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The global society facing on the fiercer conflicts has been searching for stopping all conflicts and finding peace. To cope with such issues, raising public awareness for peace education based on understanding diversity in ideology, religion, and ethnic identity was promoted in the Afghan society in collaboration with an international NGO.
On April 30th, Transparent Election Foundation for Afghanistan and an international NGO HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light) hosted the event of “Peace Sneakers Project” in Mashal University. Over 80 participants from government officials, women and youth leaders from CSOs (Civil Society Organizations), and law experts joined the event where the ‘Sneakers Performance” was held with wishes for reconciliation of ethnic tensions in Afghanistan.
HWPL, an international organization under the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI), co-hosted this event as a peace project in Afghanistan. Dr. Habiba Sarabi(Deputy chair High Peace Council), Fazl Ahmad Manawi(Religious scholar), and Ismael Qasimyar(Afghanistan High Peace Council International relation representative) gave a speech on the topic of the necessity of peace building in Afghanistan. As a ceremony, the youth choir for peace from Pigah High School was performed, and the sneakers with messages of peace written by the participants were provided. It was enacted to give a massage for Afghan people to get involved in cooperation for peace building.
Mr. Naeem Ayubzada, (President of Transparent Election Foundation for Afghanistan) the main host expressed his impression on this project by saying that “Afghanistan consists of many ethnics including Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek. They have different culture and ethnic history but they all are citizens and families of Afghanistan. So when thinking of the sneakers event, I felt that efforts of all to have the same heart and mindset regarding this are the very first step of peace building in the country. Like shoes, we have to come and go freely to each other.”
Won Bae, the vice manager of HWPL said, “We hope to send these 100 pairs of sneakers donated by HWPL members not just for a relief support but for giving a message that all ethnics can get united to make peace through such a cooperative project. From organizing to meetings, we could find a partnership and cohesion among co-hosts to make peace. We are looking forward to the next event that participants will voluntary lead from planning to hosting.”.
With its global association with organizations from law, religion, education, women, youth, and media, HWPL conducts peace projects with civil society groups. The Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) drafted by HWPL with international legal experts addresses the need to establish a culture of peace also designated by the UN resolutions to overcome challenges of violence. Ethnic diversity based on the principle of coexistence and human rights is also the essential part of the declaration to be promoted in local communities. As a global project, ‘Legislate Peace Campaign’, making peace as a legal basis in countries is being held over 120 cities from 2015 and 700 thousands signatures are collected until now.