Seeds of Peace at Bombay International School
Seeds of Peace is an international organisation that inspires and equips new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with relationships, understanding and skills needed to advance lasting peace. It has established local programmes in 27 countries around the world that empower the younger generation with leadership qualities and problem solving skills that enable them to develop pluralistic thinking, thus setting standards in international peace-building. Bombay International School has been a Partner School with Seeds of Peace ever since the programme was brought to India in 2001.
The largest programme of Seeds of Peace is their International Camp that is held annually in Maine (USA), where 200 students from around the world are selected to participate. This Camp brings together youth from countries such as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel and America amongst others, so that they confront their prejudices and deep-seated fears and tackle issues that fuel violence, hatred and oppression in their countries, through various group tasks and intensive conflict dialogue. Every year, after three rounds of competitive selection processes, Seeds of Peace selects two students from the 9th Grade of BIS to participate in the International Camp.
The organisation serves as a platform for ‘Seeds’ to pioneer change in their communities through different programmes. In the past, Seeds from BIS have organised many such programmes such as the Face-to-Face initiatives which connect students from India and Pakistan, promoting communication between the cultures and eliminating stereotypes. There is also the Seeds of Peace Mock Parliament that encourages students to participate in conflict dialogue. These programmes focus on four of the most important assets and abilities that leaders in conflict regions need to create meaningful change: strong relationships across lines of conflict; sophisticated understanding of core conflict issues; practical skills in communication, critical thinking and the ability to take action on behalf of peace.
Seeds of Peace adds a whole new dimension to a student’s growth as it involves education through experience – something BIS has always encouraged. It prepares students to lead the diverse society of the 21st century while maintaining global peace. The work that Seeds of Peace does has made an impact on thousands of lives, and has inspired many.
Seeds of Peace is not simply a summer camp where you meet new friends and have a good time, it’s a lot more. It is a change in perspective and a change in approach. It is about a fresh “take” on age-old problems and an added inspiration to an otherwise hopeless situation. It is about keeping the hope, and striving to reach that goal by persevering and bringing change one step at a time.
For more information, www.seedsofpeace.org