Learning about Peacemaking from films about outstanding peacemakers
Qualities & Strategies of Peacemakers (QSP-online) is a course of 5 modules, each based on a documentary film, followed by interactive analysis.
- 7-11 September, 18.45 for 19.00 BST application form
- 5-9 October, 18.45 for 19.00 BST application form
- 2-6 November, 18.45 for 19.00 GMT application form
- 7-11 December, 18.45 for 19.00 GMT application form
The course is free of charge, but a voluntary contribution to Initiatives of Change UK would be greatly appreciated
Why is peacemaking important?
We can all think of examples of relationships that are not in a healthy state, between humans, or between humans and our natural habitat. It goes without saying that everyone wants to live in a peaceful environment. But how to bring peace? Perhaps examples of outstanding peacemakers can stimulate fresh ideas of steps that we can take…
The course consists of five short modules based on documentary films of peacemakers in very different contexts. In each module, a viewing of the film will be followed by facilitated interactive analysis, when participants will together reflect on:
- What the peacemakers said and/or did
- What their strategies were
- What qualities they displayed.
- What lessons do we draw for our own life and work?
Questionnaires will be sent to participants before each module to note their observations while they watch the film, and there will be time to reflect further after the film.
What does the course consist of?
The course is an introduction to an approach to peacemaking that was developed by Frank Buchman, the founder of what is today known as Initiatives of Change.
So it is natural to start with a recent film about him, 'The Man Who Built Peace', as it sets the context for all the other modules. The facilitated analysis focuses on the evolution of his strategy in different situations, from founding a hostel for street kids in the early 1900s, to ‘turning round’ a failing college, to creating an international network for moral and spiritual renewal, to being decorated by the governments of France and Germany, as well as of Japan and the Philippines, for his contribution to reconciliation between them after the Second World War.
The second film, ‘For the Love of Tomorrow’, takes a particular example of Buchman’s approach, which took place in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. The discussion after the film focuses on the roles of a team of people, trained by Buchman, who worked together to enable an embittered French politician become a significant agent for post-war reconciliation with the Germans.
The third film, ‘The Imam and the Pastor’, also shows how a change of heart in individuals can lead to initiatives which have a far wider impact. In this case, the context is religious conflict in northern Nigeria in the early 1990s, where two rival militia leaders came together to train a task force of imams and pastors to travel to mediate in flashpoints.
The fourth film ‘An African Answer’ is a sequel to the previous film and focuses on healing ethnic conflict. Here we see the imam and the pastor in Kenya applying the mediation approach that they developed in Nigeria, after serious post-election violence in 2007-8. In the discussion, participants will analyse the mediation process step by step.
The final film, ‘Beyond Forgiving’ is a story of post-colonial reconciliation from South Africa. Shortly after the end of Apartheid, a black guerrilla commander ordered a revenge shooting in which a white girl died. Some years later, the girl’s mother finds an opportunity to confront the guerrilla commander, and they speak of the painful realisations for both of them as they begin to journey together.
The main aim of the course is to absorb as much wisdom as possible about the healing of broken relationships from these stories of remarkable people.
Peter Riddell has worked with Initiatives of Change (IofC UK) organising trust-building programmes between people of different faiths based on shared ethical values, in particular with people who have suffered due to Britain’s colonial legacy.
He is currently Convenor of IofC UK’s Agenda for Reconciliation programme for refugees who wish to contribute to rebuilding their country of origin, from which has grown the Refugees as Re-Builders training course.
He was coordinator of conferences on the theme of reconciliation at the IofC international conference centre in Caux, Switzerland between 1994 and 2003.
He is also Coordinator of Learning to be a Peacemaker, a course designed by Imam Ajmal Masroor, on Islamic approaches to peacemaking for young European Muslims and their non-Muslim peers, which has been delivered six times during the Caux summer conferences and is now online.
Dr Omnia Marzouk is originally from Egypt, was born in Spain, and has lived most of her life in Australia and Britain.
She attended Sydney University Medical School and was the first woman recipient of the Hamilton Mott Scholarship at Wesley College. She completed her specialist medical training Liverpool University in the United Kingdom, obtaining her MD with distinction.
Omnia was Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine for 22 years at the UK’s busiest Children’s Emergency Department – Alder Hey Children’s NHS Trust in Liverpool. She served as Clinical Director of the Emergency Department for 7 years and as Associate Medical Director of the children’s hospital for 5 years.
She held Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health national advisory training posts in Paediatrics and Paediatric Emergency Medicine. She has recently retired from clinical work but continues to mentor doctors in Emergency Paediatrics.
Omnia was the first woman President of Initiatives of Change International from 2011-2016. She was introduced to Initiatives of Change (IofC) while at school in Australia and has been actively involved since. For many years, she has been particularly engaged in trust-building initiatives and intercultural and interfaith dialogue within the UK, as well as taking part in similar initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
UN Sustainable Development Goal
The course relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.