The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) has a long-standing history of cultivating peace in the farthest corners of the globe. The Foundation and its volunteers, lead by Rachidi Adam, have been working in northern Benin to establish a partner nonprofit organization there named Paix et Education. With his experience in facilitating the TPRF Peace Education Program workshops in the south of France, Gerard Bourgue has been supporting this project.
The grassroots organization focuses on using the Peace Education Program to teach youth, women, ethnic groups, high school students, and inmates that inner peace is possible in any circumstance. Thus far, more than 500 inmates and 200 students have participated in the peace education workshops in the town of Natitingou. New projects promise to offer the Peace Education Program sessions to another 450 students, 950 inmates, and residents of a disabled center about 4 hours away in the town of Parakou.
With the strong support of the local community, Paix et Education convened a meeting with more than 60 participants. The one-day event called together local authorities from the Mayor’s office and representatives from both Muslim and Christian religious communities. The need for the promotion of peace was clearly illustrated as conflicts between the sedentary farmers and the nomadic herders often cause tension. Leaders expressed a need for the Peace Education Program to move beyond the high schools and prisons and into more villages.
In order to expand the reach of the program into more villages in Benin, approval from the region’s traditional king is often required. Rachidi and other representatives of the Peace Education Program were recently able to meet with the King of Nattitingou, His Majesty Dassagaté. The King warmly welcomed the delegation and enthusiastically added his support to help peace education be facilitated in the remote villages, and he will stand beside the organization in its mission of peace. “This is our next step and we are proud to help in such a way,” he said.
He is currently in the process of bringing village dignitaries together to support the Peace Education Program, in the hopes that it will help calm the tensions between herders and farmers.
Peace is a prerequisite to sustainable development, and the efforts of Rachidi, Gerard, King Dassagaté, TPRF, and Paix et Education are being appreciated in Benin.
If you would like to help support this transition to peace, please consider a donation to The Prem Rawat Foundation during this month’s Choosing Peace Appeal while your contributions will be doubled by matching donations.