don’t mourn our deaths

I tell you, students

Pick up your pens

Open your minds

Build a strong nation.

On August 24, 2016, terrorists attacked the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul. Desperate students used social media to ask for help. My friends lost a couple of very well-educated friends in those attacks. I created this piece based on the profiles of some of the people who were killed that night. The country needs to reconcile this tragedy and move ahead towards a stronger future.

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Connecting the Dots and Learning English in Kabul

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During my second session with Suraya, my ‪#‎PaxPopuli‬ student in‪#‎Kabul‬, I asked her to read an excerpt from Steve Jobs’s Stanford Commencement Address. It was the story about Connecting the Dots. I then asked her what success means to her. She said, “Success is not about getting a big house and big car. To me, I see my life as a circle of dots and by achieving each dot, I’ll make a success out of my life. The first dot is to become a good English speaker, because organizations here don’t employ me because I don’t know English.” I told her, “You know English, Suraya. What you lack is the confidence to speak the language, especially in front of strangers. Maybe you should try speaking only English at your workplace, the ‪#‎KabulEducationAdvisingCenter‬(‪#‎KEAC‬).” “Ok, I’ll try that, Inshallah!” I reckon, KEAC-Kabul will have an English Day soon.

 – From Eisha Sarkar’s Facebook page

Scholarship Consultancy Services

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Scholarship Consultancy Services provides students from South and Central Asia with Undergraduate, Graduate and Post Graduate (Bachelor, Masters and PhD) Scholarships and administers the entire process of application.

Follow Scholarship Consultancy Services on Facebook

 

Pax Populi Academy

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Pax Populi Academy is a peace-through-education initiative that focuses on English and math tutoring. Tutors from around the world engage with Afghan students via video conferencing and electronic communications. This educational initiative provides several benefits to both the Afghan learners and the English speaking tutors and they widen their perspectives and deepen their understanding of each others’ cultures. Pax Populi Academy helps to advance peace by supporting the development of civil society through education.

Want to know what the interaction between a tutor and a student is like? Check these out:

http://www.paxpopuli.org/kiss-keep-it-simple-stupid/

http://therisingnepal.org.np/news/8739

Follow Pax Populi on Facebook

 

 

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