On May first, the Tamera University “Monte Cerro” was launched. For the next three years up to 200 participants from different parts of the world will study the development of peace villages and the social and spiritual foundations for a non-violent culture of peace. The Peace Research Centre, the Healing Biotope Tamera, was founded by the sociologist Dieter Duhm, the theologian and peace activist Sabine Lichtenfels (one of the 1000 women nominated for the Peace Nobel Prize in 2005) together with the physicist Rainer Ehrenpreis, on a site covering 134ha in Southern Portugal. Tamera is a research and training place for the development of peace villages worldwide.Two years ago Tamera made the offer to the peace movement that up to 200 people from different places of the world can partake in a peace training that will initially run for three years.In the invitation it is said that: “Under the present conditions a convincing perspective for a non-violent cohabitation of the human beings on our planet is no longer feasible. In order to create more suitable conditions centres will have to be established in which non-violent co-habitation amongst human beings and all fellow creatures is thought over and developed. The concrete development and construction of such centres at different places on earth is the aim of the project of the “Plan of the Healing Biotopes”.Since the start on May first more than 170 participants and applicants have taken up their studies. Two of the students are of Arabic origin and come from Israel. Shortly after their arrival they heard that their best friend had been shot at by the Israeli police. Mustafa Shibli: “In our village the tension is high; violent clashes take place every day. I have decided to choose a non-violent path. I am here to learn this”.Three inhabitants of the Columbian peace village “San JosÈ de ApartadÛ” came to inform themselves about solar architecture and to talk about further cooperation. The people of their village are committed to live a non-violent life in the midst of a civil war. Giraldo Tuberquia:”It is good to know that places like Tamera exist where the eyes are not shut to what is happening to farmers in Columbia. This gives us hope”.The three year training is lead by the first graduates of the Tamera Peace School. Their training included blocks of theory, working and study groups in which they had acquired peace knowledge by way of literature and teachings. As one would build a peace village in an area of crisis, the students are now learning together – as part of the “Monte Cerro” curriculum – how to construct the Solar Village at Tamera. This is a model solar village that draws its energy entirely from the sun. In addition to this activity the focus is on the teaching of community development and truthful communication in a all areas of life. The founders of the project can look back on 25 years of experience of community development. Dieter Duhm: “The outer destruction of the environment and the inner psychological destruction are two sides of the same thing and can only be healed and solved with this combined view”.Tamera cooperates with experts in different sectors of knowledge who support the “Plan of the Healing Biotopes”. Towards the end of May the Vietnam veteran and Zen monk, Claude Anshin Thomas, known for his uncompromising engagement for peace, will be in Tamera to teach his praxis of meditation. In June, Gernot Minke, professor for clay architecture at the University of Kassel, will teach students how to construct low-cost clay houses. In August, Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will talk about non-violent resistance. Max Lindegger from Australia, one of the world’s leading experts in Permaculture, will teach in September his method of ecological gardening which can be applied in all parts of the world.During the Summer University from July 31st to August 10th interested individuals are very welcome and are invited to visit Tamera for a short period to participate in the various seminars that will be offered for study.For more information consult the website www.tamera.org or call +351- 283 635 306.