UWW #PillsOfHope: Living Peace International Special
Here are some new “pills” of hope from the Living Peace International project, prescribed for United World Week!
Living Peace International is an educational project launched in Egypt in 2011 during the “Arab Spring”. Carlos Palma, originally from Uruguay, is a teacher who has been living in the Middle East for over 25 years, experiencing at first hand the effects of the endless conflicts and wars afflicting the region. He began to ask himself if there was anything he could do to contribute towards an answer to the yearning for peace he saw around him.
He started in his own classroom by inviting his pupils to throw the Cube of Peace each morning and pause at midday for “Time Out” for peace. It wasn’t long before the effects began to be seen in the atmosphere of that class. And the improved morale was reflected in improved academic levels.
Over the years, this initiative has spread from one Egyptian classroom to over 100 countries, where it’s active not only schools but also universities, even prisons, hospitals and paediatric clinics!
Living Peace International as part of United World Week will now share some of their #PillsOfHope .
The students and teachers active in Living Peace are involving the residents of Ibipora (Paraná, Brazil) in an ongoing action for peace, reaching out to homeless people in their neighbourhood. They distribute and share food, supply clothing and arrange facilities for them to take a shower. Every time they meet – they tell us – it’s like a family party! They throw the cube of peace together, and gather for Time Out. The homeless people participate in other Living Peace activities as well. And throughout the period of quarantine, the project has been able to guarantee one meal a day for them.
The idea came to Cristina, a doctor at Madrid’s central hospital. She simply sent a WhatsApp audio message to a friend, a Living Peace member in Spain, and could never have imagined the repercussions!
The idea was to write anonymous letters of support and encouragement to those affected by Coronavirus, in isolation wards in hospital. It was communicated through the Spanish-language network of Living Peace and provoked an immediate response. Up to now, over 35,000 support letters have been collected, thanks to a wonderful synergy among many different organizations, associations and humanitarian movements.
Doctors in 12 hospitals in different cities in Spain are bringing these letters containing messages of encouragement to their patients. “It’s a heartfelt gesture of peace and love, which touches the hearts of those who are in such need at the moment,” explains the Living Peace International team.
A few days ago the Pub Choir of Brisbane, Australia launched an invitation to overcome the fears and anxieties caused by the pandemic, by singing “together” from their own homes. Several members of Living Peace International in different countries welcomed this gesture of universal fraternity and joined in.
In just two days, more than 1,000 people in 18 countries had contributed videos of themselves singing “Close to You” (by the Carpenters). For many, participating in this choir felt like a virtual beautiful personal embrace extended to all those who are isolated and alone during the quarantine and lockdown.
This is the final result: