Savitri MacCuish (Netherlands)




Update Savitri MacCuish 24 February 2016-02-25


World Peace Flame has gone from strength to strength over the last ten years, under the leadership of Savitri MacCuish. Her particular success has been the enthusiasm with which the World Peace Flame educational packs have been taken up by schools all around the world. This first pack is aimed at nine to twelve year olds and is now used in over one thousand schools in the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, East Africa and across the UK (in particular in Wales). One side effect of this exposure at a young age to peace education is that children and teachers also have a tool to address bullying. Teachers using the pack now also have a way to engage with the children on the topics of truth, kindness, peace, friendship, compassion and how to understand other cultures.


Moving forwards, Savitri and her team have just produced an extra chapter for the peace education pack for schools with large refugee populations. In the Netherlands, each school where there are refugee children uses this fantastic teaching resource, which is now available in English, Dutch, German, Welsh and Arabic. For Savitri, the key element to its success is that it uses movement and conscious breathing techniques alongside the material that is addressed in class. So successful has this been in fact, that Wageningen University in the Netherlands has started an EU funded research project to accompany schools which use the education packs.


A secondary school pack is nearing completion now but it won’t end there! In Australia, a group of school principals is pushing for its inclusion at university level, with Sydney taking the lead.


So what about the future? Well Savitri has a superb team and they will keep the education pack development running while she branches out into the provision of on-line courses on peace-making. She also aims to link up with others working in other educational programmes and in the Arts, using peace education as a bridge to join disparate areas and to “make peace trendy”. Meanwhile, she still continues to expand other World Peace Flame projects such as the medical clinics and dispensaries in India which are now managed and funded locally and have become self-sustaining.


Asked for a couple of quotes, Savitri says that what drives her are the words: “The seemingly impossible can be made possible” and “We can all make a difference by the choices we make”.


“Peace cannot be delegated! It begins with you and me, and the choices we make today.”

Savitri MacCuish, born in Scotland in 1959, lives in the Netherlands as the founder and director of the World Peace Flame Foundation and Life Foundation International. She has pioneered unique detraumatization programs in crisis areas and teaches practical peacemaking techniques in workshops all over the world. In 1999, she was the driving force behind the creation of the eternal World Peace Flame (WPF), lit by peacemakers from five continents. The WPF burns in monuments in cities around the world. In 2004, it brought together ambassadors from every country to sign a statement for peace.

Savitri MacCuish is guided by the motto: “Transform the world by giving people the tools to transform themselves.” There is one key event that moved Savitri MacCuish to become the sensitive peacemaker she is today. One day in 1994, she was driving through war-torn Bosnia when she was stopped by some old women dressed in black. One came to Savitri’s van, which was loaded with aid materials. “I looked at her, but somehow I could not bear to look in her eyes. She had lost everything. I fumbled for some food to give her. She just stared. Suddenly, it occurred to me, ‘What if this were my own mother?’ Then I stopped trying to her give things and realized that I could help her simply by being unafraid to look at the pain in her eyes. The old woman reached out and patted my hand.” Savitri longed to find a symbol that could give people the hope and strength to help them heal at a deep level, both as individuals and as societies. And so, in 1999, she was the driving force behind the creation of the World Peace Flame. For the first time in history, seven flames of peace were lit by eminent peacemakers on five continents, flown across the oceans by military and commercial aircrafts, and united into one eternally burning World Peace Flame, representing humanity’s highest aspirations for peace. Since then, Savitri’s work has extended to people of all backgrounds, with a variety of innovative peace projects involving politicians, business leaders, and Hollywood stars, as well as refugees and victims of violence, and more recently school children. At the heart of Savitri’s vision is the belief that each and every one of us is responsible for building peace.

World Peace Flame Foundation Life Foundation International

Europe | Netherlands