This article is also available in: Spanish
This new video introduces the Peace Education Program (PEP) and features a variety of perspectives about how the innovative workshop series empowers diverse participants to make positive changes in their lives.
The Peace Education Program (PEP) is a series of multimedia workshops that explore the meaning of personal peace, each helping participants discover their own inner resources to live more fulfilling lives.
The core material for each workshop is a selection of video excerpts from Prem Rawat’s talks. “Do you have a thirst in your life to be happy? Do you have a thirst in your life to experience peace every single day? You can do something about that,” says Rawat, a renowned speaker, author and founder of The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF). “The Peace Education Program tries to achieve one simple thing: it’s to put you in touch with yourself.”
The sessions also include facilitated reflection time, participant discussion, and workbook learning, all focusing on 10 thought-provoking themes: Peace, Appreciation, Inner Strength, Self-Awareness, Clarity, Understanding, Dignity, Choice, Hope and Contentment. PEP has benefited people in more than 80 countries in a wide variety of settings, from universities and corporate offices to correctional facilities and drug treatment centers.
While the goal of the program is simple, it is having a profound impact on people who have been marginalized by intense challenges, inspiring them to improve their behavior and feel a renewed sense that peace is possible.
“The participants all leave better than before. Some who were known to have coping and behavioral challenges have made 180-degree turnarounds,” says Terrence Mathews, a counselor who works with inmates participating in PEP at the Metro West Detention Center in Miami, Fla.
In Colombia, PEP has been incorporated into the government’s reconciliation efforts to build a lasting culture of peace after decades of civil war. “Bringing the Peace Education Program to five hundred schools in Antioquia is sending a message: there is a new possibility. Those children that stopped dreaming about the future are now building the future,” says Dr. Néstor David Restrepo Bonnett, Secretary of Education for the Department of Antioquia in Colombia.
In the UK and a growing list of other areas, veterans report that PEP is giving them the tools they need to harness their inner-strength and successfully return to civilian life.
“I was an angry, hating man when I first started it,” says Blair Murray, a client at The Beacon, a recovery center for homeless veterans in North Yorkshire, England. “A big conflict I had was trying to understand myself. I didn’t have the tools, and now I’ve got the tools from the PEP.”
In Ecuador, the peace education workshops inspired the formerly violent Bloods group to relinquish their weapons in favor of community improvement projects, gaining the support of local government authorities. “I think that if we hadn’t heard Prem Rawat’s message, the worst would’ve happened. We would’ve continued killing each other, stealing,” says Jefferson, one of the group’s leaders.
Youth violence and other crime is often rooted in drug abuse, with opioids emerging as the biggest threat. PEP is becoming part of the solution, as rehabilitation providers discover that it helps addicts develop the inner strength they need to stay sober.
“Prem’s message is real and it’s genuine, even for guys like me, who came from a broken home, and have been in and out of jail. I’m getting back to being alive again without having to look for peace from substances or alcoholism,” says Mark West, a client at the James Casey House, a treatment facility in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
The Prem Rawat Foundation makes the Peace Education Program, which is non-religious and non-sectarian, available for individuals and organizations at no charge.
Learn how you or your organization can start offering PEP here.