Creators of Peace (CoP)
Initiatives of Change Malaysia
Creators of Peace
The Creators of Peace Circles are small community gatherings for women to discover their unique potential in creating a culture of peace.
Objectives of the Peace Circle
- To promote a change of heart starting with oneself as a primary tool of peace creation.
- To engage women in their role as creators of peace in the home and in communities.
- To create a space where women of different cultures and faiths can share their life stories in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
- Every person has a part to play and something to contribute.
- Every person can start the process of transformation in their own heart and life.
- Every person has a story to tell and a need to be heart.
- Every person can be a compassionate listener.
- Peace Circles are held over two days.
- Each group will comprise 8 to 12 participants.
- There will be sharings, discussions, activities, reflections, videos and case studies.
- Where do we want to see Peace?
- What destroys peace and what builds it?
- The value of deep listening.
- Qualities of a peacemaker.
- Inner peace.
- Practicing peace – case studies of women peacemakers
Creators of Peace 2020
Creators of Peace 2018
A ‘Creators of Peace’ session for women was conducted by Mrs Indera Tia Haridas on 17 & 18 March at the APHEM office. This specially tailored programme was designed for the mothers of the young people who are part of the learning centre. Altogether eight mothers were able to participate in this COP programme which was conducted in the Tamil language. Teacher Stella was the translator for the two days COP programme. Feedback from the mothers were positive and overall were generally happy to participate in the COP session.
Creators of Peace 2017 - Reconnecting
On a Saturday, 7th January 2017, a group of 15 ladies who have experienced the Creators of Peace Circle over the years gathered at the Aphem Office in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia for an afternoon to re-connect and to begin the year on a light, fun and meaningful note. The agenda for the afternoon consisted over tea and tit-bits these gathering points:
- Vizla Kumaresan and Tia Nair sharing their experience from the recent Living in Peace Conference that they had attended in Caux, Switzerland.
- Vanitha Chandrasegaren through dance and music for us to let ourselves go and connect on the plane of movement.
- Ng Chui Cheng facilitating a session of encouraging sharing of stories in groups of 2 to 3 the personal struggles and challenges and where there have
been, ways they were overcome and where there have yet too, ways they are being dealt with.
- Soumya guided a yoga meditative session based on yoga-nidra to enable a greater level of relaxation, connecting within and committing to oneself goals
- Ended with a move forward to action with a plan for a Creators of Peace Facilitators session to further reach out to communities and for us to keep connected.
Jean Brown, a founding member and key-coordinator of The Living in Peace Conference at Caux, celebrating 25 years of this movement shared (that you’ll find in the newsletter):
‘We all have the power to change our story; from hurt to healing, from frozen to forgiving, from callousness to compassion. One of the insights that informs the approach of Creators of Peace is the awareness of the power of the story that every person, every woman lives out of. It’s what shapes her world view, her values and relationships, that she passes on to her children and grandchildren. These stories are what shapes who we are and how we think…. Change Your Story and You Change The World’.
Tia and Vizla gave a glimpse of this rich session that they had been a part of and we too experienced the strength of these many ladies, of stories that were shared at the conference, where despite hardship, bullying and injury, these ladies found the inner courage to look beyond a tit-for-tat reaction and found creative, sustainable responses and solutions by choosing peace and by doing so not only minimizing if not eliminating injustices, they became in their circles ambassadors and advocates for a more humane society. Tia and Vizla by sharing these stories and their reflections, expanded the influence that these ladies had on them, the conference participants and allowed us to recognise, that peace is a verb, it is active acts of courage and consideration that we can continuously choose, converse about and build communities through. Peace is a universal need and ideal as Vizla had shared, of what Dr. Gill Hicks, a speaker in the conference who had lost her legs due to a London bombing and has now dedicated her life to finding solutions to effect positive change, ‘somewhere there is someone who is feeling the effects of something we have said or done’ akin to a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ and thus in the realities we face today, it becomes more so pertinent another note that Vizla had shared of Dr. Gill Hicks, ‘each individual interaction contributes to a new idea of normal’. Thus as was further shared, we are familiar with the barriers we face with regards to building peace. Let us now focus on the immediate positives we have that we can use to do or build peace.
While much was shared and we gained good camaraderie, connection and reflection amongst us ladies, and while we commit to keep this spirit alive through actions planned, it is perhaps good to conclude this piece with Tia’s reflection, ‘As I listened to the speakers who took steps to start conversations with people they felt divided from, I thought of Malaysia. Are we having conversations with people we feel divided from? I began to dream of groups who feel they are marginalised who might be able to express their grievances so that together we could find solutions. How this could be done, I am not sure, but I want to keep pondering on that thought’.