PEACE project kicks off with first Steering Group meeting in Manila


In Manila, Philippines, the Steering Group of the PEACE project met for the first of five meetings spread over the project years 2017 and 2018.  The PEACE Program is the official name of what was tentatively called – as a working title – the GCTP programme (Global Citizenship Trimester Programme).  PEACE stands for “Peace in Europe and Asia through global Citizenship Education”.

The project is sponsored by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme. The goal of the project is to design the framework for a new sustainable three-month secondary school exchange programme similar to the intra-European “European Citizenship Trimester Programme” (ECTP) which EFIL has been running successfully each year since it was launched in 2009.  In the PEACE programme exchanges will take place between Asia and Europe, with end-of-stay camps on global citizenship in Europe and in Asia. The target group will be secondary school students between 15-18 years old.

The project participants are staff and key volunteers of 8 European AFS organisations (EFIL members) and 7 Asian AFS partners (AAI members). Throughout the two years of the EU sponsored project, they will play a relevant role in the development of the future PEACE Program. They will be involved in field visits, trainings and meetings and they will help develop and fine-tune the content of the programme. As part of the project, a pilot programme will involve Asian youngsters going for a trimester exchange to various countries in Europe with an end-of-stay camp in Brussels in the spring of 2018, followed by European participants going to Asia in the autumn of 2018 and ending their trimester stay with a  joint closing camp in Malaysia.

At its first meeting in Manila, the Steering Group focused on elaborating on the aims and objectives of the project, defining the roles of all actors involved, and planning the work incl. online tools, road map, development of materials, communication and PR, guidelines, outlining the programme including recruitment, promotion, content, etc.

Special attention was given to the next phase in the project: visits by the European staff/volunteers to the participating Asian partners in June, to get to know the local realities, linking up with local civil society organisations, and exploring the concept of active citizenship within the Asian context. These field visits will be followed by a joint meeting and seminar in New Delhi, India. In Manila, the Steering Group worked out a detailed programme for the seminar in India. A second Steering Group meeting will follow immediately after the seminar in New Delhi.

To improve the visual identity of the PEACE project/programme, the Steering Group has launched a call for a logo. You can find the details in another article in this edition of EFILife.

Members of the PEACE Steering Group are: Divya Arora (AFS India), Armieyah (Mae) Ayob (AFS Philippines), Katharina Schulze-Herking (AFS Germany), Inga Menke (EFIL) and Paul Claes (EFIL).