First, Ms. Postoreli explained briefly about United World Project: “United World Project is one of the projects of Living Peace and Youth for a United World. We live in 180 countries spread across five continents and we belong to different cultures, religions and nationalities. What unites us is the choice to live for universal brotherhood”. According to her explanation, the headquarter of Youth for a United World is located in Italy, however, the span of activities is international.
Mr. Palma, an experienced teacher and activist in Middle East, told his story on his work on peace started; “I, as a teacher, has lived for 30 years in different countries of Middle East such as Iraq, Turkey, Palestine, Cairo, and Egypt; living in Middle East has lots of challenges; For example, when I was in Palestine, I saw a lot of teenagers who do not know the meaning of peace. They were born in war and grown in war. They do not have any experience about peace. So, I decided to give my life to work on peace in Middle East. Thus, the first project of Youth for a United World was started”.
“I started my first peace project in one of schools in Cairo. Students had a dice of love. This dice did not have any number, but there were different sentences of love on each side. I decided to use the dice of love to make the dice of peace. Be the first to love, I love everybody, I listen to other person, we love each other are some sentences of the dice of peace. We, my students and I, played with this dice every morning. We created an atmosphere of peace in our class” he said. When asked on the way of playing with the dice, he underlined that the dice is cast every morning or with different frequency; “everyone, big or small, is committed to be the protagonist in putting into practice the sentence of that day. Thereafter, once a week or when it seems possible, children/teenagers and teachers are invited to share with others their experiences of peace building.”
According to Mr. Palma, dice of peace is an international dice but the sentences on the dice are changed according to different religions; “For example, we use sentences of Quran for Muslims and for Buddhists, sentences of Buddha are written on the dice.
He emphasized on the fact that the dice of peace is a simple, playful and effective teaching method “It is an educational path that stimulate personal and community changes.” Then he told us about how the small dice of peace became populated in the world; “One week after starting the project, all other students and teacher became interested in our project; administrators, teachers, students wanted to change the world with a dice of cartoon; the school became famous in Cairo and other countries. Then I was invited to the United Nation and Europe Parliament to present this project.” Later he briefly talked about the “Bear Hugs” project of United World Project which is. “In this project, children send their teddy bears to children of refugees in camps and children who have survived disasters like tsunami, death of parents as well as children who are under trophy for cancer.”
On future projects, Ms. Postoreli introduced GenFest 2018 with the title of BEYOND ALL BORDERS; “the program will be held in Manila in Philippine and there will be many workshops about peace and united world; an expo on brotherhood is also on agenda for GenFest 2018, during which, we will present all organizations and NGOs active in field of peace.” She further added that there are lots of forums about art, science, social services, youth and peace. The biggest forum is Youth Peace Forum. “It is a platform with four years of experience; youth around the world share their commitment to peace and there will be an online webinar which connects youth around the world. It is an opportunity for young people to ask or say something.”
In terms of fundraising, Carlos Palma noted that many of their projects are implemented with volunteers and without need to fund; “but in general and in cases fund is necessary, United Nation is one of our supporters but we believe that God helps us to make peace in the world as we had instances where we started a project without money, however few days later, money reached us without asking for help.”
Concluding, both sides expressed hope and readiness for cooperation on peace building and youth empowering projects.