Workshop #5 @ SOS Hermann Gmeiner Tibetan School : Pokhara

Posted by / February 20, 2012 / Categories: India 2011 Peace Exchange / 1 Comment
It took quite a bit of effort to get into a school on a half-day Friday.  The front gate was locked.  The side entrances appeared locked, but once around back, we found our way inside where we found the principal of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Tibetan Elementary School.  This lovely little school was recommended to us by a graduate of the school, a woman who was working at a previous school we had visited.  The school is  located in the Tibetan Camp in Pokhara.               The Principal told us that many organizations from around the world are always asking to come to their school and do some kind of activity or workshop….even research with the kids.  He says that they get so many offers that they have to turn them all down.   Except when you show up with an arts for peace project and have experience working with Tibetan youth. It felt great to hear him offer his humble gratitude and appreciation of the project and his gratitude for us coming to his school to share this cross-cultural exchange of art and messages of peace with his students.   He stressed the on going, nearly 60-year struggle of the Tibetan people and said that Tibetans need peace.  Megha and I both repeated, “everyone needs peace” and he repeatedly emphasized that “we need it more!”  And on some level, I have to agree. He was very grateful and appreciative of the Peace Exchange and complimentary of this work I have been doing for the children. We spent the whole day at this school, doing four workshops in two 6th grade classes, and with both the fourth and fifth graders.   Working in smaller groups was nice.   The students highly respectful, polite, and courteous.   There presence was beautiful and their willingness to participate and share their ideas on peace, vocal and enthusiastic.   I find that Tibetan kids are given much more arts education than most of the other students I have worked with in India, Nepal and Uganda.   This was clearly demonstrated in their art work and positive messages shared on their peace cards.         Highlight Story:  In the last workshop of the day, we had a group of about 25 6th grade teenagers.  Shortly after we started, explained the project, discussed peace with the students and passes out peace cards, several boys asked to leave to go play in their final cricket match of the year.  An inter-school match.  Four boys left, changed clothes, and were off.  A couple returned for brief stints to put some love into their cards before they disappeared.  Several times boys would come back to the room and call to a young boy seated at the front of the room to join them.  They would yell at him to come on in Tibetan and he would continue working on his art.  After a third boy came and enthusiastically encouraged his teammate to come and he did not get up, I walked over and smiled.   “Peace is more important,” he said.   I was so moved and still to this moment feel deeply touched by his decision.   Finally the coach came and stressed that he was next to bat and that he must join the team and play.  He removed his jersey from his bag and with some slight resistance, stepped away from the beautiful work of art he was making and existed the room….not before I snapped a photo of him and his peace card.       I am grateful for the example this boy set and his dedication to the project and his choice to stay put for as long as he could to share his love and create something meaningful for the cause of peace.   Tashi Delek  
1 comment
  • prakriti says:

    I miss S.O.S Hermann Gmeiner School. I will never forget it. Its my part of life. Thankful 2 all my teachers and frenz of S.O.S. Love u and miss u

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