The Peace Education Institute (Rauhankasvatusinstituutti RKI ry) is a politically and religiously non-aligned non-governmental organization established in 1981. We have an official partnership with UNESCO with consultative status.
The basis of our work is to recognize the courage in every individual to act for a world where justice and peace prevails. Key themes in our work are antiracism, equality, and global responsibility. We do this by strengthening the understanding of the consequences of actions on local and global levels. We think that maximum participation and representation are the keys to sustainable peace.
Our understanding of peace education is derived from UNESCO Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974), which states: “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.”
We build an equal and nonviolent world as a part of the global peace movement. We develop and distribute new methodologies for schools and non-formal education settings with our international partners. At the moment we have more than 20 active and working partnerships with organizations outside Finland.
We offer professional in-service training for teachers and youth workers. In practice, this means providing training on methods to identify and tackle discrimination and strengthening participation and active critical citizenship of young people. We train educators on how to make power structures and norms visible. Also, we train how to solve conflicts between diverse groups in a nonviolent manner. We work in close cooperation with organizations from the education sector, universities and NGOs.
Every year, we train hundreds of teachers and youth workers nationally and internationally, in formal and non-formal settings.
Our projects are mainly funded by the Finnish government. The most important funding partners are the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Justice and Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as the Finnish National Agency for Education and the European Union. We are one of the nine Finnish youth work institutions accredited for annual general funding from the Erasmus+ programme for 2021–2027. We receive core funding as a national youth work organization from the Ministry of Education and Culture and as a national peace organization from the Ministry of Justice.
Our annual budget is around 800,000 euros.
An official partnership with consultative status has been established between UNESCO and the Peace Education Institute at the end of the year 2020. Through cooperation, we have the possibility to influence the content and procedures of global peace education and share information on Finnish Peace Education.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, the sciences, and culture. It was founded after the Second World War in November 1945.