Some 400 elementary school students in Mirpurkhas District, Sindh Province, are learning about peace and conflict resolution with support from Church World Service.
The youngsters are learning about democracy, tolerance, cultural understanding, and gender equality, developing skills to help them analyze local problems and how best to resolve them without violence--all critical tools for their futures in their war-torn country.
Schools and surrounding communities are partnering with CWS in getting the peace curriculum started, and local interest and energy in the project will help propel it into the future long after CWS involvement is past.
Twenty teachers and four staff members of local partners are learning how to introduce the peace curriculum to their students.
Jiya Ram teaches at Rooro Patel school and says, "I conducted an exercise on peace for my students and asked them to explain the concept of peace... the children have vowed that they will work for bringing peace in society." Another teacher, Miriam, notes, "Now I am using these conflict resolution skills in my personal life as well."
Start 2010 off right and get your group together and assemble some CWS Kits! It' a great activity for your congregation or group and a learning experience for all ages. CWS Hygiene Kits, School Kits, Baby Care Kits and CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets make a world of difference in the lives of refugees, displaced people, and victims of natural disasters. Visit www.churchworldservice.org/kits for details.
Republic of Georgia
The Tbilisi Youth House Foundation (TYHF) in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia (formerly part of the Soviet Union), is helping disadvantaged youth prepare for a tough job market and find new hope for the future with the support of Church World Service.
TYHF is providing some 780 young people, ages 15 to 22, with marketable vocational and technical skills, such as accounting, English language, computer science, and leadership training, as well as job-search techniques including resume preparation and job interview skills.
One of the young people taking part in the training is 21-year-old Kasradze Kakha, who together with his family was forced to flee his home during regional military conflicts in 2008. Now living in a settlement for internally displaced persons, he is attending TYHF for accounting, English, and job readiness classes.
Kakha says of the classes, "I understood it was a unique chance for me to become active and a chance to change something in my life.
"The participation in the program made my life different: I became more self-motivated to hope for a better future. I really hope to find some job when I finish the courses, as all the new vocational skills I obtained through this program are in demand in the labor market."
Kakha goes on to note, "...every new day gives me something I didn't have yesterday--new knowledge, new skills--and new people who care for my well-being."
Our work continues
Working with partners the world over, Church World Service is fighting the scourges of hunger and poverty with innovative programs--supporting rural Guatemalans as they grow more food for their families; helping provide food, water, and healthcare to displaced families in Darfur, Sudan; working with farmers in Tanzania as they organize and learn how to market and store their crops; helping traumatized children in Indonesia learn how to play again after disaster; providing emergency food and shelter to families fleeing violence in Pakistan. Great needs necessitate great response--thank you for your support into 2010 and beyond!