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Famous peacemakers

Throughout history there have been individuals who have worked to resolve conflict and bring about change using peaceful methods. These people make excellent role models and prove that peacemaking can and does work. Here's three examples.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

As a young Hindu lawyer newly arrived in South Africa from India, Mohandas Gandhi was shocked to be treated as a member of an inferior race. He led a 20-year struggle to demand civil rights for Indian immigrants, using a policy of passive resistance - that is, non-violent civil disobedience. He called the policy Satyagraha, or 'truth and firmness'. When in 1914 the South African Government finally agreed to many of his demands, Gandhi returned to India, where he soon began a similar campaign to end British colonial rule. By the Indian practice of non-violence, he believed the British would eventually consider violence useless and would leave India. Dressed in the loin cloth and shawl of the poorest Indians, he became a symbol of a free India, and was given the title Mahatma, or 'great soul'.

Dame Whina Cooper (1895-1994)
Dame Whina Cooper was a Maori leader of the Northern Hokianga area. In 1975, at the age of 80, she brought Maori land rights concerns to the public attention by leading a land march from North Cape to Parliament in Wellington. Throughout her life she argued for understanding between Maori and Pakeha, believing that Maori concerns should be aired peacefully, and that the two peoples should live together as one nation.

Martin Luther King (1929-1968)

Martin Luther King was an African-American civil Rights leader who worked for better conditions for his people using non-violent methods. He did much to end segregation in the USA. In his famous 'I have a dream' speech, he outlined his vision that 'one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood'.

     Design a certificate for outstanding peacemaking
  1. Design a certificate for Outstanding Peacemaking.
  2. Choose a famous peacemaker that you would like to present a certificate to.
  3. Find out about your peacemaker so you have enough details for the certificate.
  4. Fill in the certificate with these details.
  5. Write a brief covering letter to go with the certificate to your peacemaker outlining why you have awarded them this certificate.

     Peacemakers Inquiry
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