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Character Education

Promoting Character Education throughout Sri Lanka

The Universal Peace Federation held six programs over seven days, traveled about 1,200 kilometers and reached 529 people. The participants were mostly students, but also included Ministry of Education officials, teachers, principals, religious leaders, Ambassadors for Peace, and alumni of Religious Youth Service (RYS) and Interreligious Peace Sports Festivals (IPSF).

The students were student-body presidents and student-body officers representing 46 of the top schools in Colombo. The school programs were designed and planned specifically to introduce the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace and IPSF to the schools. Amazing!

It was a unique experience working directly with the Ministry of Education (MOE) from both the Western and Eastern Provinces. These MOE officials set up the programs, advised us, introduced us, attended the presentations, and were very satisfied with the educational contents. In each venue, we were invited back to do more and more in-depth programs. In summary, the school system is ready and willing to receive principle-based education.

Acknowledgment was made to Universal Peace Federation Founders, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon; Co-Chairs of UPF-Asia, Dr. & Mrs. Kim; and Ambassador and UPF Sri Lankan advisors, Ambassador and Mrs. D.L. Mendis. We showed our work going back to 1984, spanning grassroots educational programs in rural areas, all the way through Sri Lankan society to Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak's meeting with the President in November 2005 during the world tour launching the Universal Peace Federation. It is a very impressive foundation.

Various educational topics included a slide show about the IIFWP/UPF work in Sri Lanka, Service and Peace, and a presentation prepared by the International Educational Foundation about character education and community service.

There were two presentations about character education: 1) Why We Participate in Developing Our Own Character, which explains why we were given a portion of responsibility, i.e., ownership, self-governance, resemblance, and that this is uniquely human. 2) How We Participate in Developing Our Own Character, which explains that our responsibility is to unite our mind/body (dual-purpose principle) and to establish unity between husband/wife (pair system principle).

A Religious Youth Service project took place in the Mt. Lavinia Seaside Park, Mt. Lavinia.

Another highlight was an evening meeting with twelve Ambassadors for Peace hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. Mendis. The program was lively, engaging, and forward thinking. One Ambassador for Peace, Mr. Oscar Fernando, volunteered to write articles for the UPF-Sri Lankan newsletter, beginning with these educational programs.

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