Academy for Peace
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For more information about the
Academy for Peace Costa Rica
or the practice of BePeace please
feel free to email us.


Academy for Peace Training - Background
The Academy for Peace was first known as the “Peace Army.” In 2007, it changed to its current name and also renamed its methodology from the Peace Army Way to the practice of BePeace

BePeace was taught in public school pilot projects for four years. From 2004 through 2007, 304 teachers were trained in BePeace, which impacted approximately 9,170 students. In addition, from 2006 through 2007, 259 students were trained in BePeace mediation practices and 50 parents received BePeace classes. Annual evaluations indicated a reduction of violence in the classrooms. 

Click here for Academy for Peace Evaluation 2004-2007

Students

Teachers

Parents

County level
Currently the Academy for Peace is focused on creating Santa Ana County as a model for BePeace in Costa Rica. To this end, it has already provided a 40-hour course in BePeace to all elementary school teachers in that county. Teachers who want to become BePeace facilitators will receive further training for promoting and sustaining this practice in the schools.

The Academy for Peace offers:

  • Mediation training to the fifth and sixth graders in those schools
  • A peace corner (Rincón de Paz) in each classroom as the site for mediations 
  • A 9-hour BePeace course followed by a BePeace empowerment group for all interested parents.
  • A 40-hour BePeace course for  all high school teachers

In addition, the Academy for Peace will engage the greater community of Santa Ana in becoming a model of BePeace.  All of these activities are being provided free of charge.

National level
The Academy for Peace is currently transitioning into a “train-the-facilitator” program and we hope that soon the Santa Ana model will be ready to replicate nationwide.  Implementation of this program will ultimately result in a citizenry that is skillful at preventing and resolving conflicts. In this way, violence will be reduced and Costa Rica’s identity as a nation of peace will be strengthened.  

In 2006, the Rasur Foundation, sponsor of the Academy for Peace, presented an initiative for a Ministry of Peace to be integrated into the country’s Ministry of Justice. We are proud to announce that in 2009 the bill passed with no opposition, making Costa Rica the 3rd country in the world to have such a ministry. Now that it has passed, the Academy for Peace has a strong ally supporting their work to train emerging leaders in the peace skills that are necessary for an authentic culture of peace. 


Teaching Using Puppets.

International level
The Academy for Peace is already responding to other countries’ requests for help in starting an academy for peace. By hosting the 2009 Summit of the Global Alliance of Ministries and Departments for Peace the Academy for Peace was able to position itself as an important member of this growing movement. A week prior to the summit, the Academy for Peace offered a 40-hour BePeace course to representatives from 15 countries that expressed interest in starting their own national academies for peace. After attending the course many stayed and attended the summit, expanding their awareness of the link between these two essential aspects of peace infrastructure.

Global Alliance of Ministries and Departments for Peace in Japan, September 2007.

Summary
As the Academy for Peace expands, it will impact all levels of society in Costa Rica and will inspire other countries to create similar models.  Once countries begin to set up ministries for peace with academies for teaching peace skills, the worldwide institutionalization of peace will be well on its way. 

Passing the skills of “feeling peace” and “speaking peace”
from generation to generation.
 

US teacher, Linda Hamilton, January 2008, after 40-hour BePeace course:  I’ve been offering empathy in my classroom and I am astounded at the results.  I even used it to step right into the middle of an about-to-break-into-a-fistfight scenario with two 8th graders this morning.  I’m still smiling at the peaceful way it was resolved.  It works!!!! read more