The ten-week Peace Education Program changes lives within BUSY ability. Participation is voluntary in this program designed to help those impacted by the justice system to re-join the workforce. Upon arrival, many hung their heads, covered faces with caps and appeared uninterested. But all that was about to change.

The participants are part of the Workforce Australia Specialist Employment Services — a government funded program that rests with BUSY Ability to help justice-impacted individuals create a better path forward. As the program evolved, participants began sharing and connecting with each other. Although initial motivations to sign-up might have stemmed from reducing SPER debt, they became genuinely excited to change the direction of their lives.

The Peace Education Program, part of the Prem Rawat Foundation, is now delivered in over 80 countries. The goal of the program is to help individuals break negative cycles. The program has proven to be effective with former prisoners and military personnel, as well as those suffering from PTSD and addictions. It is also delivered in many universities and education facilities with course materials provided free of charge.

One of our participants candidly shared his story with us. Steve said, “I have a two-year old son and I don’t want to miss anything anymore. I missed his first birthday, his first steps. This came at a good time for me and I’ve developed more self-awareness. Everything starts here with me – it’s not outward, it’s inward. It took me a couple of weeks but once I got the idea, it’s taken off. I’ve put the videos on while at home, just to let it sink in.”

Steve went on to elaborate on why the program hit home. “We’re not normally taught about inner strength, usually we focus more on our weaknesses. The program teaches you to choose love over hate, peace over chaos. Now every time I think I’m going to explode, I have the ability to choose my reaction. Peace Education is now my drug of choice!”

Stacey Turnbull, CEO of BUSY Ability, stated, “We’re constantly in awe of the changes we see in our ex-offender clients after completing this program. Change really does begin from within and once people start to understand their centre of control, the future is brighter. It’s easier to find meaningful employment, a sense of pride in personal achievement, and create happier families – all of which boosts the community.”

We asked Steve for advice to those considering participating in the program and he stated, “Come into it with an open mind to let it sink in. If you’re closed off when you come in, it will take longer to hear the messages.”

Learn More about BUSY Ability and the support we can provide to ex-offenders.

Find out more about the Peace Education Program.

Eva Poulson from BUSY Ability with Steve, one of the participants who benefitted from the Peace Education Program.

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