These 2 nations are welcoming peace after 20 years of war. The world should pay attention.

Two East African nations have made some groundbreaking history that's sending positive diplomacy vibes around the world.

Ethiopia and Eritrea ended a 20-year war, marking a new era for the region — and the world — in diplomacy and peace.

A local police station in Badme, a formerly disputed town near the border of Ethiopia and Eritrea, was painted with the design of the Ethiopian flag. Photo by Maheder Haileselassie Tadese/AFP/Getty Images.


Setting an example for numerous countries in the West and East that are struggling to rebuild their own diplomatic relationships, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki were seen embracing and grinning as they signed an unprecedented declaration to end the war during a summit in Asmara, Eritrea's capital. In a Twitter post that documented the event, Eritrean Minister of Information Yemane Meskel said "a new era of peace and friendship has been ushered."

In 1993, Eritrea voted for independence from Ethiopia. As with many formerly colonized nations that are newly independent, Eritrea struggled with economic growth, going deeper into a hole of economic disaster and social inequity. Ethiopia, which has been landlocked since Eritrea's independence, has been strategically interested in a critical Eritrean port called Assab.

This tension between the two nations led to a brutal border war that broke out in the late 1990s and claimed the lives of roughly 80,000 people. After years of attempts at peace deals — including the Algiers Agreement — and deteriorating relationships, any sort of reconciliation seemed unlikely. That is, until Abiy visited Eritrea on July 8.

Abiy became the first Ethiopian leader to set foot in Eritrea in the current century.

Peace talks took place in Ethiopia in late June. Photo by Yonas Tadesse/AFP/Getty Images.

He was warmly welcomed at the airport by Afwerki and other senior Eritrean officials, showing the power of unity between African nations and a wonderful example of what ongoing peace talks can do.

Abiy, a former soldier who fought in the war, agreed to uphold Ethiopia's end of the peace deal that serves to end the border conflict. His swift actions surprised even those who had been studying the conflict for years.

"I did not expect the speed and the enthusiasm," Goitom Gebreluel, who researches Ethiopia's foreign policy at the University of Cambridge in England, told The New York Times. "I believe that this had been decided a while back and the leadership changes within EPRDF [Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front] facilitated it."

It's clear that this peace agreement took years of planning, negotiating, and peace talks, but the swift and unprecedented finale makes it clear:

It's possible for developing nations with years of animosity toward one another to reach peace for the good of their people.

And other nations around the world can learn from this. When leaders prioritize the health and welfare of their people — as Abiy and Afwerki did — peace becomes the obvious and easier solution.

Take note, global leaders. Ethiopia and Eritrea and leading the way on showing what good government looks like.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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