Bruno Ficili,
nato a Scicli, in provincia di Ragusa, si è laureato in Pedagogia presso l'Università Cattolica di Milano.
Dal 1986, come presidente dell'Associazione Internazionale per l'educazione alla pace, di cui è anche fondatore, organizza in Sicilia, a Siracusa, città in cui vive e lavora come dirigente scolastico, i convegni internazionali sulla educazione alla pace, coinvolgendo centinaia di studiosi provenienti da ogni parte del mondo e, in particolar modo, i rappresentanti di popoli che vivono le atrocità causate dalle guerre.
Ha elaborato insieme con relatori partecipanti ai convegni progetti di educazione alla pace, al dialogo, realizzati in molte scuole di vari Paesi, per la educazione dei giovani alla pace, alla cooperazione tra i popoli.
Il suo impegno è rivolto anche alla promozione di azioni di solidarietà umana, che vengono effettuate con l'aiuto degli alunni delle scuole, con raccolte di fondi destinati a tanti bambini bisognosi, che vivono nei Paesi tormentati dalle guerre.
Nel 1989 viene pubblicato il libro "L'educazione alla pace" a cura di Bruno Ficili, editore Sciascia Caltanissetta.
Nel 1996 Emanuele Romeo Editore - Siracusa - pubblica il libro "L'umanità al bivio" a cura di Bruno Ficili. Il ricavato della vendita è stato interamente devoluto in beneficenza da Bruno Ficili a bambini orfani di guerra.
Per il suo impegno finalizzato alla diffusione di un ideale di pace tra i popoli Bruno Ficili è stato candidato più volte al premio Nobel per la Pace da componenti del Congresso degli Stati Uniti.
E' stato invitato a portare il suo messaggio di pace nelle capitali di molti Paesi tra cui Seul, Sarajevo, Zagabria, Gerusalemme, Bonn, Ramallah, Tripoli, Atene e in varie Università degli USA.
Durante la guerra nella ex Jugoslavia si è recato più volte nei campi di profughi di Mostar, Karlovac, Vukovar e ha adottato bambini orfani di guerra.
Per il suo costante impegno contro la violenza il 23 Ottobre. 1996 gli viene conferita, negli Stati Uniti, nell'Università Centrale dello Stato del Connecticut, la laurea Honoris Causa in lettere Umanistiche.
Ha ideato la bandiera della pace, realizzata in migliaia di copie, che contiene i volti di bambini, che rappresentano tutti i Continenti e sei colori fondamentali, che sintetizzano i colori di tutte le bandiere del mondo e formano diramandosi dai volti dei bambini, il simbolo della pace universale.
Nei giorni 26 - 27 - 28 Novembre 1998 a Ragusa e nella ex base missilistica di Comiso ha organizzato il decimo Convegno internazionale sulla educazione alla pace.
Vi hanno partecipato 40 relatori provenienti da venti Paesi, che hanno parlato, da una base che prima ospitava soldati e missili, della urgenza e necessità di educare i giovani alla pace, al dialogo, alla cooperazione tra i popoli.
Il 3 e 4 Dicembre 1999 a Siracusa e il giorno 6 nella ex base missilistica di Comiso, organizza l'undicesimo Convegno internazionale sulla educazione alla Pace.
A questo importante convegno partecipano i leaders di gruppi politici e militari del Burundi, Stato dell'Africa e un grande campione dello Sport, Muhammad Ali, impegnato da anni sul tema della pace.
Bruno Ficili lavora per oltre otto mesi, per la realizzazione di questo XI Convegno e alla fine viene ottenuto un risultato straordinario; dopo un ampio dibattito, prima Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) e successivamente tutti i leaders del Burundi presenti, tra cui rappresentanti Hutu e Tutsi, firmano un Patto di non aggressione a scuole, ospedali, luoghi di culto, orfanotrofi del loro Paese.
11 7 Dicembre 1999, una copia del "Patto di non aggressione" firmata da tutti i relatori a Siracusa e a Comiso, viene consegnata, a Roma, da Bruno Ficili e Muhammad Ali al Capo del Governo italiano.
I lavori del XII Convegno, a Ragusa, nei giorni 6-7 Dicembre 2000, si concludono con la elaborazione di un documento finale contro la pena di morte, firmato da tutti i relatori e trasmesso, in copia, ai governatori degli Stati Uniti e ai Capi di tutti gli Stati del mondo in cui essa è in vigore. Il 16 Febbraio 2001, Ficili viene invitato a Roma, alla Camera dei deputati, dal Comitato interparlamentare per la prevenzione dei conflitti e il dialogo fra i popoli, per aprire i lavori della Conferenza internazionale. sul tema "L'adesione della Turchia all'unione europea: democrazia, diritti umani e questione curda.
Nei giorni 29 - 30 Novembre a Priolo Gargallo e il 1 Dicembre a Siracusa si svolge il XIII Convegno internazionale sulla educazione alla pace. Partecipano 30 relatori provenienti da diversi Paesi, tra cui rappresentanti di Palestina e Israele, Stati Uniti, Afghanistan e Irak.
Al termine dei lavori viene firmato un documento da tutti i relatori, in cui si evidenzia la necessità della educazione dei giovani alla pace, al dialogo, alla cooperazione tra i popoli. Il documento, in copia, viene trasmesso ai Capi di Stato, con la richiesta di inserimento, nei programmi di studio delle scuole delle Nazioni che rappresentano, della materia "Educazione alla pace".
I relatori partecipanti al XIV Convegno, nel Novembre 2002, a Priolo Gargallo e a Siracusa, tra cui componenti di ONU e UNESCO e rappresentanti di vari Paesi, come Burundi, Tanzania, Kurdistan, USA, Irak, Giappone, israele, Palestina, Italia, Afghanistan, Congo, Tunisia, Malta, Grecia, alla fine dei lavori del Convegno, hanno elaborato e firmato un documento contro la guerra e contro ogni tipo di violenza terroristica.
Il nove Febbraio 2003, dopo aver raccolto oltre diecimila firme di giovani studenti italiani, Bruno Ficili trasmette un appello alle Nazioni Unite, al Presidente George W. Bush e al Presidente Saddam Hussein, con una pressante richiesta, affinché possano impegnarsi a trovare una soluzione pacifica della crisi Irachena, ricercando soprattutto la via del dialogo.

Nei giorni 14-15-16 Aprile 2003, negli Stati Uniti, nell’universitą Centrale del Connecticut, incontra l’ex capo di governo di Israele Shimon Peres. I vari colloqui, in presenza del rettore della CCSU, riguardano soprattutto i problemi del Medio Oriente e le speranze di pace tra Palestinesi e Israeliani.
Il 13 Settembre viene invitato a Dusseldorf, in Germania, per partecipare, come relatore,all’undicesimo raduno internazionale del popolo Curdo.
All’incontro, in cui viene affrontata la problematica”Per una democrazia nel Medio Oriente e un libero Kurdistan”,vi partecipano circa 150 mila Kurdi provenienti da ogni parte d’Europa.
Dal 28-29 Novembre 2003 si svolge a Siracusa il XV convegno internazionale sull’educazione alla pace.Ficili invita a parteciparvi relatori provenienti da vari Paesi, tra cui rappresentanti dell’Unesco, di Israele, l’ambasciatore presso la Santa Sede Oded Ber-Hur e il presidente della Mezza luna rossa di Palestina Fathi Arafat.
A conclusione dei lavori del convegno viene firmato, da tutti i relatori, un documento contro la fame nel mondo. Nei primi di Gennaio 2004 compie un viaggio, per fini umanitari, nel Burundi, Stato del Centro Africa.
Dal 18 al 24 Maggio del 2005 viene invitato in Palestina, a Ramallah.
Interviene come relatore al IX Congresso, sul problema del Medio Oriente, promosso dalla Palestine Red Crescent Society.

Dal 22 Febbraio al 2 Marzo 2008 viene invitato negli Stati Uniti, nella Universitą Centrale di New Britain, Connecticut, come relatore, con il console generale di Germania a Boston, per discutere sul tema " Il processo di pace Israelo - Palestinese : valutazione di due Europei ". 

Il primo Novembre 2008 riceve a Boston il " CSNA Special Award for Humanitarian Service " per la sua instancabile attivitą per la promozione di un ideale di pace, di solidarietą, di dialogo e cooperazione tra i popoli.

Nei giorni 5-6-7 Maggio 2010 organizza a Priolo Gargallo, Siracusa, il XVIII Convegno Internazionale sulla Educazione alla Pace; vi partecipano, come negli anni precedenti, relatori che portano la loro testimonianza dai Paesi martoriati da guerre fraticide.  

L'impegno di Bruno Ficili per quanto concerne il tema relativo alla educazione alla pace, alla non violenza, continua con maggiore intensità, con l'intento di fare di Siracusa e della Sicilia un luogo dove si elaborano programmi e concrete strategie educative di pace e di solidarietà umana che possano coinvolgere, con una grande diffusione multimediale, un numero sempre più rilevante di persone.


BRUNO FICILI
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION ON PEACE EDUCATION


Bruno Ficili, born in Scicli (Ragusa), Sicily, was gradueted in educational subjects at Cattolica University in Milano.
From 1986, as President of the International Association on Peace Education, of which he also is the founder, he organizes international meetings on peace education in Siracusa, Sicily, where he lives and works as scholastic headmaster. In these meetings hundreds of learning men, coming from every part of the world and, in particular, representatives of peoples who live the atrocities caused by war, are involved.
With rapporteurs that have participated at the meetings, he has elaborated plans on peace education, dialogue, realized in many schools of different countries, to educate young people to peace and cooperation among people. His commitment is also addressed to promote actions of human solidarity, that are made with the help of students, with funds intended for a lot of poor children, that live in countries tormended by wars.
In 1989 the book "Education to Peace" edited by Bruno Ficili, is published by Sciascia, Caltanissetta.
In 1996 Emanuele Romeo, Siracusa., publishes the book "Mankind at the crossroad" edited by Bruno Ficili. The proceeds of the sales are completely given in charity for little orphans of war.
For his commitment aimed at communication of an idea! peace among peoples,Bruno Ficili has been candidate at Nobel Price for Peace many times by the members of the U.S.A. Congress.
He was invited to bring his message ofpeace in the Capitals ofmany countries such as Seul, Saraj evo,Zagabri a,Gerusalemme,Bonn, Ramallah, Tripoli, Atene and various U.S.A.universities.
During the ex Jugoslavia war he has been more times at refugee camps of Mostar, Karlovac, Vukovar and he has adopted little orphans of war. For his continuous commitment against violence, in October 23 th 1996 he receives the Honoris Causa Degree in Humanistic Letters in United States, at Central Connecticut State University.
He has designed the Peace Flag, realized in thousands of copies. It conteins children that represent all the Continents and the six basic colours that are the colours of all the world flags and make, branching out the faces of the children, the symbol of the universal peace.
In November 26-27-28 of 1998 in Ragusa ex missilistic. base of Comiso, he has organized the tenth International Meeting on Peace Education.
There were forty rapporteurs coming from twenty countries. They have spoken, in a base ,where once soldiers and missiles used to be, about the need and the necessity to educate young people to peace, dialogue and cooperation among people.
In December 3-4 of 1999 in Siracusa and the 6 at the ex missilistic base of Comiso, he organizes the eleventh International Meeting on Peace Education. In this important meeting there are the leaders of politica! and military groups of Burundi, african state, and Muhammad Alì, a great champion of sport, committed on peace theme from years.
Bruno Ficili works hard, for more then eight months, to realize this eleventh meeting and, finally, he obtains an extraordinary result; after a long debate, Muhammad Alì(Cassius Clay) first, and all the leaders of Burundi, such as Hutu and Tutsi representatives, then, sign a Non-aggression Pact at schools, hospital, religious, places, orphanages of their countries. In December the 7th 1999, a copy of' Non-aggression Pact" signed by all the rapporteurs in Siracusa and Comiso, is handed over the Premier in Rome by Bruno Ficili and Muhammad Ali.
In Ragusa, the 6th and 7th of December 2000, the works of the XII Meeting come to the conclusion of the elaboration of a final document against the pain of death, signed by all the rapporteurs and transmitted, in copy, to the U.S. Governors and to the Heads of all the States of the world where it is in force.
In February the 16 2001,Ficili is invited in Rome, at Chamber of Deputies, by the Interparliamentary Committee for the prevention of wars and the dialogue among peoples, to open the International Conference works about "the assent of Turkey into European Union: democrazy, human rights and Kurdistan question".
During the days 29-30 of November in Priolo Gargallo and the first of December in Siracusa there is the XIII International Meeting on Peace Education. About thirty rapporteurs take part in. They come from different countries, such as Palestine, lsrael, U.S.A. ,Afghanistan and Irak. Finally a document is signed by all the rapporteurs, in which the necessity to educate young people to peace, dialogue and cooperation among people, is put in evidence. A copy of the document is transmitted to the Heads of States. The request to put Education to peace a subject in the Syllabus of the schools of their Nations.
In November 2002, in Priolo Gargallo and Siracusa,t he rapporteurs who have participated at the XIV International Meeting ,including members of ONU and UNESCO, and representatives of different countries such as Burundi,Tanzania,Kurdistan,USA,Irak,Japan,Israel,Palestine,Italy,Afghanistan,Congo, Tunisia, Malta, Greece, finally have elaborated and signed a document against war and every type of terroristic violence.
In February the 9th 2003, after collecting more then ten thousands of signatures between Italian students, Bruno Ficili transmits an appeal to United Nations, to the President George W. Bush and to Saddam Hussein, with an urgent request so that they could get involved to find a pacific solution about the iraken crisis, looking, above all, for the dialogue way.

The 14th, 15th, 16th, of the April 2003, in the United States, in the Central Connectcut State University, he has a meeting with the already first minister of Israel Shimon Peres. In the important meeting togheter with the chancellor of the C.C.S.U., Ficili and Peres spoke about the problems and the hopes of the Middle East and about the conflict between Israelians and Palestinians people.
The 13th of September he was invited in Dusseldorf, Germany, as referee at the international Kurdish meeting about democracy in the Middle East and for the rights of the Kurdish people. One hundred- fifthy thausand persons from everywhere participated to this event.
The 28th, 29th of November 2003, Bruno Ficili organized in Siracusa the fiftheen international conference about peace education. Rapporteurs from many countries were present for the event; Unesco leaders, the israelian ambassador in Vaticano Oded Ben-Hur, the president of the red-moon Fathi Arafat from Palestin. At the end of the congress, was signed by all the referees a document against the hunger problem in the world.
During the Gennary of the 2004, Bruno Ficili mark a trip, motive humanitarian, in Burundi, a State in the Center of Africa.
From the 18th to the 24th of May 2005 he was invited in Ramallah, Palestine, to speak about the Middle East’s problem during the IX Congress organized by the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

From the 22 February to 2 March 2008 is invited in the United States, in the Central Connecticut University State of New Britain, as chiarman, with the general consul of Germany in Boston, to discuss on the theme "The process of peace Israelo - Palestinan : evaluation of two Europeans ".

The fisrt November 2008 receives in Boston the " CSNA Special Award for Humanitarian Service" for the untiring activity on the promotion of an ideal  of peace, of solidariety, of dialogue and cooperation among the people.

In the days May 5-6-7 th 2010 organizes in Priolo Gargallo,Syracuse, the International XVIII Convegno on the Education to the Peace; with the share, as in the preceding years, of chairmen that have brought their testimony from the Countries tortured by fraticidal wars.

Prof. Ficili's commitment to the cause of education for peace and non violence continues tirelessly. His efforts aim at turning Siracuse and Sicily into a lab for the working out of new programmes and strategies for the promotion of universal peace and tolerance. In order to involve an ever growing number of people, he is planning to start a multimedia project.


 

 

 

Bruno Ficili

Citizen Peacemaker

 By

William Corvo

             Professor Bruno Ficili is the embodiment of  “walking the walk” after “talking the talk”. This is most impressive when one considers that the “talk” is about world peace. First and foremost Bruno Ficili is an educator. A pedagogical expert who performed extensive research in the art of education at the University of Milan, Ficili is the director of a school in Siracusa, Italy.

Peace Through Education

            His work in the development of Peace through Education has evolved over the past twenty years to the point where he has achieved international recognition.  Ficili was the President of the Siracusa chapter of the Italian Pedagogic Association when he came up with the idea that peace could only be achieved through a serious approach involving education and dialogue. In 1986 his organization sponsored the first International Conference on Peace through Education held at Priolo Gargallo in the Province of Siracusa, Sicily. Ficili invited writers, journalists, historians, and educators from Italy, Russia and the United States. Concurrent with the Peace Conference, Ficili organized a competition among the school children in the area. He asked them to react to the theme of peace and non-violence “Peace as a force for good - in the family, in society and between nations” and to reflect. Over 1,000 children responded with research, poetry and artwork.

            Following the initial success of the Peace Conference, a book with the record of the conference was published and distributed worldwide. It was a good beginning.

 

Professor Bruno Ficili

Kiung Hee University- Seoul, South Korea 1992

 

            In 1989 Ficili moved again to advance discussions on Peace through Education with a 2nd International Conference held again in the Province of Siracusa. Held the 23rd, 24th and 25th of November 1989 the conference was attended by people from Libya, Palestine, Israel, the United States, Russia, Poland and Japan with a broad range of disciplines. The Conference sent a message in support of peace to President Bush and Premier Gorbachev who were in major discussions at the nearby island of Malta. Twenty four participants in the program signed the message which stated “We are convinced that an enduring peace among the people of the world will result from the disarmament of the military but even more so if we engage in education for peace. We appeal to you so that the leaders of the two most powerful countries in the world will agree to adopt “Education for Peace” as part of their national curriculum in their schools.”

 

Approach to Gheddafi and Libya

            One of the topics of discussion during this Peace Conference was the result of an event, which at first blush, appeared to be of minor importance. The island of Sicily is within less than 100 miles of the African coast and Libya. Two fishermen from the nearby town of Augusta were taken captive, along with two Tunisians who worked for them, by the Libyan government when their fishing boats were pushed into Libyan waters during a storm in the Mediterranean Sea. Family members of the fishermen appeared at the Peace Conference asking Ficili to intervene on their behalf. The Libyan Ambassador was in attendance at the Conference. Ficili wasted little time in moving to help the fishermen. He put together a delegation and flew to Tripoli in December of 1989 pleading for clemency on the part of the Gheddafi government to liberate the two Italian and two Tunisian fishermen. Gheddafi received the delegation and agreed issuing an act of clemency, which in effect terminated the imprisonment and released the men. It was to be the first of many actions by Ficili to personally involve himself in helping to bring peace through personal involvement and actions.

 

Approach to Hussein and Iraq

            The following year Bruno Ficili took up the cause of prisoners being held hostage by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. His humanitarian moves in favor of these prisoners began, as always with a raising of public consciousness to create a strong base of support. He asked for and received thousands of signed petitions from more than 16,000 school children in Italy in favor of releasing the hostages. Ficili accompanied by author Danilo Dolci brought the petitions to Iraqi authorities urging them to retreat from Kuwait and release all hostages immediately. Later, in March of 1991, with the support of UNESCO, Ficili held the 3rd International Conference on Peace through Education.

            Over 4,000 people attended the Conference and were moved to see Salman Jabar, an Iraqi participant who had lost two brothers in the Kuwaiti War, walk over to the American Conference Rector John Shumaker to extend his hand in peace and friendship. Millions of Italians watching the Conference on television where moved by the scene.

With each new Peace Conference Ficili was able to broaden the base of participation with delegates from all over the world. The 4th International Conference of Peace through Education, held in 1992 had 34 speakers, including representatives from Croatia, Jamaica, Serbia, Lebanon, Kurdistan, Germany, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, Libya, Palestine, Israel, Hungary, Somalia, Russia, the United States and Italy. During the Conference the Minister of Health of Croatia handed Professor Ficili a list containing the names of 6,000 prisoners, including many children, being held by the Serbians in the ongoing war. Ficili met with Erik Jensen, Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations and provided him with the list of names.  He then began moving to provide food, clothing and other assistance to orphans in Croatia. In 1993 he issued a call for assistance to the children of Italy. He asked them to provide support and funds to “adopt” 100 orphans in the former Yugoslavia. The response was immediate. More than 4,000 children in the schools in Sicily responded with

Bruno Ficili with orphans at Vukovar 1994

 

cards, letters and donations. Ficili made a package of the responses and sent copies around the world to President Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, to Boutros Ghali, Secretary General at the U.N. and to Italian President Oscar Luigi Sclafaro. This heartfelt appeal from the children in Italy on behalf of the Yugoslav children begged these leaders to intervene to help stop the fratricide in Serbia. At each step along the way Ficili insisted on raising the consciousness level of children around the world to rise up and act for peace in an important way.

            It became apparent to Ficili that his desire to implement the concept of Peace through Education had taken on a life of its own. His dedication to this philosophy of life required constant attention mostly at the sacrifice of time away from his own family. His wife Pinnella is supportive of Bruno Ficili’s work and helps out providing secretarial and other support whenever needed.

Their home is always open to their friends and they provide typical Sicilian hospitality including excellent home cooked meals and lively conversation. The topic always turns to the discussion of peace and help for their fellow man.

 

Pope John Paul II

 

Following the Sixth International Conference for Peace Through Education held in April of 1994 Ficili was proud to deliver the final Conference Documents on an approach towards peace in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Israel and Palestine to his holiness Pope John Paul II who was visiting the city of Siracusa for the inauguration of the Sanctuary of church of La Madonna delle Lacrime. Professor Ficili had the opportunity to explain the documents to the Pope and asked him to intervene with the heads of state in the countries to evaluate the peace proposals.

            Later that year Ficili’s book Humanity at the Crossroads- The Need for Peace through Education was published. Ficili donated all proceeds from the book to a fund for war orphans in Bosnia. The following year the heavy emphasis of the 7th Conference was to end the war in Yugoslavia. It was during this conference that Ficili received his first of seven nominations for the Noble Peace Prize.  On the 28th of July 1995 Ficili flew into

 

Bruno Ficili and Pope John Paul II

Siracusa 1994

 

Karlovac, between Croatia and Bosnia and formally adopted the 100 orphans on behalf of the Italian children who had sent contributions and messages of support. During this visit Ficili met with the President of the Republic of Croatia, Fanjio Tudjmna and provided him with the 7th Conference Peace Documents containing proposals for peace. These documents were also transmitted to the Bosnian and Serbian governments.

Central Connecticut State University

It was during this period that Ficili’s work began to receive recognition in the United States. He had been working for the creation of a special University in Siracusa, which would have Peace as its reason for existing. He began negotiating between the Sicilian Regional Government and representatives for Central Connecticut State University to create a campus in Sicily at Siracusa. In 1995, thanks to his efforts a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the City of Siracusa and Central Connecticut State University creating a special Master’s program in the Sicilian city.

            People in need of his special assistance were constantly approaching Ficili. His ability to create a public consciousness on behalf of people in need pulled him from one part of the globe to the next. In 1995 he was approached by the family of Maria Gabriella Guarino, an Italian woman who was being held in a prison in Peru for political reasons. Again Ficili took her plight to the street and in record time had thousands of petitions signed throughout Italy asking the government of Peru to liberate the woman. In part because of his ability to draw public attention to her situation Maria Gabriella Guarino was released from jail.

Yugoslavian War Relief

            During the Easter period of 1996 Ficili returned to Yugoslavia once again, this time with seven tons of food supplies, oil, flour and sugar, which he personally brought to the orphans, camp at Vukovar. Later that month the Eighth Conference was again held in Siracusa this time with participants from more than 40 countries around the world. In July of 1996 Ficili was invited to Bonn Germany by the President of the Kurd Parliament who asked him to act as a peace mediator between Kurdistan and Turkey. Ficili served as one a six member Peace panel in an attempt to bring recognition of human rights issues for the Kurdish people with the Turkish government.

Bruno Ficili at Karlovac orphanage camp with 7 of the 100 adopted children

 

            Ficili was also asked to mediate discussions in Sri Lanka between the Singhalese and Tamils. His role was to try to open basic discussions that could lead to peaceful solutions to long-standing disputes. In 1997 Ficili was nominated for the third time for the Nobel Peace Prize. This time the nominators were members of the U.S. Congress who were made aware of Ficili’s efforts by  professors at  Central Connecticut State University.

            On his return from the United States Ficili was invited to participate in discussions held in Spain at Santander and Bilbao, the Basque country. Ficili conducted discussions at the schools in this area of Spain known for its separatist movement. Again the theme of Peace through Education was the key topic. He discussed the issue of terrorism in an open and frank manner and offered alternatives to violence to the young people in the schools.

            The following year Ficili turned his attention towards the African continent. He began a major fund raising drive for a hospital in Tanzania on the border of Rwanda and Burundi. Again Ficili turned for help to the young people in Sicily and Italy. The money raised was used for the construction of wells for drinking water and the creation of a small hospital in Tanzania.

 

Children’s Hospital- Bukoba, Tanzania 1997

Completed with funds raised by Bruno Ficili in Sicily and Italy

Muhammad Ali and Burundi

            The Tenth International Peace Conference on Peace Through Education was held at Comiso- the former U.S. missile base located in Sicily. Representatives from more than 40 countries participated in the discussions at the conference, which once housed soldiers and missiles. The contrast between the location and the topic of peace brought home the continuing need to move forward with the education of young people around the world to participate in dialogues about peace.

            At he end of the 10th Conference representatives from Burundi asked Bruno Ficili publicly to invite the heads of the armed groups responsible for the war between Rwanda and Burundi to participate in peace discussions. On December 3rd and 4th 1999 Ficili’s organization sponsored the first major peace discussions between political and military leaders from Burundi- including representatives from Hutu and Tutsi tribes. The goal of this 11th Peace Conference was to achieve the beginning of peaceful dialogue between the two warring tribes. A special guest in attendance at this 11th Peace Through Education Conference was Muhammad Ali, former World Champion boxer. The result was the first Non-Aggression Pact signed between the Hutu and Tutsi representatives where both sides to begin be agreeing not to engage in aggressive acts against schools, hospitals and orphanages in their country. On December 7, 1999 copies, of the signed, Non-Aggression Pact were delivered by Professor Ficili and Muhammad Ali to the President of the Italian government in Rome.

 

Bruno Ficili with Muhammad Ali- Siracusa, Italy 1999

 

            The following year Ficili, working in conjunction with Monsignor Serapione Bambonanire from Burundi established two specialized medical clinics in Sicily to provide medical treatment for victims of war especially from African nations. The two centers are located in Siracusa and in the town of Enna.

16th Conference for Peace Through Education

            Professor Ficili has continued his work for Peace Through Education and is now in the process of preparing his 16th International Conference for Peace Through Education, which will be held November 23, 24, 25 and 26 at Vittoria in the Province of Ragusa, Italy.