Today is the International Day of Peace and the Peace Museum was invited to collaborate with Vienna International School to educate students about Peace with some short and interactive workshops. We joined the celebrations listening to the choir and visiting the Peace Tree of the school, to then going to the students.
The aim of today was to make the students understand how peace starts from little actions in daily life. I was surprised how some 9-years-old-students knew already some important peace heroes such as Rosa Parks, Malala, and Nelson Mandela; but I also noticed that they looked up to those people as mythological heroes, therefore someone to admire but hard to compare in real life. The aim of these workshops was to remind children of different ages how everybody is a potential peace hero, able to do something for the community and willing to actually put it into practice. Many children came up with interesting ideas about what they could do within the week as a gesture of peace, from picking up the trash in the playground to making a donation to even smaller things such as taking care of their family. The slight difference between telling and doing is what actually makes peace harder to reach, therefore we have to praise the teachers who promptly gave those proposals as homework for the next day. If schools and families would promote more of those active moves, maybe we would have even more people stand up for their rights and peace around the world.
Another point that we wanted to remind the children was the controversy of competition, the concept of beating each other to win over someone else or something else. Most fights also among young people are also a form of competition to get attention, rewards, or some other kind of praise. However, such a perception of the other does not only limit the possibility to improve the lives of many but also encourages a predatory conception of the natural resources, a non-sustainable solution for the future. Therefore, we should try to educate kids to equality and harmony to let them live and promote peace with others.
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Graduated in International Relations and passionate about intecultural dialogues and foreign politics.