Peace, Love, and Music in a World Online

Global digital citizens of all ages are going online to send love and support to a team of players of the social change game Peace on Earth by 2030. The game includes harnessing the power of music to uplift our spirits, bridge cultures, and lead social change by gathering in public, in song, and with signs, in our local communities, including one of the most challenging places on Earth.

A team in the 2018 September Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is from the Marefat High School in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since July, Compassion Games International has been collaborating on our most ambitious social change game ever – Peace On Earth by 2030.  The Compassion Games was introduced to Aziz Royesh, founder of the Marefat School and one of the leading educators on the planet by David Gershon of the Empowerment Institute. David also introduced us to Matt Turner, co-founder and CEO of Serve Community with the mission of “uniting and empowering the youth of the world to reinvent the planet.”

Peace on Earth by 2030: 7 Actions to Create Peace on Earth

We are collaborating to design and play a new In Real Life (IRL) social change game. Here is the Game Map for Peace on Earth by 2030:

We started with 7 Actions to Create Peace on Earth inspired by the 1986 First Earth Run, a worldwide event and celebration that brought people together to demonstrate “the impossible being made possible.”  On regular video zoom calls, we co-design the game and coach the students and staff in Kabul. We started with the action “Befriend the Other” that requires empowering oneself to go outside your “comfort zone” and to reach out to someone who you may think is different and ask them to be your friend.  The students went out on their own and reported back on different approaches to being upfront, discovering similarities, and the power and simplicity of asking someone to be your friend.

We then explored how they could, as a team, reach out to befriend others. We shared a recent music video We Shall Overcome – Love Will Rise Again by Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahoud. The music is uplifting and the video shows people in the streets handing out hearts, holding signs, and singing an updated rendition of We Shall Overcome. Inspired by the music video the students are planning to go onto the streets of Kabul to create “Peace Waves” in which they sing and hand out hearts bringing the message of peace, love, and compassion to the people on the streets of Kabul. They translated the words of the song and signs into Farsi and reinterpreted the music to appeal to the Afghani culture.  They will make “Peace Waves” on the streets of Kabul, record it, and then share this experience online.

Current Reality: “The Agony of a Generation”

This is no small task. During the course of the months of design sessions, we would often be interrupted by attacks happening nearby. This last year in Afghanistan has seen a record number of civilian casualties.  As we were planning to do this we asked the students about their motivating visions and why this was important to them. This first answer comes from Sahar who shares why she is willing to risk her life to demonstrate that they can do something as challenging as this. The second student, Sina talks about when is it important for there to be peace and justice.

Befriending the Planet: World Peace Broadcast

The Compassion Games and Unify created a World Peace Broadcast to coincide with September 21, the UN International Day of Peace. We invited the Marefat students to join the broadcast to share their plans for creating Peace Waves on the streets of Kabul.  We shared with them that there are others around the world who want to send their love and support for what they are doing.

A Letter Writing Campaign and Secret Agent Missions

Inspired by the Marefat High School students members of Santa Barbara’s Serve Community and local nonprofits, Hustlers for Humanity and The Lost Art ofLove Letters, started a letter writing campaign in support of the students at Marefat High.

Inspired by the letter-writing campaign the Compassion Games Secret Agents Of Compassion dedicated two daily missions to the campaign and reports started to appear on the Compassion Report Map. To make sure that the letters and messages got into the hands of the students we came up with an online way to share them with the students in Kabul and the rest of the world.

Online Collection of Love Letters

We created an online page to access all the letters and supporting materials.  This includes letters that were photos that were sent as postcards. Love letters that were sent as emails.  Letters that were posted as reports to the Compassion Games Report Map. Love videos that were sent. 

Here are a few remarkable examples of supportive love letters connecting us. The first two examples are Report Map Love Reports and then Nimo and friends send a Love Video.  

Rowdy Teenagers Who are Rooting for You!

“Dear Marefat High School Students, We stopped goofing around today to actually listen to our group leader read about the project that you are doing for your school and community. You see we are kids who are the same age as you but are in a very different kind of environment…we live in a locked psychiatric group home. We are used to being “the other” and not fitting in our in the “real world”. We are used to being ignored, bullied, left behind, abused, and generally treated poorly by much much of society.  Rarely does anyone seek us out to befriend us. A lot of times the only people who are compassionate towards us are our mental health workers because they see the good inside of us, hiding underneath our rage and sadness. We are grateful for people like them and also for people like you. People who don’t give up on others when they seem different than the mainstream. All people need compassion and though we aren’t very skilled yet at showing it, we are learning and trying. And when we see kids like you doing it, it gives us hope that we will develop stronger skills of compassion in the future.  

We made this card for you to encourage you in your project. When you get down, remember that across the Atlantic Ocean there is a group of rowdy teenagers who are rooting for you. And in those moments, “paint yourself with our love.” Sincerely, Kids who care.”

Australia, Kabul, Rhode Island, and a Wise Five Year Old

Ben Bowler from Unity Earth lives in Melbourne. In this Facebook photo, he shares the World Peace Broadcast with his children. They are watching the students from Marefat High School learn about the letter writing campaign and about a report from Liam, a 5-year-old in Rhode Island who sent a love letter to the students in Kabul.  Here’s is the report and wisdom from five-year-old Liam:

Dear kids in Kabul, My name is Liam and I’m a boy and I’m 5. I might be scared of you because I’m a little kid and you’re big kids…even bigger than my big sister! But I know you are good kids with lots of love in your hearts because my mom told me you are making friends with people who are different than you which I know is hard sometimes. I think that’s good because all people need friends and love. I’m proud of you for doing brave good things with the love in your hearts. You are going to change the world. I am too because I have love in my heart to give to lots of people. My love card for you is two colors and I taped the paper together. You guys are the blue side and I’m the yellow side and now we can be friends. And I’m giving you some of my smiles to remind you that I love you in case you get sad or scared. You Rock! and I love you. Liam

Nimo and Friends Send a Love Video

Nimo and friends record a love video to acknowledge and encourage the students at Marefat.   

Then… the Marefat Students Reply to the Love Letters…

The students at the Marafet are now replying to the people that sent the letters. They’re finding them on Facebook and becoming friends. Sina sent a reply to Matt and is now a member of the Hustlers for Humanity private Facebook group in Santa Barbara.

Other players and teams have started Peace Waves for example in Nigeria. 

 

…Stay Tuned and Get Involved…

As the Marefat students prepare to create Peace Waves on the streets in Kabul we invite you to stay tuned as well as send a letter of support to the students at loveletters@compassiongames.org

We welcome other musicians and organizations that wish to lend their name and support and to share in the mission and vision of the social change game Peace on Earth by 2030. Be a Patron and support the Peace on Earth by 2030.