What is your image of peace? – Peace drawing workshop at the Ahmad Kot boys’ school –

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (May 14, 2019); Translated by Y. Miki/S. Altman]

In the villages where JVC’s Afghan staff work, we continue steady efforts to practice peace actions. This time we are reporting about a workshop on drawing peace pictures. This activity was realized because the teachers in the village requested us to come conduct some peace actions at their school as well.

What is peace? It’s easy to say but difficult to imagine its specific shape. It is also very different depending on the people and the environment where they live. In this workshop, about 50 students of the Ahmad Kot boys’ school, which is located in JVC’s activity area, freely expressed their thoughts about peace. They drew pictures on A4 sheets to show how one can realize peace. Since we provided a large selection of stationary, they drew pictures that were very lively! After drawing, they added brief explanations of the pictures and their individual thoughts about peace.

Students are busy with drawing and some students are even standing!

Working on the activities with a smile.

A lot of peace drawings lined up on the wall.

“What is your image of peace?” “Overlapped hearts!” He answered with a good smile.

“Don’t fight!” “Where there’s peace there’s education.” “We want peace in the light of Islam.”

“Let’s stop fighting. War has a miserable face. Peace is happiness and has a shape of freedom.”

A professional painter drew pictures on the school wall with the same titles as those of students. The pictures will remain forever.

He also drew pictures on the outside wall! This picture means that “All family members can get education. It is peace”.

We displayed their works on the school wall and had an opportunity to exchange their ideas on peace with their classmates. There were so many peace drawings related to family, friends, school, flowers, and education.

Intense fighting continues in Afghanistan among American militaries, Afghan government forces, and armed groups. Thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting. Some participants of this workshop have siblings or friends who had to participate in the battles and lost their lives. Most of the things drawn for peace are all necessary for people’s lives. We will continue to support the villagers so they don’t have to lose any of the important things from their daily lives and we will continue to practice activities for peacebuilding with them.

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