Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Brazil has been working with the Department of Education in Goiania to uplift students and families in underprivileged schools. Over the last two years, GPF Brazil applied a peacebuilding methodology designed to foster deeper relationships between students, teachers, and the greater community. The program is closely tied with GPF Brazil’s signature LEAM program.
LEAM (Leadership and Development by Music) has been transforming the lives of Brazilian children and families since 2016. The music-based program connects young people across the country and even internationally. GPF Brazil has even hosted an online music exchange program between Goiania and New York City students.
The music component of LEAM brings cultural awareness and connectivity, while peacebuilding seminars invite students and faculty to dive deeper into character development and resolving conflict in school and in the community. Guest speakers provide engaging sessions on preparatory courses for entering university facilities, introductory courses on the job market, and other courses on family values, volunteerism, international relations, and the role of youth in democratic development in the country.
In a recent assembly, the peacebuilding module focused on Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a communication process developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s. The purpose of NVC is to facilitate compassionate and effective communication based on a deep understanding of human needs and feelings. At its core, NVC encourages people to express themselves in a way that is honest, vulnerable, and non-judgmental while also listening to others with empathy and understanding.
The process of NVC involves four key components:
- Observations: NVC encourages people to observe the situation and describe it factually, without interpreting or evaluating what is happening.
- Feelings: People are encouraged to identify and express their feelings using clear and specific words.
- Needs: NVC emphasizes the importance of identifying the underlying needs that drive our feelings and behaviors and expressing those needs in a way that is non-threatening and non-demanding.
- Requests: Finally, NVC encourages people to make requests, using clear and specific language that focuses on what they want rather than what they don’t want.
GPF Brazil hopes that by instilling the components of NVC, people will learn to communicate in a way that fosters mutual understanding, empathy, and respect while avoiding the use of judgment, criticism, and blame. The ultimate goal of NVC is to build positive relationships and create a more compassionate and peaceful world.
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