2018 ECPC milestone | ECDpeace.org launch away!
When you pay attention to the beginning of a story, you can change the whole story. — Raffi Cavoukian, singer and founder of Canada’s Centre for Child Honouring
ECDpeace.org launch away!
Greetings! I work in the capacity as web administrator of this communications platform and I am very happy to make your acquaintance. I have been elected by my colleagues to write this sailing-of-a-ship themed blog.
It is an honor and a privilege to announce to the world community, the launch of ECDpeace.org, the virtual home of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC). The ECPC is founded on the idea that the global community must address root causes of violence and conflict, and that children and families can be agents of change for and builders of ‘The Culture of Peace’.
Conceived of during 2009-2012 by a few remarkable people, the Consortium was launched in 2013 at UNICEF, and officially recognized in the 2016 United Nations (UN) Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the Follow-up to the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. Take a trip along the ECPC Timeline to learn more about our eventful journey.
We launch this ship assail on life giving waters, powered by the winds of scholarly minds and humanitarian efforts, and christened it with a seasoned bottle of good will and cheer. Its course is strategically charted in align with the rigors of science and good practice, calibrated to a moral compass, and designed to stand the test of time.
Follow & join us
Scientific research and evaluation on the impact of global early childhood programs of proven value tell us that peace is truly possible. Are you curious enough to want read and learn more about this developing field? If so, then you surely came to the right place. So, I encourage you to pull up a chair, get comfortable and explore the content presented in this knowledge sharing website.
This site has been designed and built with you (its user) in mind. Information in the form of narratives, scholarly documentation, slideshows, videos, podcasts and blogs are provided by global experts and aspiring youth who are anxious to share their relevant knowledge and experience with you. Our databases will continue to expand in content and functionality. From time to time, we will reach out to you to learn how we can better adapt this site to serve your needs.
I also encourage you to join this community by following us on social media, and subscribing to our ECPC eNewsletter for breaking news that we will delivered straight to your inbox. And, remember to visit us often as new and valuable information will be regularly uploaded onto the deck of this sea worthy ship that will be stopping at many ports along its way towards a brighter future.
Soon, the modalities of the ECPC membership will be made available. If you become a member, your participation can help strengthen the efforts of your organization, as well as those of the ECPC.
Today, millions of children from around the world are calling for help. Let us join together to answer their call.
Many and all hands on deck.
My story: “The childhood wind beneath my wings”
As I write this blog, I couldn’t help but reflect on experiences and lessons learned during my own youth that continually apply to my life today. As you read below, you will understand my gravitational pull to the ECPC and its vision, mission and goals.
The photo at the top of this blog brings me back to those early days in childhood when my brother and I use to make various sizes and shapes of paper boats that we happily sailed in bubbly brooks that interwove in the fields around our home. We also crafted colorful kites with long tails made from rags we pulled from the broom closet, and wooden airplanes that happily danced (yet, more often nosed dived) in the breezy, yet unpredictable winds of New England. It is these memories — of hand crafted toys and fun-filled days of adventure with my older brother, sister, and best-friend hound dog — that I cherish.
While I was emersed in being a kid, Mom was home managing all the things that mothers did at that time, to the tune of a happy song and a joyful whistle (and the whirring sound of her foot-pedaled sewing machine). My dad, a stone mason by day and jazz pianist by night, approached and viewed each new day through the lens of geometric proportion and gravitational balance, in concert with the many intonations of life.
Treasures abound: What I learned in childhood
I am thankful to have had such a quality childhood and be anchored in a strong family foundation, made of brick and mortar and nurturing care. I want to share with you some important life lessons I learned during my early childhood and youth:
- Every family that has its ups and downs and mine was no exception. Because of these challenges, I learned the art of listening, to respect and appreciate the perspectives of others, and to keep an open mind and compassionate heart.
- Because my mother encouraged me to “get back up” following my many trips, falls and knee scrapes, I developed resilience (as well as athleticism and better tree climbing ability). It also helped to keep a little humor in my heart and a dance in my step.
- Because I bought myself things with earnings from street-side lemonade sales and early morning newspaper deliveries (like a guitar), I developed self esteem and confidence, and a developing sense responsibility and independence.
- Because I made many of my own toys, I learned the art of design and construction, how to be innovative and to problem solve in order to produce something of worthiness. I also learned to value quality over quantity.
- Because I had the freedom to ride my bike, enabling me to visit with friends, neighbors, librarians, shop keepers, dairy farmers, local equestrians, and hike through nature trails, I developed a curiosity of life, respect and admiration of people from diverse backgrounds, and deep appreciate of nature and its many colorful and melodic expressions.
- Because I had the opportunity to play with a large number of neighborhood boys and girls (and their four legged friends), I learned how to be a team player (and to carry dog biscuits in my pocket). During games, we split off into teams and worked hard to kick balls, throw Frisbees, shoot hoops, and stay well hidden during hide and seek.
- But it was when I reached adolescence that I deeply contemplated the concept of winning and losing. I decided that I didn’t like it. I preferred a world where everyone wins. I questioned, “Doesn’t it make better sense to focus on achieving a fulfilling and satisfying experience for self and others, than working to continually outdo the other guy?” Hence, I sought to engage in cooperative experiences. I liked the idea of group collaboration toward a common goal like peacebuilding.
- I admired my father’s ability to construct beautiful fire places, chimneys, stone walls, and other structures of brick and mortar that have stood the test of time. His music had a way of bringing people together. I observed how it served to develop a sense of community among diverse groups of people. My mother, volunteered her time in soup kitchens, visited the sick and elderly, facilitated an at home widow/widower support group, and always had a good word to say, a smile to share, a hug to give, and when needed, a shoulder to cry on. From these two incredible parents and role models, I learned to live each day with no regrets and the importance of developing a strong legacy that can be passed on to the next and future generations.
- And, the list goes on. I could write a book.
In my early adult years, I naturally came to the conclusion that it is the foundational nature of the early years experience that best serves to chart the course of one’s life. Hence, I wanted to learn what I could do to help make a difference in the lives of others with whom I share this thing called “life” and planet called “home”. So, here I am.
And, I wonder, “What is your story?”
Many & all hands on deck
The need to focus on the formative years and provide early childhood programs and interventions of proven value, especially to vulnerable children and families as a means of life-long support, is clear. Many professionals in the field see the collaborative work by members of the ECPC that is exemplified here, as a viable theory of change and way to reduce violence and build peace through the transformative power of children and families.
Because the immense need for this work across the globe is clear, we issue the call for many and all hands on deck.
As you explore the depth and breadth of this site, you will come to realize that, yes…:
- We can change from a culture of war to a ‘Culture of Peace’.
- We can teach and help parents and carers learn what it means to be responsive to the needs of a child and why parenting begets parenting.
- We can help fathers realize that their involvement in responsive parenting will better help their children reach their full potential.
- We can help ‘build better brains’ via the science of nurturing care, focusing on the whole child in the context of a supportive environment.
- We can help institutions build capacity, decision makers develop better policy, and governments to realize the long-term economic benefits of investing in the early years.
- We can raise hope for the growing number of children and families living in conflict situations, by helping them build resilience through early childhood development programs and interventions.
- We can research, develop and apply new knowledge to further propel these efforts and make them sustainable.
- We can help empower youth leaders to whom we can pass the torch of peace.
- We can effectively pool our knowledge base, experiences, skills and talents to help build new generations of reconciliation.
With much gratitude …
It is an honor to be a member of such a formidable ECPC team of ground breakers, knowledge makers, program creators, website and media developers, supportive family members, and energetic university students who have contributed to the development of this website and its content.
ECPC Web Administrator