24th January 2023 International Day of Education


Today we join hands with millions of students, teachers and many others in celebrating the International Day of Education! We are reminded of the critical role of ethics education in contributing to the holistic well-being of children, global citizenship and building peaceful and inclusive societies.

Ethics education promotes intercultural and interreligious learning, dialogue and collaboration and affirms the importance of nurturing core human values and children’s spiritual development.

This unique approach to education helps strengthen children’s humanity, connect them with their cultural and religious rootedness, cultivate critical thinking, and foster awareness, attitudes, and capacity to appreciate life and to collaborate with people of other cultures, religions and beliefs. 

Ethics education is built around the common value-pillars such as solidarity and human fraternity, which empower children to embrace their individual and collective responsibilities in an interconnected world.

On this day as we celebrate the power of education, we invite ministries of education and policy-makers to prioritise curriculum activities and pedagogical approaches that cultivate ethical values, intercultural and interfaith learning, dialogue and collaboration. 

On this day as we cherish the value of education, we invite all educational organisations, formal, informal and non-formal to join us in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Goal 4.7 which includes “ensuring education for the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity.”

We also invite teachers, educators, faith communities, and all those working with children to renew their commitment to integrating ethics education in their programs with children, as a contribution to building a better world for and with children.

In peace,
GHFP, a partner of the Ethics Education Fellowship Program

Featured Book: Happiness, Flourishing and the Good Life: A Transformative Vision for Human Well-Being


Well-being studies is an exciting and relatively new multi-disciplinary field, with data being gathered from different domains in order to improve social policies. In its reliance on a truncated account of well-being based implicitly on neoclassical economic assumptions, however, the field is deeply flawed.

Departing from reductive accounts of well-being that exclude the normative or evaluative aspect of the concept and so impoverish the attendant conception of human life, this book offers a new perspective on what counts normatively as being well. In reconceptualising well-being holistically, it presents a fresh vista on how we can consider the meanings of human life in a manner that also serves as a source of constructive social critique. The book thus undertakes to invert the usual approach to the social sciences, in which the research is required to be objective in terms of methodology and subjective with regard to evaluative claims. Instead, the authors are deliberately objective about values in order to be more open to the subjectivities of human life. 

Happiness, Flourishing and the Good Life thus seeks to move away from economic considerations’ domination of all social spaces in order to understand the possibilities of well-being beyond instrumentalisation or commodification. A radical new approach to the human well-being, this book will appeal to philosophers, social theorists and political scientists and all who are interested in human happiness.

The paperback of the book is available on Routledge, the Publisher’s website: https://www.routledge.com/Happiness-Flourishing-and-the-Good-Life-A-Transformative-Vision-for-Human/Thomson-Gill-Goodson/p/book/9780367552893

Featured Book: Understanding Peace Holistically


Understanding Peace Holistically: From the Spiritual to the Political argues that spiritually rooted and morally oriented peacefulness is relevant to the socio-economic–political structures that provide the conditions for a culture of peace. GHFP’s Scherto Gill and Garrett Thomson are the co-authors of this book.

Through developing a theory of positive and holistic peace, from the spiritual to the relational, and from communal towards the socio-political, this book identifies key principles that characterise international and institutional processes that nurture peace. The innovative conception of peace developed in this book may guide and inspire individuals, institutions, and international organisations with regards to how to make peace.

G20 Interfaith Forum 12-13 Dec 2022 in Abu Dhabi


The G20 Interfaith Forum’s (IF20) purpose is to help shape global agendas through practical and ethical experience and wisdom of the world’s diverse religious communities, which are often absent from global forums. The extensive contributions of the “network of networks” as well as the prophetic voice and leadership of renowned religious leaders can enrich the G20 deliberations and contribute, alongside parallel and often interlinked constituencies (civil society, youth, business, etc.) to addressing the urgent problems facing world leaders.

The IF20 2022 theme is “Engaging Faith Communities” and their leaders and
other actors, including academic, governmental, civil society, and other experts, in considering G20 Agendas in 2023 and beyond, including identifying priorities. specific plans and practical solutions to enrich and support G20 processes.


Prof Scherto Gill participated actively in IF20 2022 Summit, including contributing as a panellist to the Breakout Session on Antiracism and Collective Healing on 11th December, and as a moderator for the Breakout Session on Education on 12th December.

The GHFP and Fetzer Institute also co-sponsored the development of an educational policy brief which makes practical recommendations for the consideration of G20 leaders. The experts attending the IF20 2022 Summit affirmed educational priorities identified by the GHFP researchers, including: (1) holistic well-being as a core aim of education, (2) ethics education to underlie all curriculum contents, and (3) innovative pedagogy through teachers’ professional development. The IF20 Summit participants also stressed the importance of faith communities’ support to developing an educational ecosystem.

In 2023, the GHFP will host a series of consultations with different stakeholders, including politicians, educators, faith leaders, children and young people, and others, in order to listen inclusively to the diverse feedback and engage wider voices in policymaking.

Watch this space!

Human Force 2022


The Human Force camp impacted me in all aspects of my life (Spiritually, physically, mentally) to care for all the little things that are around me and also to love myself more every day. It just made me grow and appreciate everything, and increased my inner peace! — a 19-year old participant from Europe


Human Force is an international programme for young volunteers. It bridges the gap between grassroots initiatives and everyday people who want to make a difference to the welfare of our planet and its people. With over a decade of experience, Human Force offers short-term Learning Service Programmes at Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA) projects worldwide, in the areas of health, education and sustainable livelihoods. Learning Service is a progressive approach to the traditional role of international volunteering. Human Force combines volunteering with learning objectives in global development education in order to provide a pragmatic and culturally sensitive experience whilst still meeting project needs. 


In 2022, in partnership with the GHFP, Human Force’s international volunteers supported the community in Amanecer, la Tebaida, Colombia. The programme involved six kinds of activity:

  1. Contributing to Phase 1 Environmental Plan and involving the construction of a walkway for a group of endangered nocturnal monkeys, planting of over 100 native trees to create a biological corridor and photographic mapping of the area to use for future phases of the project, in conjunction with the University of Quindio
  2. English teaching classes over two days in conjunction with El Pedacito Del Cielo in the
    local town La Tebaida
  3. Mural painting and gardening around the kiosko with Fundacion Amanecer, which was
    built prior to the camp commencement for the local children to have a safe place to
    play and develop
  4. Installation of several signs for Amanecer International Centre and gardening work to
    further assist food security for the Centre
  5. Global Awareness Program involving several talks and workshops about the social,
    economic and environmental issues pertinent to the region
  6. Cultural and reflective activities to enrich the contextualisation of the project and bolster
    the human learning experience

This programme also featured region specific development learning related to ecology and the environment, guided personal reflection activities on talent and exploration of the unique landscape and culture of Colombia!

Sharing with good people, carrying out the different tasks together and despite the limitations in the language, everything has turned out in the best possible way. I’m so happy! — a 18-year old participant from Asia


Intergenerational Dialogue for Healing and Well-Being: Partners Meeting on 20-22 Nov 2022


The UNESCO Collective Healing Initiative aims to empower youth, especially young women, to initiate intergenerational dialogue and inquiry in communities impacted by historical mass brutality, and continued structural dehumanisation.

As illustrated by the African metaphor ‘Sankofa’, remembering the past can help recover and restore knowledge of previous generations, which not only benefits the present struggles and efforts, but can also guide our collective journeys into the future. Youth-initiated intergenerational dialogue and inquiry can enable stakeholders to reconnect with place-based indigenous wisdom, cultural resources and spiritual practices of resistance, resilience, restoration, healing, caring and well-being. Thus, intergenerational inquiry is a key to humanity’s endeavours to end cycles of destruction and patterns of violence.

By facilitating encounter and practising the arts of listening, attending, inquiring and dialogue, the intergenerational processes can help:

  1. Understand people’s memories of histories and how they perceive their present lived realities in connection to marginalisation, colonialism and transatlantic slavery
  2. Recover cultural wisdom and indigenous practices of resiliency, resistance, restoration, and regeneration
  3. Identify the starting points for collective healing, social justice, and well-being through place-based ‘treasures’, e.g. stories of compassion, confidence and trust in the community’s strengths, the richness of inner life, and so on
  4. Construct visions for a more humane and caring world
  5. Proposing institutional conditions for systemic transformation

Intergenerational dialogue invites communities to adapt the inquiring methodologies to their own contexts. With the support of local organisations and the international partners, and guided by scholars and researchers in applying the ethics of inclusion and the arts of listening and dialogue, young adults and community elders will capture and document community-based narratives, and present stories of resilience, healing and regeneration to worldwide audience for mutual learning.

On 20-22 November 2022, partners from six countries in four continents gathered in London for an intensive workshops in preparation for the launch of the pilots for Intergenerational Dialogue & Inquiry.

Colleagues from UNESCO, including Anna Maria Majlof, Chief of Rights, Dialogue and Inclusion, Yvette Kaboza and Lucie Seck, Coordinators of Routes of Enslaved people, and Michael Frazier, UNESCO Donors Relations, as well as representatives from the programme’s funding partners, including Dr Mohammed Mohammed, Senior Programme Office of the Fetzer Institute, Professor Garrett Thomson, CEO of the Guerrand-Hermes Foundation for Peace, and Jeremy Smith, Dean of Education and Humanities, at the University of Wales TSD, all expressed their commitment to this global partnership.

Education Evaluation for Well-being: Personal, Relational and Global: Webinar 13th Oct 2022


On 13th October, educational thinkers, practitioners and policymakers gathered together online to discuss the challenges of the current assessment paradigm, and explored the potentials of an innovative orientation to education, one that places the process of relating at the centre of learning and well-being!

Many believe that the building blocks for realising the potentials of a relation-centred education are largely in place. However, the major obstacle to its advancement remains the defective, testing-based approach to assessment. Hence, amplifying the voice of students and teachers, in this webinar, we presented an energising array of evaluative practices that nourish the potentials of relating while providing a wealth of resources for continued learning,  and for enriching students’ (and teachers’) well-being.

The GHFP’s senior fellows, Prof Kenneth Gergen and Prof Scherto Gill provided key input in this webinar. Their contributions drew on insights from their book entitled “Beyond the Tyranny of Testing: Relational Evaluation in Education” published by Oxford University Press.

See the Webinar Concept Note below and its Programme.

Educational_Evaluation_for_Well-Being_Webinar_ProgrammeDownload

During the Webinar, Prof Scherto Gill says:

We have deliberately chosen the term ‘evaluation’ as opposed to other terms such as ‘assessment’, ‘measurement’ or ‘appraisal’. This is because these latter ones tend to carry strong connotations of objective judgement, and imply that learning is best observed and improved through quality control, carried out by an external authority.

By contrast, ‘evaluation’ is about valuing, strengthening, empowering. In the context of education, it is about appreciating the values in the activities and experiences of teaching and learning. In so doing, evaluation can replace the emphasis on student deficiency with a focus on the potentialities, possibilities and opportunities for well-being and well-becoming. Valuing helps affirm students’ equal intrinsic value as persons, and support the emergence of their strengths.

The contributors to the Webinar concluded that the world of education is in desperate need of political will as to re-focus educational aims and processes, away from passing exams and achieving grades; away from preparing students to be used as part of the economy engine, but instead, to refocus education on making schools high-quality inclusive & caring environments fit for our children and young people’s learning and well-being.

Ethics Education Fellowship Programme – 1st Capacity-Building Session, Indonesia, Oct 2022

Photo Credit: Kaiciid

In November 2022, the GHFP and other partners, including Arigatou International and Kaiciid co-convened the Ethics Education Fellowship Programme’s first capacity-building session in Yogyakarta, hosted by Indonesian Ministry of Education.

More than 30 Fellows from the Ministries of Education of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nepal and Seychelles participated in the capacity-building, including workshops on facilitating intercultural and interreligious dialogue, transformative pedagogy, and collaborative approaches to monitoring-evaluation-learning (MEL).

Photo Credit: Kaiciid

Fellows were enthusiastic about the relational conception of ethics education and the innovative pedagogical practices introduced. They also realised that the ways to evaluate the fruit of teaching and learning cannot be separated from the processes of engaging in teaching and learning.

Photo Credit: Kaiciid

More importantly, the Fellows recognised that when fully integrated in public education, ethics education can provide the space for learners to foster the qualities, capacities and competencies necessary for them to relate ethically with self, others and the world. Through interreligious, intercultural and interworldview learning processes, children internalise the relational principles of dialogue, and develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills to flourish in a plural world.

Report: Transforming Education

Transforming Educaiton
Transforming Education Report

The global symposium Transforming Education: Ethics Education for Learning to Live Together gathered more than 900 educators, children and young people, policymakers, religious leaders, faith-based and civil society organizations, academic researchers, and multilateral agencies.

The Symposium provided a platform for various stakeholders to share experiences on ethics education programs and their contribution to peacebuilding and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Participants learned about good practices, programs, and policies from governments and schools, with the participation of several ministries of education.

We are pleased to share with you the Report of the Symposium, where you will find out more about the issues discussed, and the recommendations made by the different stakeholders.

You will also find below, the Policy Brief: Advancing Ethics Education for Children to Contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, developed by the organizers, with concrete recommendations and programmatic actions on integrating ethics education as a core tenet of equal and inclusive education for children.

One of the main outcomes of the symposium is the launch of the Ethics Education Fellowship Programme for ministries of education to build a network of formal education institutions and create a platform for sharing and building capacity within the ministries. The Fellowship Program will be formally announced within the next few weeks.

Please feel free to get in touch with us to explore collaborations and find opportunities for partnership and engagement.

G20 Interfaith Forum Education Policy Statement 2021

“Young people are on the frontlines of the struggle to build a better future for all.” — António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

“Children will never accept a return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic because ‘normal’ was never good enough.” — Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF


In 2021, through a Global Listening Initiative, the G20 Interfaith Forum Education Working Group partners brought forward voices of worldwide children and young people in the following policy statement. It highlights five practical implementable actions as follows:

  1. SAFEGUARD HEALING AND WELL- BEING AS A CORNERSTONE OF EDUCATION
    Education is essential not only to healing the trauma of COVID- 19, but also addressing the pre- existing epidemic of youth mental and emotional illbeing. Faith- sensitive conceptions and practices of healing and well- being should be considered to enrich educational effort to this end. This is a significant step that all G20 countries can
    take for education, guided by a common objective of nurturing students’ holistic well- being through education.
  2. ENGAGE YOUTH IN EDUCATIONAL DECISION- MAKING
    Youth have a significant part to play in educational decisions that directly affect their learning, well- being, and present and future lives. Therefore, all young people, including girls and youth from minority and vulnerable backgrounds, must be respected and engaged as actors, innovators, co- creators, partners, and advocates for transforming education. G20 leaders should consider faith communities as key partners for education in this regard as many have provided meaningful support in terms of youth engagement.
  3. ENSURE ALL LEARNERS’ EQUITABLE AND CONSISTENT ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION
    To improve learners’ equitable experience of, and equal access to, good quality education requires a commitment to making digital technological infrastructures available in homes, schools, and communities. Broad G20 political partnerships and public and private investments in educational resources are key to educational inclusion.
  4. EMBED ECOLOGICAL AND GLOBAL CONCERNS IN CURRICULA AGENDA
    The world increasingly recognises the interdependence of human well- being and ecological flourishing, a spiritual understanding long advocated by global faith communities. Education can contribute significantly to young people’s deepened awareness of the need to decentralise human self- interest, and to recentre human
    responsibility for regenerating our ecological environment. With the support of faith-based partners, curricula agendas must be reformed to include and promote environmental education and direct experiences in/of nature, along with a deeper understanding of SDGs and the skills to support them.
  5. PRIORITISE TEACHERS’ WELL- BEING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND STRENGTHEN THEIR CAPACITIES TO FACILITATE BLENDED LEARNING
    Teachers’ well- being and continued professional development is essential to high quality education. With the strong possibility of future pandemics on the horizon, cultivating teachers’ capacities to facilitate student learning and well- being through online and blended media has become a key priority. Online CPD platforms and
    creative resources across G20 partnerships can serve to support the sharing of innovative practices and enable mutual learning. Faith- inspired conceptions of education and well- being can help strengthen teachers’ connection with the noble vocation.