The Peace Education Institute (Rauhankasvatusinstituutti RKI ry) is a politically and religiously non-aligned non-governmental organization established in 1981. By way of education, the RKI seeks to create and promote a public opinion that enables a sustainable and just state of peace. RKI’s work is based on the UN declarations eg. on teaching peace, democracy and human rights. Important areas of expertise also include equality, anti-racism, diversity, dialogue and participatory methods. RKI gets funding mainly from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Peace education institute (RKI) is an organisation of educators to educators. Its main focus is to support educators in formal and non-formal settings to work towards a more equal and just society. It has created and disseminated different pedagogical tools, methods and approaches that teachers and youth workers can utilise in their work with young people. RKI works very closely with minority and human rights organisations and are seen by Finnish NGO’s as an important bridge when they want to cooperate with teachers and youth workers on issues of diversity, equality and human rights. RKI cooperates closely also with other key actors of Finnish youth work. There are several youth workers directly involved in RKI, but at the core of RKi’s work is to support and capacity build the different actors in the field of education and youth work. RKI is seen as neutral, professional and progressive inclusive organisation.
One of RKI’s main projects is a global education resource center called Global School (Maailmankoulu). Global School aims at promoting global education and inter-culturalism in schools. Resources include materials, in-service trainings and consultation primarily for teachers in formal education. Materials are available online and they are open to use for anyone interested. The project Global School has been previously funded by the Foreign Ministry. Global School is successfully integrated into the education system of six municipalities. and there are over 20 000 visits in the website every year. Recently RKI has started to bring the methods of Global School to the field of non-formal education by training youth workers as well. Global School resources can be found in www.maailmankoulu.fi in Finnish.
During the last 2 years we have trained (as part of official professional post-degree training for teachers) over 100 teachers on participatory equality planning in schools and how to combat hate speech, racism and discrimination in formal educational institutions. We are currently benchmarking that modul and sharing it with other organisations and public institutions in Finland.
RKI works directly with youth on it’s Rauhankoulu – model which is has created and is still reaching hundreds of youth annually to learn about peaceful cooperation by using drama methods. We also have a team of educators (ngo workers, youth workers and teachers) called Dramauttaja that uses drama to build up competences of social and youth workers to meet diverse people in their work and to over come their prejudices. We have just completed a project plan how to capasitate youth workers to make a participatory equality plan. The project was planned togehter with youth workers from Tornio, Joensuu and Lahti and in next 6 months we will train over 100 youth workers how to combat discrimination, hate speech and racism in youth work spaces and do a equality planning process to support an inclusive youth work.
RKI is working on international projects together with its partners all over Europe. We have recently planned several projects for year 2017 to organise trainings, partnership building and strategic partnerships in between RKI, its partners in Finland and partners in Europe, Caucasus and Middle East.