Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recent Happenings

LFFP has worked with Beacon House in the Edgewood Terrace community of NE DC for the last 12 summers, inviting Beacon youth to Peace Camp at the UUCA church in Arlington, VA. Now, our partnership has blossomed into a year-round Peace Program Infusion. This past fall we conducted a peace experience for Beacon House staff to learn how to incorporate a peaceful atmosphere and peace techniques into their everyday educational, cultural, recreational, and athletic programming. In addition, we now teach a Peace class every Friday to a group of the 500 at-risk youth whom Beacon House engages.

This past Friday we invited our musical partner Kweku of Ghana to inspire and enliven Peace Class with his special drumming talent. This class was held on Family Night, so parents along with youth enjoyed the peaceful rhythms.

For several months we have been partnering with Kweku, a drummer who was taught to make and play drums by his uncle in his home village in Ghana. While visiting relatives in Accra, he was deeply moved by the street children who had to take care of themselves and were often victimized by those from whom they begged. From that experience he decided to organize them to build a shelter together, in which they could learn to play drums and to build their own. At the same time, they would learn to read, write, and protect themselves from AIDS and being cheated. Kweku raised money to buy each piece of plywood by giving guitar lessons and performances.

While his friends continue to do this in Ghana, he was able to come to America to raise money thanks to the help he received from Peace Corps volunteers who discovered him and his work, and from an order for 20 drums made by an Israeli man. Those Peace Corps volunteers introduced him to LFFP and now we serve as his host here in America, and he teaches our children the art of drumming. After he returns to Ghana, LFFP will continue to accept American donations for his impactful work. In addition, he makes drum for sale, from which the proceeds also benefit his important peacework in Ghana. Please don’t hesitate to contact if you are interested in donating to Kweku’s Ghana program or in purchasing one of his drums.

On October 24th, the Perry Peace Kids celebrated United Nation’s Day. After check-in and the Peace Pledge, we talked about other countries and how and how important it is for all countries to get along and work together. Then, the kids dressed up to resemble international cultural features and we marched carrying peace flags in a United Nations Day Parade around the Perry building. Following the march we all enjoyed an international Peace Meal with a sampling of foods from across the globe.

In Solidarity with Michele Obama's recent health fair at the White House, last week’s Thursday night Peace Meal at the Perry Peace Room not only included our typical nutritious approach to food preparation, but also some exercising! We talked about the importance of movement, got active hula hooping, and even did a little yoga! Then, that evening’s Peace Meal consisted of healthy soft tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and low fat meat.

Great News! Starting in November a new group of University of Maryland service learning volunteers will join LFFP in our Perry Peace Room every Monday from 4:30-7:30pm. These college aged students will help lead our peace education programming, reinforcing a caring atmosphere while learning how to create teachable moments and make cooperation fun.

Welcome Terrapins! We are so excited to have you join our peace community!

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