By Kirthi Jayakumar - Red Elephant Foundation
The Building Peace Project was launched in March 2014 by the Red Elephant Foundation (REF). The project aims at bringing youth from different countries to come together, engage in a dialogue with each other, and build peace. Our flagship initiative, which will culminate in a summit attended by these young people, has been launched with participants from India and Pakistan.
We have three pairs of girls and four pairs of boys coming together online from India and Pakistan. Throughout the coming year, they will meet online and interact. Our team of participants brings forth some of the best talents and values, and we are really excited with the way it’s going so far.
How does this work?
- Each participant from one country is paired with a participant from the other country. For a year, they will be brought together to communicate and dialogue with each other. These exchanges will be via postal mail, e-mail, Skype, Whats-app, and other technology-driven communication tools, subject to preference, availability, ease, and convenience of the participants.
- While the participants are free to discuss, bond over, and share anything they want to, a simple curriculum is created to help them discuss some relevant and pressing issues, which will culminate in understanding each other and in building peace with each other.
- On each side, each participant is maintaining a peace journal provided by the REF. These journals intend to have handwritten entries made by the participants, on what they have come to learn, what they have come to understand about each other's culture, and how they have evolved by the experience.
- After a year, REF plans to bring the boys and girls together for a summit of sorts. All participants will come together to agree on a “Building Peace Manifesto,” where peace-building will be the key. They will also approach their governments to resolve the differences between the two countries to make peace.
Our participants for this year are listed below. Stop by their Peace Journals to know what they've been sharing about their individual peace-building progress!
Rouble and Salma: www.roubleandsalma.blogspot.com
Nidhi and Sehr: www.nidhiandsehr.blogspot.com
Esha and Shughla: www.eshaandshughla.blogspot.com
Parmeet and Atif: www.parmeetandatif.blogspot.com
Harshvardhan and Hafiz Ali: www.harshvardhanandhafiz.blogspot.com
Ishan and Uzair: www.ishananduzair.blogspot.com
Bhaskar and Ahsan: www.bhaskarandahsan.blogspot.com
Chintan and Sheharyar: www.chintanandsheharyar.blogspot.com
Aakash and Fatiq: www.aakashandfatiq.blogspot.com