Holistic Brain-Based Education Changes Public Schools in the Most Violent Neighborhood in El Salvador

On Sept. 12, 2018, El Salvadoran President, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, will present a national award to recognize Ilchi Lee, founder of the International Brain Education Association (IBREA), for the education program that reduced physical and mental absenteeism for students and teachers in the country’s public schools, which suffer from gang and socioeconomic violence. Brain Education (BE) has dramatically improved school conditions in Districto Italia, a neighborhood with one of the highest rates of violence and crime in the country.

BE is a five-step model which enables people to activate their brainpower to create self-sustaining health, happiness, and peace. IBREA Foundation, a 501(c)3 NGO with consultative status to the United Nations, started its pilot project in 2011 with just one school in Districto Italia and is now implementing it in 25% of all public schools. There have been great improvements in peer relationships, anxiety, trauma, stress and self-management, and absenteeism.

To date, IBREA has trained over 4,000 people and certified 1,764 BE trainers in El Salvador, who now teach their local communities. “IBREA’s program gave me tools to relieve my stress, my anger, and resentment,” said Laura Calderon, one of the students from the original pilot program in Districto Italia who is now involved in the management of the program countrywide: “I saw many kids around me falling into gang networks. I learned that if I don’t give up on my choice for peace, then people around me don’t give up and also the people around them. That’s how we can improve our community.”

BE is being practiced in the US, Korea, Japan, China, the EU, and New Zealand. In NYC it was used in one of the country’s lowest-performing public schools: a D-level school which was upgraded to A-level in just one year. BE helps people struggling with stress, depression, anxiety, fear and low self-esteem.

For more information on IBREA, visit: ibreafoundation.org. For locations that teach Brain Education near you visit: www.bodynbrain.com/locations. CGI Holistic Fitness Club, proud supporter of IBREA, teaches Brain Education in Closter, NJ: www.cgiholisticfitness.com or call CGI’s Body & Brain Center at 201-784-5575, x 123.

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