Ilchi Lee to Receive El Salvador National Award for Brain Education Creating Peaceful School Culture

By Linda Suh Comment

IBREA Foundation Brain Education program in El Salvador

Ilchi Lee will attend a ceremony at which he and IBREA Foundation will be presented the National Award Jose Simeon Cañas by President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador for their work in effectively changing public school culture in a neighborhood that previously failed to show any meaningful improvement with other efforts. Lee's Brain Education program significantly reduced physically and mentally-related absenteeism for students and teachers in its public schools torn apart from gang and socio-economic violence.  

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. 

"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?

Brain Education is a five-step method created by Ilchi Lee that teaches one to tap into one’s own brain power to create self-sustaining health, happiness, and peace through mind-body exercises. It has been practiced by thousands of people in the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, the EU, New Zealand, and El Salvador and is the foundation of Ilchi Lee's teachings. 


IBREA Foundation’s Project in El Salvador

IBREA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) NGO founded by Ilchi Lee that is in consultative status with the United Nations. Its mission in El Salvador has been 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, their aim was to support the students and teachers in sharing this practice with their community to bring about peace and well-being. 

Their work began in 2011 with a pilot project requested by the Ambassador of El Salvador to the United Nations. It consisted of just one school in Districto 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 since been implemented in 25% of all Salvadorean public schools, over 4,000 people have been trained, and 1,764 educators have been certified 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 trauma and emotional regulation. School supervisors like principals have reported better managing of challenging situations in school with their teachers, parents, and community. They’ve also reported having more clarity in their decision-making ability and more focused attention—resulting in improved overall school performance.