The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program sponsors travel study seminars to different parts of the world to provide Presbyterians with the opportunity to learn firsthand from our partners about efforts for peace, justice and reconciliation in contexts of conflict, injustice and oppression. Participants return from these travel study seminars informed and transformed by their experiences, ready to share stories and bear witness to all that they have seen and heard.
Travel study seminars are planned in partnership with World Mission staff and mission co-workers and in cooperation with our partner denominations and organizations.
Participants in the Peacemaking Program’s Travel Study Seminars will be:
- Inspired by experiences in cross-cultural and global contexts that are addressing peace and justice issues
- Equipped to bear witness to all that they have seen and heard and to strengthen their peacemaking witness
- Connected to partners engaged directly in peacemaking and justice work.
A flyer has been developed that promotes all of the Travel Study Seminars in 2019-2020. Please consider downloading and printing the flyer for promotion of the many seminars being offered by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
Rwanda: March 11-23, 2019
Reconciliation Work in Rwanda: Healing the Trauma of the Genocide
In 100 days in 1994 nearly 1 million persons identified as Tutsi were murdered in Rwanda. What are the roots of this genocide? How was the Church complicit? How did the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR), our Rwandan partner, respond in the immediate aftermath of the genocide? What is the level of conflict and trauma that continues to exist today? What reconciliation programs is EPR engaged in implementing today? These are some of the questions our mission coworkers and EPR partners will address. The answers are riveting, and they provide insight into addressing conflict globally- whether American inter-racial conflict, South Sudanese inter-tribal conflict or Myanmar state clashes. Participants will enjoy the scenic beauty of the “Land of 1000 Hills” and the cleanliness and architectural innovation of Kigali as they visit the Kigali Genocide Museum and other “remembrance” sites located throughout Rwanda. We’ll be joined by a delegation of participants from the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan who will share in community about their context and the relevance of the Rwandan experience to South Sudan.
Applications are now closed for the Rwanda Travel Study Seminar.
Ukraine and Russia: April 22 – May 6, 2019
Peacemaking on the Frontline
This seminar explores the conflict in Eastern Ukraine from the perspective of our partners in Ukraine and Russia, meeting with people on the ground in both places affected by the war. It will conclude with a consultation in Poland, in which we will bring together on neutral ground, Ukrainians and Russians for a dialogue on peacemaking and reconciliation in the context of the conflict. Participants will arrive in Warsaw, Poland, for an initial orientation and then head to Ukraine, where they will learn about the different identities and aspirations of the Ukrainian peoples. While in Ukraine they will meet refugees from the conflict and have the opportunity to visit inside the buffer zone that separates the contested areas from the rest of Ukraine. The group will then move on to Russia to hear a Russian perspective on the conflict and meet with people caught up in the conflict on the Russian side. The final weekend of the program will be a peacemaking dialogue in Warsaw, with some of those we have met, enabling them to listen to and engage with each other directly. In this way we will be facilitating an encounter between our partners that would otherwise be unavailable to them, directly contributing to the work of peacemaking and reconciliation in the region.
Applications are now closed for the Ukraine/Russia Travel Study Seminar
Central American Migrant Trails: February 17-28, 2020
Exploring the Journeys to and from the United States and Why We Must Act
Dominating the news cycle have been stories of migrant children who have been separated from their parents upon arrival to the US. We are horrified by this policy and know that our immigration system needs major reforms. This travel study seminar aims to help concerned Presbyterians better understand the immigration context we are facing in the US with our Central American brothers and sisters and why they take the risk of embarking on this dangerous journey north with children in tow. We will also explore other potential and actual consequences of US policies, such as mass deportation, and how that is impacting the lives of the returned migrants, their families, communities and nations. The trip will include intentional space for reflection that can lead us to action towards our nation’s need for comprehensive immigration reform. The seminar will include visits with ecumenical partners in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. There is an option to extend the seminar on the US/Mexico border to learn about how our US church people are addressing these issues in their particular regions. The extension dates are February 28 – March 3.
Application due date: October 1, 2019
Philippines and Hong Kong:May 1-15, 2020
Root Causes and Current Challenges of Forced Migration and Labor Trafficking
Since 1974, the Philippine government systematized its labor export program, in response to increasing unemployment and underemployment and social unrest. Several tribes of indigenous peoples of the Philippines struggle to protect their ancestral domains which yield a variety of natural resources. The militarized conflict over these lands, reflect the ambition to extract at all costs, without consideration for the survival and livelihood of these peoples and leads many to overseas employment. Philippines is the third largest country in the world to receive remittances. Almost 7000 workers per day, leave the Philippines to work in land-based and sea-based jobs. The labor force of Hong Kong domestic workers consists mostly of Indonesian and Filipina women. Accompanied by the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) through their ecumenical, regional and international partner organizations, these migrant workers organize, mobilize and receive pastoral care and support, amid these historical and current challenges.
Application due date January 1, 2020