Founded by Eric Sirotkin, the Ubuntuworks Peace Education Project (UWPEP) inspires and empowers young people, activists and artists to open their eyes to their unlimited potential to creatively make a difference in our world. Through multimedia performances, interactive websites, lectures, films and peaceful exchanges, UWPEP builds a global community and promotes a culture of peace.
The world has reached the turning point. We can tumble into despair with more wars, fear and a divided world of us and them. Or we can choose the path of ubuntu - building peace and relationship through experiencing our intrinsic interconnection. UWPEP leads the way.
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"If the future of mankind is not to be jeopardized by conflicting spheres of civilization and culture, we have no alternative but to shift the ray of our attention from that which separates us to that which unites us."
Eric with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Alex Boraine, Co - Chairs of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and U.S. lawyers
I first learned about ubuntu when working in South Africa after the elections of 1994 that brought democracy and the election of Nelson Mandela. In the interim Constitution and the subsequent statute establishing the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it said “There shall be ubuntu rather than victimization.” At the first hearings of the Commission in East London, South Africa I met with the Chair of the Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu to record a statement to our monitors that were coming over for the TRC hearings and asked him to explain its meaning.
A beautiful smile came over his face, as he said, “It has no exact translation in western languages. Ubuntu is the essence of being human,” he said. “We are only human through our relations with others. The solitary individual is a contradiction in terms. We are corporate. What I do to another I do to myself. That is ubuntu.”