The expansion worldwide of the Peace Education Program (PEP) has been “off the scale in 2013 and the start of 2014,” says PEP manager, Sherry Weinstein.
PEP informally started at the grassroots level several years ago when volunteers took video excerpts of Prem Rawat’s message of peace to inmates. The response from the inmates and prison officials alike was profound.
Many expressed that they had found hope and personal dignity within the four walls that held them captive. Prison officials noted a significant change in attitude and behavior in the PEP participants.
Responding to increased demand, TPRF developed a 10-week PEP curriculum that could be used in any setting from community groups to colleges and universities, veterans groups and senior centers, hospitals and rehabilitation centers, to name a few. Since the inception, PEP has been offered by volunteers and now by many participants who want to take it to groups of their own.
Sherry listed several highlights of the activities of PEP in 2013:
• 272 workshops were offered with over 121,000 participants, doubling 2012 numbers. • PEP is now being used on 7 continents including Africa and the Antarctic. • PEP materials have been translated into 10 languages with 10 more in process.
A partial listing of new PEP activities starting up 2014:
Europe: • There are 7 PEPs in Ireland: in prisons, adult education, and community centers • In Denmark PEP is being offered at AOF facilities (the country’s largest adult education center) in Faaborg and Svendborg
Latin America: • In Bolivia PEP programs are being provided for 1,800 inmates. • Ten PEPs in Brazil include a government PEP with the participation of the mayor of São Paulo and several at civic centers through the state secretary of justice. • In Colombia there is a PEP for 300 inmates in Bogota and one for city officials in Medellin. • In Peru 8 PEPs are in session—4 in prisons, 3 in universities, and 1 in a senior center.
India: • A PEP class has begun for over 30 managers at JCB Ltd., a major manufacturer of large agricultural equipment.
“Getting back to basics, it is easy to start a PEP in your area,” Sherry says. “There are 7 steps to follow and a wonderful team of volunteers to help you get started. We invite anyone who wishes to start a PEP program in your area to contact us at:pep@TPRF.org
“Day by day, I hear how people are enjoying this message of peace and how their lives are changing as a result,” Sherry continued. “I feel very fortunate to be part of this wonderful program.”