I spent 34 years of my life as a teacher in mainstream education. During that time I taught at primary and secondary level and found most of the young people I met to be wonderful. My subject areas at secondary level were Drama, Dance, Music, English, History and Religious Studies.
After 9/11, I devised the Peace Mala bracelet and project to empower and educate young people. This was my response to the racial, religious and homophobic taunts some of my pupils suffered.
The project works to empower and educate everyone by using creative and innovative approaches to key issues and concepts. It’s especially focused on global youth work, human rights and inter-faith dialogue for peace. It also contributes to education for global citizenship by inviting all people to treat each other with respect regardless of race, colour, religion, gender, sexuality, size, age or ability. At the heart of Peace Mala is the compassionate wish for people, animals and the environment to be at peace.
A Peace Mala is a symbolic double rainbow bracelet that focuses on the Golden Rule. Its intention is to educate and remind everyone that this rule is recognised by many scholars, teachers and philosophers. It is also universal to all compassionate faiths. Simply stated, it is:
“Treat others as you would wish them to treat you.”
This is the central message of the Peace Mala bracelet and youth project. Peace Mala cuts through all forms of prejudice and bullying and celebrates what makes us different from each other. Fourteen spiritual traditions, along with their individual versions of the Golden Rule, are represented on the bracelet. The central clear bead on the bracelet represents the wearer.
The word ‘mala’ is Sanskrit and means ‘garland of flowers. In the East a ‘mala’ is a string of beads which may be used in mediation or prayer as each bead focuses on a prayer or mantra. I like to think of the rainbow beads on the Peace Mala as representing the human family in all its glorious diversity.
Peace Mala stands for total compassion for all beings without exception, and does not takes sides with anyone against anyone else. It is a vision for the future. Wearing the Peace Mala is a promise to help create a better world.
Since the launch of Peace Mal at the UNA Wales Temple of Peace in Cardiff, the project has grown. We now have Peace Mala Accreditation for schools, youth groups and community groups. I am delighted to see that this initiative is growing across the UK.
Recently we launched 14 symbolic doves of peace to travel the world. It will be so exciting to see where our doves travel. Two are already on their way to the US and another is already in Sardinia. We know that some will travel to Africa, Cyprus, Hong Kong and Japan. Symbolic peace dove no 13 is our Inter-Faith Dove of peace. We hope that this will bring harmony and friendship between different faith communities here in the UK and beyond.
Faith representatives at the launch of our symbolic doves of peace
Peace Mala Symbolic Inter-Faith Dove of Peace
Peace Mala is a non-political, non-religious registered British Charity.
For more information about the project visit:
Registered Charity No 1118053
Info on Pam Evans
Pam Evans is an honours graduate of the University of Wales and an experienced teacher of World Faiths. Pam taught at High School level for 34 years before taking early retirement. In her last teaching post she worked as Head of the Department of Religious Studies in Coedcae Comprehensive School in Llanelli, Wales. In her youth she was also involved in the music industry as a singer.
Pam Evans has been fascinated by the mystical traditions of all faiths for most of her adult life. She has a keen interest in History, Egyptology, Anthropology and travel. At the age of eleven she declared herself an atheist and stopped attending church. Seven years later whilst studying Religion at A level she discovered Liberal Theology, Biblical Exegesis and Form Criticism. This opened her mind to a new and exciting way of studying Holy Scripture and made her think again about the possible existence of God. She went on to study Mains Advanced Divinity at Trinity College, Carmarthen.
Pam describes herself as an open-minded Christian who has a healthy respect for all compassionate, spiritual traditions. She is committed to interfaith dialogue for peace which she sees as a vital process in the current world climate of fear and misunderstanding.