New York, New York— President Salvador Sánchez Cerén plans to officially recognize Mr. Ilchi Lee in El Salvador for his Brain Education program that has significantly reduced physically and mentally-related absenteeism for students and teachers in its public schools torn apart from gang and socio-economic violence. This signifies a successful implementation of a holistic education method founded by Mr. Ilchi Lee that has created a healthy public school culture for both students and teachers in Distrito Italia, a neighborhood with one of the highest levels of violence and crime, situated just outside of the capital of San Salvador. Brain Education has been implemented in public schools there by IBREA Foundation as a pilot project requested by the Ambassador of El Salvador to the United Nations.
“IBREA’s program gave me tools to relieve my stress, my anger, my resentment,” said Laura Calderon, one of the Salvadoran students in IBREA Foundation’s Brain Education program. “I see many kids around me falling into gang networks. I learned that if I don’t give up in 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.”
What is Brain Education?
Through Brain Education, now implemented in 25% of all Salvadorean public schools, students and teachers have seen compelling measures of improvement in peer relationships, anxiety, trauma, stress and self management, and absenteeism. Brain Education is a five-step method created by meditation expert, Mr. Ilchi Lee, that teaches one through mind-body exercises to tap into one’s own brain power to create self-sustaining health, happiness, and peace. It has been practiced by thousands of people all throughout the U.S., South Korea, Japan, China, the EU, New Zealand, and El Salvador and is the foundation of Mr. Lee’s teachings. Brain Education has also seen successful implementation in NYC public schools by improving students’ focus and behavior along with teachers’ stress and well-being in some of the lowest performing schools in New York City.
IBREA Foundation’s Project in El Salvador
IBREA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) NGO in consultative status with the United Nations, began its Brain Education program in El Salvador in 2011. It started its pilot project with just one school in Distrito Italia, a neighborhood crumbling from gangs and socio-economic and political violence. IBREA Foundation is founded by Mr. Ilchi Lee, and its mission in El Salvador was to bring a sustainable mind-body practice for the students and teachers to handle their unstable environment in healthy ways. Once Brain Education was introduced, the aim was to support the students and teachers to share this practice with their community to bring about peace and well-being to Distrito Italia.
To date, IBREA Foundation has trained over 4,000 people and has certified 1,764 educators in El Salvador as Brain Education trainers—who continue to teach this method to others in their local community. The results have been increasingly positive and some of the major outcomes are in the participants’ physical health. Teachers have significantly decreased their absenteeism due to illness, alleviated stress-related diseases and reduced their daily medicine intake. They also note mental changes including increased motivation to teach and peer relations, as well as better stress management and emotional regulation. School supervisors like principals have reported to better managing of challenging situations in school with their teachers, parents and community. They’ve also reported to have more clarity in their decision-making ability and more focused attention—resulting in improved overall school performance.
Salvadoran President Recognizes IBREA Foundation and Ilchi Lee
President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador will give the National Award “Jose Simeon Cañas” to IBREA Foundation and its president and founder, Mr. Ilchi Lee, for their work in effectively changing public school culture in a neighborhood that previously failed to show any meaningful improvement with other efforts. The award was made possible due to the outpouring of support and gratitude from many teachers who witnessed their school’s security and students’ lives change. The Salvadoran President will award Mr. Ilchi Lee for his work in creating cultures of peace inside the public schools.
Brain Education’s Effects in the U.S.
At home in the U.S., Brain Education has been introduced and implemented in one of the country’s lowest-performing public schools in NYC. The pilot project done locally has shown similar results to those from El Salvador—of improving students’ focus and behavior along with teachers’ stress and well-being. The project in New York City has brought a D-level school up to A-level over the span of just one year. Brain Education proves to be an effective holistic education method for those struggling with physical, emotional and mental conditions related to stress, depression, anxiety, fear, and low self-confidence, which are unfortunately found too often in our students, teachers, and administrators who are part of our public school system.