Sunday, May 9, 2010

LFFP Partnerships are Blooming Alongside Spring

Proving that peace is far from passive, LFFP has been busy planting, nurturing, and cultivating seeds of peace with many different folks. Some of our more recent activity includes:
  • A second successful Family Night at Perry
  • The kick off of the Month of Peace in Mount Rainier with a May Day rededication of the Peace Pole
  • The planting of more Peace Gardens at Perry and in Sursum Corda
  • Heartening successes with the Peace Table solving conflict between peace clubbers
  • Peace Theatre by the Perry Peace Kids in the Peace Room, and
  • A new program at St. Bernard’s Parish with Sr. Pilar and several children ages 5 and under.

In addition, following are some more in-depth highlights of our most recent happenings.

New School Comes to the Perry Peace Room and the Sursum Corda Neighborhood

LFFP recently partnered with a group of Nantucket students on their 8th grade trip to our Peace Room at Perry School. The Peace Room was filled to overflowing as the Peace Kids recited their pledge and sang a peace song, introducing their new friends to the Peace Room. Not long after, creative peaceful energy was seen across Perry School, with one group of kids and volunteers in the kitchen cooking, another gardening around the Peace Pole out front, and yet another inventing Peace games and drawing in the Peace Room. By the end of the afternoon, everyone was happy and hungry and ready to come together to share tacos in the Peace Cafe.

Reflecting with the volunteers later, over and over again they said that this time in the Peace Room with LFFP and the Peace kids, getting to know children who had very different childhoods and backgrounds, was the highlight of their week. Their main Peace-breaker was sadness at having to go and not knowing if they would be able to return to the Peace Room or see the Peace Kids again. Matt, the group leader, promised upon their return to Nantucket, MA to work to maintain a relationship and connection with LFFP!

We are very touched by Matt's thoughtful reflection on the event:
Thank you-thank you-thank you.
At least four of my girls said that our stay at LFFP was not only the best part of the DC trip, but the best part of their last year with us!
I am overwhelmed with gratitude and filled with hope. As long as this world has people like you, Jerry and your children-there will be hope (and peace).
Until we meet again, my new friend, Peace be with you and in your neighborhood.

Holy Trinity Youth Partner with LFFP to do Community Service

Holy Trinity, a Catholic Parish in Georgetown, has also begun a partnership with LFFP. Conversations between LFFP and the Social Justice Ministry began during lent and have been bearing much fruit, as Holy Trinity has said that they would like to partner with us for the long term! Volunteers have joined LFFP for Family Night at Perry School, presenting on healthy food to children and their families, as well as for gardening and playing in the Sursum Corda with the neighborhood kids. LFFP has given several workshops on Peace to Holy Trinity. This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Kicks for Kids: Perry Kids go to Soccer game at RFK

We recently took our Perry Peace Kids on an outing to DC United Game. It was a beautiful night and all had a good time. The kids got t-shirts, pom-poms and lunch bags . They cheered and danced in their seats, laughed and just let go. We are thankful for Sarah, Josh, Mr. Patrick and Terrell coming along to supervise the group and join in on the fun.

Peace TV at Eastern High Middle

Jerry and MJ were the feature speakers at Eastern High Middle School in Silver Spring’s media class that presents on a cable TV show. Invited by a former peace camper, MJ and Jerry put peace in the spotlight. Stay tuned for the segment as soon as we receive the media class’ final product.

Peace Leaders Set the Stage for a Continued Partnership

University of Maryland volunteers Lauren, Pam, and Mary Claire recently delivered their final presentation for the Leadership and Community Based Learning Class through which they got involved with LFFP. The presentation was excellent. Afterwards, their professors and Dean of the Department invited LFFP to continue partnering. We all look forward to welcoming more community leaders from UMD next year. In the meantime, Lauren, Pam, and Mary Claire held a t-shirt painting fundraiser for LFFP at their school, continuing to impress us with their leadership and impact!

International Peace Partnership

On May 6th, two women who each run a Peace and Conflict Resolution program in Korea came to visit LFFP and the Peace Room at Perry. We excitedly prepared for this impromptu peace experience with Lauren, a young adult contact who put them in touch with us. It was a wonderful cross-cultural exchange. Both women are currently here in US to take a 40 day course in Peace Studies at Eastern Mennonite College. The same evening we also we met with a delegation of Hiroshima survivors from Japan. We cherish our time learning from each other and our varied experiences of peace and unpeace.

For more about the women’s peacework, following are their bios and a bit about their organizations:

Sun-Hye Kim is working for the conflict resolution center of Women Making Peace in Korea as a trainer for conflict resolution and peace education and a mediator with a focus on restorative justice. She is taking this opportunity to learn more about the peace field and also to learn practical exercises to take back to Korea.

The Women Making Peace in Korea conflict resolution center provides peace education, including communication, decision making, theory and practice of conflict resolution, and is more recently including peer mediation and restorative justice including victim-offender dialogue.

Young Sil works for Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ) and Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR). She has conducted various negotiation & mediation training program for government officers, local assembly members, and corporate and NGO activists. She also has experience in conflict assessment & mediation in the public sector. Young Sil would like to connect with vegetarian groups or community garden/farm groups, because some young people in South Korea are trying to introduce a new life style including community life in city.

The Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) is a division of the Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ), a non-profit organization founded in 1989 that is dedicated to addressing the structural problems in the Korean economy while engaging citizens in a movement for economic reform. CCR was created in 2005 to prevent, manage and resolve diverse conflicts occurring in the public sector. Drawing on CCEJ's experience in mediating sensitive social conflicts, CCR has engaged in various projects to help generate efficient negotiation, consensus building and conflict resolution. See their website at: http://www.ccej.or.kr/

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