The Oleander Initiative is implemented by the University of the Middle East Project, a USA based 501 c3 non profit organization.
Oleander Initiative Program Description
Months after the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, a small patch of red oleander flowers bloomed out of the irradiated rubble. Since then, red oleander has symbolized both the dangers of nuclear war and the hope of a more peaceful future. In a similar spirit, the Oleander Initiative leverages the “power of place” of the city of Hiroshima – the first city to be devastated by nuclear weapons – to harness the power of education to promote more peaceful societies.
The Oleander Initiative inspires peacebuilders to formulate innovative approaches to their work by removing them from their usual contexts and immersing them in Hiroshima’s culture of peace. Throughout this experience, participants are encouraged to reflect upon the various “lessons of Hiroshima” – pacifism, resilience, forgiveness, among others- and then work collaboratively to apply these lessons within their own local environments.
Since the inaugural program in 2016, dozens of educators, politicians, NGO workers, and civil society leaders from 14 countries have developed deep and actionable insight on their own practices via the Oleander Initiative.
Oleander Initiative Program Elements
- Live testimonials from hibakusha atomic bomb survivors
- Instruction from top academics on peace culture, historical memory and reconciliation
- Visits to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Peace Park, Atomic Bomb Dome and other sites of conscience
- Visit to Radiation Effects Research Hospital – a medical institution studying the impact of radiation on hibakusha for over 70 years
- Site visits to Hiroshima schools– the only system in the world where peace education is mandatory in all levels of education
- Visits to hibaku- jomoku or A-bombed trees, a symbol of resilience and rebirth in Hiroshima
- Meetings with Hiroshima city officials via the Hiroshima Peace Culture office
- Networking opportunities with Hiroshima Peacebuilding NGOs
- One-day trip to Onomichi and the surrounding Japanese countryside
- Facilitated discussion and guidance to enable participants to adapt their lesson of Hiroshima to their own practice
- Day trip to Miyajima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Cultural Activities including Kagura performance, tea ceremony, and calligraphy
Please click HERE to view previous Oleander Initiative Programs