IFI Forgiveness Education Around The World
Editor’s Note – As Dr. Enright winds down his world forgiveness travels this month, he provided this update from Galilee, Israel. Here is the encouraging news from each of the countries he is visiting.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
We had many meetings in Belfast including a two-day workshop on forgiveness education for teachers from 10 different integrated schools. The integrated schools have both Irish Catholic and British Protestant students going to the same schools. Up until about 10 years ago, this was very rare.
Last June, a 2-hour “Forgiveness Education Pilot Session” was held at Hazelwood Integrated Public School (see photo at right) by NICIE- the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education. Since then, one of the teachers there has been working to recruit other schools into the program (joining the half dozen already teaching forgiveness) and we’ve worked very closely with NICIE to expand the Forgiveness Program to other integrated schools.
Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece.
Peli Galiti, a native of Athens who now lives in Madison, is taking the lead in bringing forgiveness education to about 1,000 students in Greece this year.
She arranged for me to speak at two public meetings and two meetings with teachers. These were very productive, especially the public talk in Athens where 350 people showed up—a capacity crowd. In Thessaloniki, more than 150 people attended our presentation. The enthusiasm was evident among both crowds. It seems to me that Greece is fertile ground on which forgiveness education can grow.
Peli is arranging for our anti-bullying forgiveness guide to be translated and published in June by an Athenian publisher who will do the same with our Curriculum Guides.
Visit the IFI-Greece pages on Facebook.
Jerusalem and Galilee, Israel
Today we’re off to the Mar Elias Educational Institutions (MEEI-see picture at left) in Ibillin, Galilee, where we began a Forgiveness Program in their high school last year. This year, eight high school teachers at MEEI are teaching forgiveness, involving about 600 students.
For example, a school system that encompasses Jerusalem, Jericho, and the West Bank today committed to forgiveness education for all students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade – 20 schools and 10,000 students. I will try my best. They want me back in
mid-August to do teacher training. They could become a model for this area of the Middle East……..we shall see.
One peace leader in Galilee said to me yesterday, “There is no way out of the conflicts here unless forgiveness is in the center.” Ask me if I agree with this. Oh, and this same peace leader wants to start forgiveness education in the prisons of Israel, which he mentioned to me before I mentioned to him our latest initiatives at the Columbia, WI maximum security prison. He was surprised and happy to hear of our ideas.
Finally, I will head to the Philippines, a tropical Southeast Asian country composed of more than 7,100 islands that are home to more than 98 million people.
The acceptance of forgiveness education in Manila and neighboring Quezon City has been exceptional since last year when we started working with Metro Manila Christian Church and Hope Worldwide, an international organization that provides protection, education and health services to poor Filipino children.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines⇒