I, Ambassador for Peace
Care for others, respect, collaboration, dialogue: these are some of the values of the project “I, Ambassador of Peace”, which the AMU is promoting in Egypt. This is why, over the past few months, thirty volunteers have taken part in a series of training sessions. The objective? To return to a culture of peace.
In recent years, the Egyptian society has undergone profound changes that have seen the spirit of solidarity and respect for differences that characterised that culture deteriorate, leading to a greater spread of violence: in the domestic sphere, where it mainly affects women and children, and in schools, where many are victims of bullying. Terrorist events are only the most extreme manifestations of this climate.
For this reason, the non-profit organization Azione per un Mondo Unito (action for a united world) between February and March 2022, initiated the project “I, Ambassador for Peace”, to contribute to the promotion and construction of a widespread culture of peace, rediscovering respectful and collaborative dialogue, care for others, and overcoming the various forms of indifference and social hatred.
“The idea of teaching these values is especially effective right now, in Egypt,” says Noura, one of the girls who was selected to follow the course, “because there are many children who grew up in an environment where the only goal is to get food, and their parents have no interest in passing on values that they themselves know nothing about”.
The project was realised in collaboration with a local partner, the United World Foundation, which has been working since 2007 to spread the culture of universal fraternity through development and human promotion projects, in favour of situations of social, economic and moral fragility, especially in Cairo.
In the first phase of the project, entitled ‘Training of Trainers’, the participants carried out educational activities, with the aim of becoming volunteers capable of spreading a culture of peace and dialogue, while respecting everyone’s differences.
During the first meeting, the President of the United World Foundation in Cairo, Saad Ihsan, illustrated the activities of the UWF and the projects already carried out and concluded; he explained the specific activities and objectives of the project I, Ambassador of Peace aimed at a wide range of possible beneficiaries: children, teachers, parents, community leaders, professionals.
After this introductory phase, the training activities were carried out by Mona Abu Tira – a professor of psychology at Ain Shams University, one of Egypt’s most prestigious universities – and Professor Akram, an experienced and knowledgeable educator.
Thirty volunteers participated in the training course, selected on the basis of their diversity of experience, culture and age. All of them had already worked with children before and had shown passion and willingness to plunge into this new adventure.
Mushira, one of the students, says she participated out of a personal need: “My children had grown up and I had unused energy and time”. Thus, she dedicated herself to this new experience, which, she says, was very useful, “It made me go back to reading more and reflect on how I can help Egyptian children”. For Eman, too, taking part in the Training of Trainers was an important moment in her life journey, “I have learnt a lot about the world, about myself and about others. I like the idea of communicating these values and having discovered that I can pass on what I have learnt to others, so as to help them acquire skills and tools”.
Now there is a further step to be taken, and to enter the second phase of the training: implementing what has been learnt, working with children, parents and teachers to pass on to them the values of the project I, Ambassador of Peace.