TST continues the interview with Pam Evans, founder of the Peace Mala organisation, which is doing much good work with schools. Here we discuss this work and how important education is, how the organisation encourages children to be aware of multi-faith cultures and traditions.
Peace Mala also has a special symbol to promote its work; the Peace Mala Dove which has been travelling across the world visiting sites, schools and religious institutions.
TST: Please explain the Peace Mala kits
PE: Our educational materials include Peace Mala kits for pupils, a Guide for Teachers, a book which focuses on the peace prayers, mantras and noble sayings of the Peace Mala and another which explains the power of pilgrimage and the influence of the Celtic Saints.
The Guide is essential for all teachers and group leaders who wish to introduce Peace Mala into their curriculum. The Guide includes Power-Point Presentation, Double Rainbow Peace Mala and explanatory booklet, lesson plans and classroom activities for KS2, KS3, and KS4 covering many Peace Mala topics including detailed guidance on:
Benefits of Peace Mala • Peace Mala and Community Cohesion • Religious Education and Peace Mala • What is Peace Mala • How to Make a Peace Mala from a Kit • Exploring the Meaning of the Peace Mala Logo • Mantras and Sacred Chants • Mindfulness for Peace Mala Children and their Teachers • Peace Mala and the Power of Pilgrimages • An Introduction to Buddhism • Peace Gardens and Sacred Spaces • Sexuality – The Last Taboo (Senior Level) • Peace Mala and Earth Religions • Some Responses from Young People to Peace Mala
The kits come with explanatory booklet, black elastic thread, and loose high quality machine made 6mm pressed round glass beads in the individual colours of the rainbow. The kit is meant for use in the classroom or Youth Club under the supervision of the teacher or youth leader.
TST: Please tell us about the Peace Mala Doves.
PE: On 30th April 2015, faith representatives, local schools, South Wales Police, the Lord Mayor of the City and County of Swansea and the Mayors of Neath Port Talbot met in our peace garden at Peace Mala HQ in Swansea. We held a ceremony to bless 14 little symbolic doves of peace that would travel the world and carry our message of the Golden Rule and help promote peace between everyone who lives on planet earth.
The little doves are made from wood and have been hand painted in the Peace Mala colours and each carrying a Peace Mala bracelet (along with other items).
The journeys of the 14 doves are being tracked to provide an exciting geography project for schools and youth groups. This information is already being published on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our interactive world map for everyone to follow.
Each dove is being sponsored on its travels, thereby also bringing financial support and security for the future work of the Peace Mala educational charity.
Peace Dove 13 in particular is travelling between the cultural and faith communities of our world to encourage friendship and better understanding. Each dove has been named. No 13 is ‘Tangnefydd’ which is Welsh for ‘the spiritual peace of God’. She had already travelled to Jerusalem with the Orthodox Jews of Swansea, has been on pilgrimage to the Holy Kaaba in Mecca with the Muslims of Cardiff and more recently visited the Vatican in Rome.
TST: And tell us about events that Peace Mala is involved with over the next year
Over the years we have organised several pilgrimages and international interfaith events to help promote community cohesion and world peace.
This year, our International Inter-faith Liturgy for World Peace will take place at Brecon Cathedral Wales on 16th September. We will be linking up with One Day One Choir http://www.onedayonechoir.org
As at our international world peace event which took place in Llandaff Cathedral in 2017, dignitaries and faith representatives will be in attendance. The Most Reverend John D E Davies Archbishop of Wales has confirmed his involvement, as has The Right Reverend Bishop Tom Burns of Menevia (Catholic Church in Wales). Peace Mala schools from across Wales, along with three of our Manchester schools will be involved.
We hope that all 14 faiths represented on the Peace Mala bracelet will be able to join us. At the moment we are still looking for Zoroastrian, Jain and Sikh representatives to take part in the procession of the faiths and the world peace candle lighting ceremony. If any members of these communities would like to join us and take part, please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
TST: This is a charitable organisation?
PE: Yes. Peace Mala has been a British Registered Charity since February 2007. Our Number is 1118053. Please check us out on the Charity Commission website.
TST: Is it children of all ages you are aiming at?
PE: We work mainly with children of all ages but also with faith and community groups. Community House in Eaton Road Newport South Wales has been working with us for many years and has achieved our Gold Accreditation Award. You can check out their evidence on our website.
TST: If somebody was reading this article and wanted to partake in this in their part of the world, how would they go about that?
I suggest that they explore our website first and then send us an email. We will be delighted to hear from them.