The Peace Forum was organized on the eve of International Peace Day, 2019 for school students as potential peace-builders in Kabul. It was a three-day program that commenced on 19 September and rounded up on 21 September, the International Peace Day.
The first day began with an introduction of the program and its aspirations. Our speaker Mr. Matiullah Rahmaty talked about goal-setting, drawing plans and taking action to reach to our dreams. He related these to his own life and professional experience. He inspired the emerging peace-builders to take action in the initiation and promotion of peace-building and development in our society!
Our other speaker, Mr. Ahmad Zia Momand led an interactive session and led the participants through his peace-building journey, his challenges, and achievements. “What does peace mean to you?” he asked. The forum participants shared their understanding and ideas as Mr. Momand also talked about how young people can engage in peace processes and how they should start it. He also spoke about unity and acceptance, and the ways it is beneficial in personal life and in society.
The second day of the program facilitated group discussions where participants shared positive perspectives about their communities as well as the challenges they face through their life experiences growing up in a conflict-affected society. They learnt that one of the keys to being peace-builders is to know and identify their strengths, talents and values, and to be able to accept that in others. In order to build peace and bring positive change, one must first begin with understanding oneself, their society, and others who are different from them.
In the final day “International Peace Day, 21 September, AYEPO and the participants of Peace Forum visited an orphanage run by Mahboba’s Promise organization in the outskirts of Kabul city to celebrate the day with children! Our Peace Forum participants worked with these amazing kids by sharing what they learnt about peace-building in the previous days and conducting interactive activities. We painted the Peace symbol, cut a cake together, drew, recited poems, sang, danced along with kids, heard stories from them and most importantly, asked what peace meant to them.