25,000 Kids and a Growing International Art for Peace Project
In 2009 and 2010 Create Peace Project included more than 3,000 students from schools across the United States in our first International art for peace exchange. The project was called Peace Pals and it was destined for Uganda where Create Peace Project partnered with In Movement: Art for Social Change. While in Uganda, Ross Holzman visited 30 schools and included more than 3,000 children in Peace Pals. Each one of those Ugandan kids created an original work of art and shared a message of peace as well as received an original peace card from a student in the United States. The response was amazing and for most of those Ugandan youth it was the first time they had handled a crayon, marker or colored pencil of any kind. Those 3,000 peace cards were brought back to the US. Some were returned to a few of the participating schools, and most of them were saved for the next exchange which was going to happen in India in early 2011. During the fall of 2010, another 5,000 peace cards were sent out to schools across the US and Canada, and nearly 3,000 returned in time for our departure for India in February of 2011. 3,000 US cards along with about 2,000 Ugandan peace cards travelled to India with Ross and his professional photographer; Heather where they would be distributed to students in schools across Northern India. While in India Create Peace Project partnered with Pratham, one of the largest education NGO (non-governmental organizations) in the world and harnessed their support for visiting schools in numerous regions where they worked. In India, CPP had the good fortune of having numerous volunteer support in our efforts to include more than 5,000 students from 30 schools in many cities during our three months there. Again, the response was brilliant and the kids and teachers, parents and administrators loved the project. It was amazing to see the students in schools of all kinds effortlessly and easily sit for meditation and share their prayers for peace. In 2012, Create Peace Project facilitated three exchanges between North America and schools/NGO’s abroad. We sent about 500 peace cards to Haiti with a group building a children’s center in Jacmel, Haiti. We did another exchange with about 1,200 students from San Francisco and Medellin, Colombia in partnership wtih Mi Sangre Foundation. And we also included more than 5,000 students from 40 schools in the US, Canada, and Nepal in our 3rd Annual Peace Exchange, in which Ross Holzman traveled to Nepal and facilitated workshops in schools of all types in six cities around the country. We are excited by the continued growth of The Peace Exchange and are currently in development of a vision for a documentary film that would follow Create Peace Project around the globe to 20 or more countries, including 10’s of thousands of students in this international arts-for-peace initiative, and sparking a movement of art for peace wherever we go. If you are interested in getting your school or youth organization involved in The Peace Exchange, please be in touch.