Global Peace Foundation, India
Shreya Mehta on August 9, 2018 in Environment
To promote a novel values-based approach to build harmony and peace among all citizens of the world, the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) was established. It is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-profit international organization that is operational in 18 countries of the world namely Brazil, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, United States of America and Uruguay.
The organisation was founded in 2009, guided by the motto, One Family Under God. It works to organise a global network of public and private partner organisations who develop regional, national and international peace building models as the foundation for an ethical grounded civilization.
The organisation works to improve and accelerate youth productivity, economic development, women empowerment and the quality of education across the 18 countries it works in. This is achieved by focusing on three aspects namely, empowering families and youth, interfaith leadership and building a culture of service.
Since family is the most basic unit of any culture or community that is an important factor in shaping one’s character and personality, GPF encourages programs focused at the very same level. By empowering families, the organisation aims to do a greater good to the large ‘human family’ that we all are part of. The goal is to cultivate good natured citizens with an active sense of social and ethical responsibility.
The organisation believes that it is important to address all the problems facing humanity (like extreme poverty and hunger) by bringing about a fundamental change in one’s heart and spirit. Various programs in the organisation are thus held at regular intervals to honour the basic human values like respect, compassion, empathy and love. They believe that since all religions strive to answer the same questions and lead us to the same goal in life, an interfaith leadership could perhaps help achieve the desired results.
The organisation believes that the values that one attains from one’s family and faith, should be applied to do a greater good to the humanity. We need to encourage and motivate children in our families to build a culture of service. It is only then that we would be able to transcend our differences and work to attain a greater good for us, the world and the society we live in.
An annual Global Peace Leadership Conference is held every year in various partner countries to discuss and discover new models for sustainable peace and development. An international platform is made available for all those people, who want to share their ideas and collaborative strategies in the areas of environment, healthcare and education.
Global Peace Conventions, Global Peace Awards and Global Youth Summit are also conducted so as to present a vision of peace and encourage social progress in all spheres of life. Leaders who have contributed to maintaining peace and harmony in the world are awarded and honoured in these ceremonies.
In 2012, a couple of Indian decent, Dr. Manilal Chandaria and Mrs. Aruna Chandaria from the Comcraft group were awarded with the Exemplary and Innovative Philanthropy Award for their exemplary service provided to the street children in Kenya and worldwide.
India has been a very active member of the GPF. Various programs on community building, youth and volunteer service, education and women empowerment are conducted at various locations as to create awareness and engage more people in the process of building peace and harmony in the country. Interns and volunteers engage with people from deprived communities, orphanages, old age homes to spread some joy.
People are encouraged to volunteer and intern in various locations at regular intervals. In one such volunteering internship program that was held Delhi in partnership with the NGO Lakshyam (that serves disadvantaged children and women in rural India), GPF interns were given the opportunity to implement peace-building leadership training they learned from GPF workshops.
After its completion many volunteers shared their experiences. Sarvam shared, “The potential and the ambitions of these kids (from impoverished areas) were really fascinating and inspiring!”. Partha Ahuja stated, “Beneath the fast moving and rich lifestyle of Vasant Kunj, there was reality of a small marginalized basti in front of us. It was indeed a learning and mind opening experience.”
After completing her internship in a mercy home, Vidushi Gandhi said, “A single visit to a mercy home made me question all these things and much more to myself. It can be easy to sympathize with the underprivileged but not that easy to empathize with them. And they realize it. Yet, at the home, there is no shortage of hugs, smiles, real laughter.”
A very popular initiative of the organisation that is helping young leaders work together across different communities and religions to contribute to peacebuilding in India, is the Grub Up program. Opportunities for youth are made-to discuss in workshops, visit various religious institutions with leaders of various faiths to work together, plan and implement activities that enhance social cohesion and volunteerism in their communities across barriers of religion.
Heritage walks are conducted as part of these programs to share information and facts about various monuments and institutions of various faiths so as to inform people about other religions and cultures and learn about them. The goal is for people to also realise that all faiths, cultures and communities, however different they might be, are on the same journey.
In 2015, the Round Table Discussion on the Global Ethical Framework: Vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - One Family Under God was held in New Delhi. 45 distinguished leaders had participated in the event organised by the Global Peace Foundation. Delegates engaged in stimulating discussions on how to create a better world through examining the roles of education, religion, economy, and philosophy.
The goal of this engagement was to understand and share information about the conception of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the way of Indian life. By doing so, they tried to also understand its implications in peace-building. A need to bring about a “minimal fundamental consensus binding values and moral attitudes” was articulated at the conclusion of the event.
Thus, by organising various developmental programs and conferences at the grassroot level, the GPF has committed itself towards peacebuilding, education, entrepreneurship and youth development throughout the world.
To read more about the inspirational work they are doing, visit Global Peace Foundation today!