Sunday, October 2 is the International Day of Non-Violence as set forth by the United Nations in honor of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.
According to the UN, the day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.”
“Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Here at Food for the Hungry (FH), we believe that non-violence starts in the home. This means parents responding to children without violence and responding to one another without violence.
That’s why FH cares so much about preventing child abuse. Our staff around the globe trains Cascade Groups (which you can read more about here) on Violence Prevention and Parenting Skills. This is an effort to move communities toward an attitude of non-violence.
Catalina participated in the Cascade Group Violence Prevention and Parenting Skills Project that FH started in her community. She then went on to teach other mothers about non-violence.
Violence Prevention in Peru
Catalina, a mother in Peru, attended these classes with six other mothers from her community.
“I am a mother to five kids, and through this program I am learning how to be a better mother,” Catalina said. “I’m learning how to educate and instruct my kids and even how to communicate better and more peacefully with my husband.”
Now she is helping her neighbors learn this important lesson too. She uses a flip chart to spread the important message of hope that accompanies a life of non-violence. One of the mothers in her group is Elsa.
“I am more loving with my kids and my husband,” Elsa said. “A couple of times my husband was home when Catalina came to share, and he also listened to the lesson. This has helped him to be more affectionate and communicate more with our kids.”
This training is truly changing the lives of families. Catalina loves helping to share this knowledge about how to prevent violence in the home. She also understands how important this is to learn as a community.
“I am so glad I am able to help my neighbors,” she said. “Not only to share what I have learned, but we are really learning together. Elsa shares her opinions with me and I learn from her too.”
When communities can grow and develop together, they are creating lasting change and building hope.
Catalina stands with Elsa, a woman from her group who she trained on non-violence in the home. Both women say the training has changed their families.
This program has since come to a close in Catalina’s community in Peru, but its effects are everlasting. The relationships formed through the program have made the community stronger. This gives parents a better support system founded on a biblical worldview (which you can read more about here.)
“I feel like I am a guardian and helper now,” Catalina said. “If a neighbor or friend has a problem in her family, I will be there to try to help her work it out.”
It is programming like this that is helping to end violence in communities worldwide. Communities are learning to better communicate and love their children.
If you want to find out more about FH programming on non-violence, click here.
To get involved and donate, click here.