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Peace and Disarmament

Back to listApr 22, 2013

SGI-Bolivia Hosts Culture of Peace Seminar

UTEPSA students at the seminarUTEPSA students at the seminar

On April 22, SGI-Bolivia youth hosted a Culture of Peace seminar at their culture center in Santa Cruz for students majoring in international relations at the Private Technical University of Santa Cruz (UTEPSA). Thirty-four students from a Culture of Peace course at the university and their professor, Marcia Padilla, attended the event with the aim of deepening their understanding of SGI’s role as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in promoting a culture of peace.

The seminar began with a brief introduction of SGI by local young men's leader Rafael Gomez, followed by a film depicting the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda as examples of individuals who have dedicated themselves to fighting injustice through nonviolence.

The students then studied a synopsis of Mr. Ikeda's 2012 peace proposal titled "Human Security and Sustainability: Sharing Reverence for the Dignity of Life," with young women's leader Michelle Vargas. The proposal stresses humanitarianism, human rights and sustainability as key elements in addressing the global challenges of natural disasters, environmental degradation, poverty and nuclear weapons.

In closing, national young men's leader Carlos Contreras elaborated on the concept of "human revolution" (the idea that the self-motivated inner change of even a single individual positively affects the larger web of life) which forms the essence of SGI's vision of a peaceful world. This vibrant process of self-reformation, he explained, is the first step toward creating a peaceful society brimming with compassion and respect for life.

"I can see how the humanistic principles taught in the SGI can be very beneficial to young people," commented Andrea Litse Cabrera Robles, a seminar participant. "For example, I find this idea quite amazing--that an individual really has the power to change their life in a positive direction and see the positive side of things."

[Adapted from an article in the May 2013 issue of Sol de Felicidad, SGI-Bolivia; photo courtesy of SGI-Bolivia]