XIII World Congress 2003
Education for Peace:
The Best Investment for Future Generations


José Maria Arocena - Spain








Date of birth: 20/ feb/ 1954
Place of birth: Gipuzkoa (Basque Country - Spain)

Graduated in Mathematic and secondary school teacher until 1980 when
a car accident left him paraplegic. After a year in Hospital he travels acrossEurope, America and Asia searching solutions to hisphysical and psychological difficulties. Founder of a Buddhist Center in Spain and member of the Board of Directors of the Fundacion Lama Gangchen para la Paz en el Mundo in Madrid (a Non Governmental Organisation associated with the United Nations. He is Lama Gangchen’s personal Spanish interpreter, and translates many of his books into Spanish.
Translator at several Peace and Alternative Medicine Congresses and meetings. Is an active member of some Disabled organisations in Spain. Has been developing some years now – together with the Hospital La Paz (Madrid) and the Universidad Autonoma (Madrid) - a program for schools and soldiers on prevention of spinal cord injuries and head traumas. He also published several articles and collaborates with some magazines and radio programmes in different countries, as well as taking part in several congresses. Founder of several groups of Self-help for sick people, developing several workshops in Spain and South America on "How to live one’s sickness". Collaborates in several European Community Projects (Creativity and Therapy, Horizon, Europe XXI) on education for students and disabled people.


Decalogue for improving our abilities as Peace educators
and a project proposal for Albagnano

This reflection is not only for so-called educators. Being educators is a natural attitude of all who live in collectivities, who are sensitive to perceiving the suffering of others and who have the courage to assume the responsibility of alleviating that suffering by offering their own experience as an example.

One of the basic objectives of the work of a peace educator is the development of introspective techniques, in order to achieve a certain level of mental tranquility for themselves and to share it with others.
It is quite difficult to transmit that which one does not have.

What one really teaches comes from one’s own personality. One of the most powerful ways for learning – especially for children – is imitation through observation. Thus, as educators, we must be very aware to all the manifestations of our person – particularly our gestual expression, our verbal language and our thoughts.

In an increasingly multi-cultural and multi-ethnic world, we must avoid indoctrinating and conditioning others with our beliefs, done in the name of a supposed cultural superiority.

When working with people of our own culture, it is important to avoid making moral judgements, which produce barriers in communication and in reciprocal acceptance, which are often difficult to eliminate as a consequence.

Thus, we will debate about ten basic points which can lead us to acknowledge that we all are potential peace educators, at least at some time in our lives and with some; what is important afterwards is to be able to extend the duration of these moments and to increase the number of people reached.