Global media coverage in 2022 has been largely focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how the victims of that conflict have been impacted. As the suffering in that region gets reported and analyzed on a daily basis, other stories of people struggling to survive go under reported and unfortunately ignored.
For the people of Sri Lanka, 2022 has become a year of economic, political and social turmoil, and the worst may yet be to come. In the aftermath of Covid-19, with the continuing war in Ukraine, the nation’s foreign currency reserves have been depleted. As a result the government has already begun to default on its debt payments, and is unable to afford essential imports of food, fuel, and medicine. Power plants have been unable to maintain production, resulting in extensive power cuts throughout the day. With petrol stations shuttered due to lack of supply, public transportation as well as private vehicles are no longer an option for people. And with the shortage of medicine and medical equipment, there is widespread fear that if someone did manage to get a hospital, they would not be able to get essential treatment.
Since 2016, MasterPeace Sri Lanka has empowered young people by using art and educational initiatives. They have also brought different religions, ethnicities and age groups together in the spirit of dialogue and cooperation. Throughout the current crisis, club leader Nishantha Kumara has been in touch with the MasterPeace Core Team to inform us about the difficulties people face at this moment throughout the country. He fears that the worst is yet to come, as shortages continue and people take to the streets to demand change, next month could see people suffering on an even bigger scale. His request to the MasterPeace community and partners around the world: don’t let this crisis continue to be ignored; to raise our voices and come together to help a country on the brink of disaster, before it is really too late.
Using Art & Creativity for Empowerment!
The aim of this project was to empower young people through art. No matter the backgrounds, race, abilities, and disadvantages, to unite young people as a whole in raising awareness and promoting social inclusion, culture, tolerance, and sustainable living.
The project is part of the Youth Exchange program within ERASMUS+, where our MasterPeace local partner LUMEN is quite experienced! The idea came to achieve several objectives such as 1- empower young European people through art 2- raise cultural awareness 3- promote social inclusion and tolerance and mostly 4- raise a sense of EU citizenship and motivate young people to participate more in the development in
The project is centered around a motivating mural created by the participants together with the local high-school students and children from a non-profit organization “Sunce” which hosts and takes care of people with fewer opportunities of different ages.
The mural design will be done by participants as a way to introduce participants from 6 European Countries to the Croatian culture, exchange good practices, and cultural exchange. The project will bring these participants in contact with disadvantaged youth from “Sunce” and participate in making graffiti ranch in the town of Legrad
The activities will include planning, sketching, and implementation of the mural. Team-building, ice-breaking activities to form personal connections and friendships that will help participants in
the process of working together towards a common goal of the project
Throughout the Month of March, MasterPeace Monastir (Tunisia), in partnership with several civil associations, organized a series of activities on the occasion of the celebration of International Women's Day.
This comes as part of an existing project that aims to give Tunisian women and girls the opportunity to participate actively in social life, show their talents and encourage girls to be creative and to highlight their talents in building Tunisian society alongside men.
While promoting the atmosphere of democracy and the spirit of freedom of opinion, expression and action that was strengthened in Tunisia after the Tunisian revolution that made civil society a source of a wealth of ideas to contribute to the development of the Tunisian mentality.
The project includes several stations to enable Tunisian young women to show their potential and participate effectively in the development of their society step by step with men without discrimination between the sexes: the same rights and duties for women and men.
The project is mainly to allow Tunisian women to contribute and actively participate in building Tunisian society. Contribute to the consolidation of the mentality of equality between women and men in all fields.
- SDG 5: Gender Equality
- SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
Through this project, we try to give women more effectiveness in public life by encouraging them to engage in active and responsible social practice.
The project is important because women in Monastir are able to provide the best for their community. Meeting many girls and women in this project will enable the exchange of ideas between the participants especially since in this forum there are girls with successful projects. And the presence of other girls who can benefit from successful stories in the field of launching projects.
As a result more than 50 girls and women participated in these activities young women who have successful projects in the following specializations were summoned: the manufacture of refreshments and sweets - hairdressers - journalists - poets - writers - painters .
The activity was monitored by: Radio Monastir, RADIO MONASTIR - MOKNINE Channel 24 and some social networking pages in Monastir.
Our project is part of continuing to give Tunisian women and girls the opportunity to participate actively in social life. Show her talents. Encouraging girls to be creative and to highlight their talents in building Tunisian society alongside men.
Celebrating the atmosphere of democracy and the spirit of freedom of opinion, expression and action that was strengthened in Tunisia after the Tunisian revolution made civil society a source of a wealth of ideas to contribute to the development of the Tunisian mentality.
Our project includes several stations to enable Tunisian young women to show their potential and participate effectively in the development of our society step by step with men without discrimination between the sexes: the same rights and duties for women and men.
"Imagine being a refugee coming to a new country with no friends, family or job. Imagine not being able to understand anything!"
The last week of September 2021, the British school together with MasterPeace organised a global goals activities week. Using 2 of MasterPeace concepts: My Life is Art and Act for Liberty.
MasterPeace started with a train the trainer session in which 20 teachers participated. We also created an education pack for the teachers to use in their classrooms. Teachers shared their experiences with us, below a summary.
The Global Goals education pack was effective at introducing the students to collective and individual attitudes, assumptions and feelings we have towards refugees and migrants. Starting with the Boiling Frog Game (element of Act for Liberty), students were presented with challenging questions which promoted discussion and reflection. They acknowledged that there are a myriad of negative and challenging experiences that refugees and migrants face: displacement and isolation, the threat of violence, or death of loved ones.
It is a crisis.
"Immigration has been a key thing for me today… how poorly people get treated... even when they are settled."
So what happens to your self-confidence? To your education and skills, and personal development? To your career path? When you become a refugee. What can we (or host countries) do, to support and help newcomers?
Students worked in class sets and small groups to consider the different areas that are impacted when people are displaced as migrants, refugees or asylum seekers: Healthcare, Inclusion in the education system, Xenophobia and Fear, Tensions, Access to Resources and Inclusion in the economy. Students were supported by the materials of the My Life is Art package, created by Emmanuel Jal, MasterPeace ambassador.
Unanimously students believed that there was no easy solution. In their peace pledges they described the importance of offering a welcoming place, safety and opportunities. They identified these as key to supporting and promoting welfare. Recognising individuals' talents and finding ways to reintroduce trade instead of focusing in on money and wealth, which many families will have lost in the process, was also decided as an important factor.
A starting point was to challenge students to investigate the different refugee and migrant experiences around the world and come up with solutions: A Call to Action.
"Peace symbolises: the unity of communities, the acceptance and admiration for various cultures, and respect for everyone"
"It was cool creating a solution: problem solving for different social inclusion problems. Like micro-farming to enable communities"
What can be done?
- Support through counselling and therapy for those who need help with their positive mental health; raise mental health awareness and prevent judgement and ill-will towards migrants.
- Educate, in schools and society, about different mental illness and ways to better support positive mental health and normalise the discussion of these illnesses.
- Celebrate difference!
- Government Action: provide support where it is needed irrelevant of cost; improved human rights of minority groups.
- Inclusion in the economy: focus on the positive aspects of migrants living in your country such as the introduction of new languages, skills sets and culture.
- Provide visas, which would enable them safer routes when travelling and settling in a new country.
- Complete a skills assessment and offer skills training at refugee camps.
- Produce a Refugee app where individuals can create a profile available to employers.
"It is very difficult to solve, without making unethical or expensive solutions... as well as this, there seem to be no solutions that please everyone. How can you let millions of refugees into one country? How and where do you draw boundaries?"
Students made presentations, posters, video recordings and created quizzes where they reflected on what immigration is, what it is to be a refugee and how different economies can support refugees. As well as this, they researched The International Day of Peace and discovered when and where it began. Students discussed the importance of this day and how it needs to be better promoted in schools, society and within families.
"Teaching younger people about the need for Peace and how to promote peace locally is important, like running a sports day and lunch for refugees. Basically, it is about the will to help others. You have to be willing to put yourself in the shoes of others."
- My Music Competition