Saturday, October 17, 2009

Peacemaking with Girls from Uganda

Despite gloomy weather, Little Friends for Peace was cheered, moved, and filled with joy to share our peace work with a group of 12 girls from a Uganda Refugee Camp who are part of a Leadership Training program sponsored by the National Academy of Education.

The girls spent two days of their two week D.C. tour with LFFP learning about our peace instruments, including the steps of LFFP’s “Peace Train” problem solving method. Through LFFP’s “Peace Circle” we also engaged in cross-cultural sharing of our life journeys and experiences of peace and unpeace. It was very difficult to hear about the girls’ personal stories of unpeace, living amidst the pain of fighting and torture. However, it was inspiring to sense their strength and hear about their resolve to persevere for peace. After getting to know each other, we got down to some fun, building peace by engaging in recreational activities with each other and nature. We also visited the Colonial Farm and Organic Garden, as well as a Potomac River outlook to peek over at Mt. Vernon.

It was an incredible peacebuilding experience, with all moved to tears as a result of the powerful bonding. We are so glad to gather once more before they leave for home, taking in a D.C. United Soccer game tonight. We also eagerly anticipate keeping this spark alive, having been invited by the group’s leaders to take the “Peace Train” to their home and share a peace experience with their Uganda friends and family. In addition, the group’s State Department sponsor also requested a similar in-service for an upcoming group visiting D.C. from Afghanistan. We are so pumped to be realizing our vision for global peacebuilding through relationships and the sharing of our peace instruments!

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