Centro Studi per la Pace Onlus (The Center for the Study of Peace, CSPACE) is a non-profit organization founded on 3 May 2010 in Demonte, a small mountain town in the province of Cuneo, Italy. The principles of the Earth Charter are included in the foundational document of CSPACE and in 2013 the organization decided to implement an Earth Charter project in several local schools.
CSPACE identified education as a key method to foster cultural growth among future citizens and decided to carry out an inspiring project in classrooms in the region. The first steps were taken in 2013, when CSPACE approached teachers in several secondary schools with the objective of bringing the Earth Charter Principles to the attention of the students.
The teachers and students of the four schools that participated in the project were given access to materials directly through the CSPACE website, which limited the use of paper in order to comply with environmental sustainability. There were two main goals of the project. The first was to facilitate the schools’ institutional endorsement of the Earth Charter. The second was educational and entailed endorsing, acknowledging, and internalizing the principles of the Charter.
The project involved the students developing an activity, which would later be judged according to how creative they were in expressing their understanding of the Earth Charter. The award ceremony took place on 29 April, with each school linked via the web. The three winners were announced by special guest Stefania Belmondo, Olympic Nordic Skiing Champion, who lives in Demonte, and they also received encouraging words over the internet from an Earth Charter International staff member in Costa Rica.
The top three classes won a substantial cash prize. The students also received a book offered by a well-known publisher from the area, as well as an eco-friendly water bottle. The different products of the activity were collected on a CD and distributed to each class. The creations included drawings, poems, stories, a calendar, an e-book, a newscast, and videos.
This project was very well received by both students and teacher and should be considered a success. CSPACE has already decided on next year’s project, and, the theme has been received with great enthusiasm. Next year’s focus will be article 16 of the Earth Charter, which states, “Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.”
See more at the CSPACE website.