For six years What About Peace? has attracted youth ages 14 -20 years old to creatively answer the question, ‘What About Peace?”. It has attracted submissions from all over the United States and a few from the rest of the world.
As the artwork collected over the years we thought it could do more for peace out in the world than stacked in the office.
This October, a Global Exchange Reality Tour was headed to Haiti and graciously agreed to bring five of our favorite What About Peace? paintings to a school in Haiti. We had our message of peace translated into Kreyol;
We are sending you this small gift from young people in the United States who are thinking about how to answer the question “What About Peace?” using art or creative writing. Peace and justice must be understood internationally or it can not exist. We stand with you as you work for peace and justice in your own country and we hope we can learn from you about what you think about peace.
Please receive this gift as a gesture of solidarity and connection – that people-to-people ties can build the world we want.
Zanmi Ayisyen, N ap voye pou nou yon ti kado ke yon gwoup jen ki fe aktivite kom atis ak ekriven pou brase lide sou repons keksyon “Sa Kap Fet Pou Lape?”. Toupatou sou late moun fet pou pran konsyans sou koze jistis ak lape sinon sa pap rive fet. Nou kanpe avek nou kap travay pou lape ak jistis lan peyi pa nou e nou espere aprann sa nou panse sou koze lape a.
Tanpri resevwa kado sa kom yon senbol solidarite lan mache tet ansanm – moun toupatou men lan men kapab bati mond nou vle a.
The Reality Tour was welcomed by Rea Dol, the Director and Co-Founder of SOPUDEP, the Society of Providence United for the Economic Development of Petionville, which runs education projects in the outskirts of Port au Prince. The Reality Tour participants all agreed that Rea Dol represents the best of Haiti – tenacity, hope, and the indomitable spirit of the women and children to learn no matter what the physical circumstances are. The schools are still recovering after the January 12, 2010 earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince and killed more than 300,000 people.
Many of the students in schools run by SOPUDEP come from the street. They are “restaveks” – child domestic slave laborers – who were sexually and physically abused and so prefer street life to adoptive parents. They find shelter and community in SOPUDEP
Andrea Broad reported back from the visit to the SOPUDEP school: “The kids really marveled at the whole concept and responded to the paintings, sketches and photos. I read them each of the artists’ names and where they were from. They asked several questions, but were otherwise shy about saying much…. Two days later we went back to the SOPUDEP school, and one young man already had completed an entry.”
Tell teachers, students and community workers about What About Peace? They can get involved here.
Help us send more messages of peace to schools around the world by making a donation to Global Exchange’s What About Peace? contest. For $10 we’ll send you beautiful blank note cards with images from previous entrants. Order a set for yourself and your friends.