What does peace mean to you? That’s a question our students have been exploring to mark this year’s International Day of Peace.
The idea of peace carries different weight in different contexts. For our students in Afghanistan, many of whom have been directly affected by conflict, their dream of peace is a country no longer at war. In South Africa, the idea of peace may center more around finding a safe space, feeling safe within your city, or developing the skills to feel an inner calm.
In the classroom and in the skatepark, our aim is to help children explore these ideas and encourage them to express their feelings about what a peaceful world would look and feel like. Is peace a quantifiable state? Or does it only exist within us? How can we find peace if the physical environment we live in is in conflict? Here’s how students navigated these questions in Afghanistan and South Africa.
In Mazar-e-Sharif, our female youth leaders are taking part in a blended learning program with Global Girl Project. To mark International Day of Peace, the girls attended a session on community mapping and how different elements of their communities affect each of them.
Some of our Back-to-School students in Mazar-e-Sharif are still attending classes in the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp as there is not enough space at the Skate School for all our students to keep a safe distance from each other. During the lockdown, educators from the Skate School provided training for former teachers now living in the camp, so that students would not miss out on their important lessons. In the IDP camp on Peace Day, students marked the day with a celebration (including face painting!) and each drew a beautiful image of a dove to remind them of the importance of peace.
In Bamyan, our Skate and Create students explored the idea of peace through craft. First of all they had a discussion session with Mubaraka, our Programs Officer, on what peace means and why it’s important. Then, they drew around their own hands, colored and decorated their designs and then ‘joined hands’ with each other in a giant poster of unity, demonstrating that our dreams of peace can only come true when we work together. Nice!
Students in Johannesburg have only just restarted their programs at the Skate School due to the coronavirus lockdown. Students have been missing their friends and educators, so any lessons right now need to be focused on self-expression, energy and interaction. Educators set up a board asking ‘what does peace mean to you?’ and got the students to come and fill in their ideas.
Some didn’t want to write and just wanted to skate, so their educators captured some sweet clips of them expressing their own ideas too!
Skateistan’s creative education classes aim to help children explore their own ideas about how the future should look. If you’re in a position to do so, please make a donation today to #keepskateistanrolling and help us to inspire the next generation of leaders.
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