Two-room school in Congo takes the name of UH scholar Paige


POSTED: Sunday, July 26, 2009

A school for impoverished victims of war in Africa has been renamed in honor of Glenn Paige, a Hawaii professor emeritus of political science whose book inspired the teaching of non-violence to children.

Now called the Glenn Paige Nonkilling School, the two-room school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Paige, a retired University of Hawaii scholar, said he has never visited the school, but his book, “;Nonkilling Global Political Science,”; inspired its formation in 2006. He has also helped to support the 180 students, who are casualties of war, disease and abandonment.

“;The school was originally named after me. But I strenuously objected as being unworthy, and suggested it be named either after Martin and Coretta King, or Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi. They chose Complexe Scolaire Martin Luther King. Now they just renamed it by surprise for my 80th birthday on June 28,”; Paige said.

“;It is something of a miracle ... how an academic book from Hawaii ends up as inspiration for a poor village school in the DR Congo that aspires to grow from nothing into a model for genocide-preventing, nonkilling education in Africa,”; he said.

Paige self-published his book and made it free on the Internet in 2002. It has been translated into 17 languages, soon to be 34, he said. He is helping the school on his own as chairman of the Governing Council of the Center for Global Nonkilling, which he originally founded as the Center for Global Nonviolence in 1994.

Paige said he coined the word “;nonkilling”; to describe a radical concept that advocates much more than the word “;peace.”;

“;A nonkilling society implies not only the exclusion of killing among humans, but moreover the absence of threats, weapons or justifications to kill,”; he said. “;We have to cross the threshold of lethal pessimism that killing is inevitable.”;

In an e-mailed letter from Bishop Mabwe Lucien, who helped establish the school in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the local people requested the name change because they were “;moved by Professor Paige's generosity through seminars, distribution of seeds to rural women, and mostly to the support of vulnerable school children.”;

Lucien said the school was initiated for “;children without hope”; whose impoverishment was created by wars that raged from 1996 to 2005. The children, ages three to 12, include 12 victims of AIDS, he said.

Paige said, “;Mabwe is desperately appealing right now for $400 total per month”; to pay the salaries of his nine school staff.

To send donations, contact Paige at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 536-7442.