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IWP Regional Course 2010

IWP Regional Course 2010

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Published by: cymthaivolunteer on Jun 02, 2010
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PO Box 3, Mae Rim Post Office, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180 Thailand(66) 6184 1323 or (66 53) 376 103;info@womenforpeaceandjustice.org www.womenforpeaceandjustice.org
Socially Engaged Buddhist Peacebuildingand Social Development Course
for Women Activists in South and Southeast Asia
September 10 –30, 2010
Chiang Mai, Thailand
 International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice (IWP)
IWP announces our fourth annual Socially Engaged Buddhist Peacebuilding and SocialDevelopment Course for Women Activists in South and Southeast Asia. The course isdesigned for
Buddhist women activists
who are active in community organizations andNGOs that would like to integrate engaged Buddhist teachings into their community work and deepen their own personal Buddhist practice.The course is three weeks long and participants are expected to implement action plans basedon their learning upon return to their home communities. The course will be held at IWP’straining center, outside Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.Course Objectives:1.
Link engaged Buddhist philosophy and practice to active non-violence, peacebuilding and justice in their community organizing work.2.
Increase participants’ knowledge of the main Buddhist teachings and use them toanalyze structural violence particularly on the issues of gender, violence againstwomen, political and racial oppression.3.
Help participants
harmful notions on karma at the personal and structurallevels and relearn more empowering interpretations with the teaching tools to work with their community on this issue.4.
Provide an opportunity for participants to learn Buddhist teachings and practicesabout peace building, conflict transformation, and non-violent actions.5.
Develop achievable and realistic plans of actions that participants will undertake uponreturn to their communities; and provide necessary follow-up support for effectiveimplementation.6.
Establish a network of grassroots Buddhist women activists in the region who arecommitted to cultivating spiritual practice as a foundation for their feminist activism.All of IWP’s training courses are highly participatory in nature, focused on personaltransformation that leads to awareness and confidence to take action for social change.
The teaching methodology
Buddhism emphasizes experience as a basis for learning and transformation. Different formsof daily mindfulness practices and meditation are designed to help participants form thefoundation for their peace work. The teaching methodology will combine learning throughlecture, experiential learning activities, skills building and spiritual training. Experientiallearning activities help participants go beyond the intellectual and information andincorporates a holistic model, in which participants use head, heart, hands, and spirit(intellectual, emotional, kinesthetic, and spiritual modalities) in the learning process.Learning methods will include small group discussion, role-plays, group challenges, audio-video and visual aids, exposure trips to witness from real situations, and a meditation retreat.This approach incorporates Buddhist perspectives as well as practice.
The course content 
Introduction to Buddhism, brief history of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia.
Learning the main Buddhist teachings, primarily the Four Noble Truths and the eightfoldnoble paths to analyze different social problems such as women's oppression, poverty,gender- based violence conflict at different levels (personal, community and global) anduse them a guide for solutions.
Deconstructing and challenging Buddhist misinterpretations such as the notion of karmathat are promoting and sustaining oppression and violence particularly on women andissue of gender and diversity.
Using the Four Abiding Abodes (Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity) asguidance for action on building peaceful and healthy relationships and community.
The intersections of Buddhism and Feminism; the role of Women in Buddhism; andBuddhism and violence against women.
Buddhism and Non-Violent Action.
Challenging ourselves as Buddhist activists -- how to create balance to avoid burnout,and how to be driven by compassion and joy instead of anger and despair.
Daily Mindfulness practice and meditation.
Community work.
Core Skills for Participants
We have identified core skills that we expect participants can develop or foster through thecurriculum which integrates personal mindfulness practice, concepts for social change andcommunity building. These skills will support participants’ process of personaltransformation leading to take action for social change. These core skills include:
Building peace within: working with fear, stress, despair, and anger from a Buddhistmethodology and practice.
Cultivating mindfulness, awareness, and inner peace
Mindful/deep listening and Buddhist feminist counseling skills
Collective, power sharing leadership for social change
Non-violent action for social change, conflict transformation and peace building
Giving and receiving constructive feedback 
Social problems analysis skill based upon the Buddhist teachings.
Diversity and anti-oppression work (understanding privilege and power)/working acrossdifferences
Stress reduction, dealing with anger and despair.
Inner transformation work 
Plans of Action
The last part of the course is focused on Plans of Action – ways that participants plan to taketheir learning and experience back to their communities. The plans of action reflect the mostrelevant learning of the participants and the ways they can apply that learning in their homecontext. Participants from each country/area are encouraged to develop action plans togetherto support the process of developing local networks and alliances.IWP staff work with participants individually (or country groups) to develop realistic plans,and then discuss together about what kind of follow up support participants will need to putthe plans into action. In the past, IWP staff has offered support through co-facilitatingtrainings with participants in their home communities, offering advice and suggestions aboutcurriculum development and training design, providing other appropriate resource people fortrainings/workshops in their home communities, and providing financial support fortranslation/publication of useful materials. Follow-up is tailored very specifically to eachcontext to ensure that the participants have sufficient support to apply the core skills acquiredduring the training in their home communities.Participants:The three week training workshop is designed for 16-18 grassroots women activists from theSouth and Southeast Asia region. The course will be conducted in English, and participantsneed to be able to express their ideas and opinions in English. There will be time devoted forparticipants to form study groups to assist each other with language and comprehension.
Participants and their organizations are expected to fundraise their own travelexpenses. The fees for the course are $250 USD. Participants from organizations thatare not able to pay the fees should contact us.Implementing Organization:
International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice (IWP) is a spiritual based feministorganization working to support grassroots activism in South and Southeast Asia. IWP leadsworkshops, retreats and training courses which share in common the integration of feminism,social action and spirituality for sustainability and transformation at the personal, communityand society levels. Our goal is to work systematically and strategically with grassrootsgroups over a sustained period of time, practicing a partnership culture that has spirituality asa core foundation of social activism. This is our effort to offeralternatives to the hierarchical systems that dominate mainstreaminstitutions and even progressive social movements. Please see ourwebsite:www.womenforpeaceandjustice.orgfor more information.

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