International Public Management students successfully participate in essay competition for the International Day of Non-Violence

On Monday the 4th of October 2021 the International Day of Non-Violence was celebrated at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Two second-year International Public Management (IPM) students, Kevin Eustatia - Palm and Rianne Jenner attended the celebration as they participated in the Ghandi Essay Competition. Rianne her essay was eventually chosen as the winning essay.

Both students wrote about topics related to Mahatma Ghandi and his ideas. Kevin: “in my essay titled ‘Listen to the poor, not the rich; a lesson from Gandhi on safeguarding our world’s future’ I focused on the hypothetical question of what would happen if Ghandi would be alive today. I wondered what effect he would have on the modern world and the challenges we face in the 21st century such as the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.” Rianne took a different approach and wrote about how we can achieve a future of non-violence through reforming the educational sector. “In my essay called ‘The Future of Non-Violence: How cultivating non-violence in our children will pave the way to a peaceful planet’ I focused on the need to change educational curriculums and include specific non-violence teachings from a young age. This includes social skills training, behaviour management and peaceful conflict resolution. Eventually this will lead to a non-violent planet as people were taught how to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner.” 

All students that participated in the essay competition were invited as guests to celebrate the International Day of Non-Violence and were able to listen to keynote speeches by ex-minister Bruno Bruins and the ambassador of India to the Netherlands. Rianne and Kevin were thrilled to go to the Peace Palace. Kevin: “it was an amazing experience to go to the Peace Palace. We had both never been inside before, so that was quite the experience. Being from a small island myself I was extremely impressed.” Rianne wrote the winning essay and was asked to give a speech. “At the Peace Palace, I was nervous, but looking back it is a proud moment. I spoke about some of the arguments I made in my essay, including the importance of meditation, something that I believe benefits us all.”

Followed by the speeches a network reception took place. Rianne: “the network reception was amazing. I spoke to a few ambassadors and even got to speak to elementary school directors. Some of them told me that they were already implementing meditation in their school curriculum which was great to hear!” Kevin also enjoyed the network reception. “We were surrounded by important and interesting people. I am so happy we got this opportunity!”