Six Billion Paths To Peace Goes To India
In November of 2009 Six Billion Paths to Peace and I visited the South West region of India. I had been before, and have a deep love for the country, the people, the culture, the food and the vibrancy. My first visit was designed around a humanitarian project to build wells in the villages that had lost their water source to the Tsunami. That trip had been focused and full. This time I wanted more time to experience life in India, and to connect on a deeper level with the people I met along the way. After my time working with Shinnyo en and the Six Billion Paths to Peace Initiative, I knew this would be a wonderful way to connect, share, listen, and promote the idea that we all have our individual paths to peace, and to help others identify theirs.
Shinnyo en provided 15 digital cameras for me to take on my trip. Once I arrived I found a school that was inspired to hear about the Photo Peace Project and I was graciously invited in to work with a group of 8th grade girls.
The girls and I spent some time brainstorming the word “peace”, and identifying how our ideas around peace were similar, different, difficult or easy. Although we did experience some language barrier, the concept of peace easily crossed that barrier. The girls then took the cameras home for a week with the assignment to take photos of what they think peace really is, how they see it in action, and how the idea of peace impacts their lives. When I returned to their school the following week we spent the afternoon putting their captions to the photos.
Attached is the slide show of a small sampling of photos and captions from the girls at Sri Shanthi Vajaya Girls School, Conoor, India, Tamil Nadu. Since my return home I have been sharing the pictures and captions from these students with young people across the state of California and asking them to share their own ideas about peace, and to identify their individual paths to peace. Students have been creating Peace Flags that are being strung together and creating hundreds of feet of flags. Thank you to the Shinnyo en Foundation for creating the opportunities for depth of conversation, deep reflection, and creation of the visual representation of hundreds of students towards creating our own Paths to Peace.
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