1 Ağustos 2016 Pazartesi
A Universal School ; Servas Peace School
Antakya Peace School is located in a large garden with orange, figs, pomgranate trees and vegetable in Ekinci(Aydiy), Antakya, Turkey not far from the border with Syria. The school is not only in the gardens but also the streets, house yards and any free spaces are parts of the school. Servas members from the village, Turkey and abroad work as volunteers at this school which takes place every summer between July 6-16th. The volunteers are the people who transfer the world knowledge, culture, art, and peace ideas to the kids. The volunteers also get the chance of experiencing the rich multicultural life style of Antakya which has been collected throughout history, the life of the village and share their experiences with local people at the same time.
At this school, there is no formality, no curriculum, no registration, no fee, no school budget and
What is Servas?
Servas is a non-governmental organization that aims to have intercultural peace and tolerance in the world and it disregards any race, language and religion discriminations. The Servas members host each other while travelling and they discover the culture they have living together. So it creates the sense of peace among people.
This year, in spite of the ongoing war in our neighbor country, Syria, and the bomb attacks in our country, we managed to come together again for the 8th year of the school. Every day, we met children in the gardens of Servas Campus, on the streets and in the olive gardens. We organized a program including activites, games workshops and demonstrations so that they could look at the world through the eyes of peace. It was very important for us to keep Peace School work again this year despite wars and violence around us. So Peace School would allow children have a peaceful breathe, see the beauties around them, strenghten their belief that there is still chance for peace.
Most of the Servas volunteers who were going to come from abroad cancelled their coming because
Around 80 children of the village called Ekinci (Aydiy) attended the Peace School activities this
The children became familiar with an ancient art of Antakya, mosaic art, with the mosaic teacher, Halide who practiced this work with pleasure and passion. The children learnt about the mosaic art developed by the Sassanids, Byzantiums, Romes every morning. They met at the workshop around
The cinema student, Hazal and the photographer, Mahmut who attended the program from İzmir, taught the children how to shoot a short film
Playing the traditional games is one of the most entertaining activities at school. Children played the Middle Eastern games on streets together. They enjoyed the togetherness and moved away from
The high school students Derya, Tuana and Esra studying at English department worked with children patiently and put the fantastic ideas on recycling into practice. Toys, musical instruments and spaceships were just a few examples of these products. The parents' views about their volunteer children were also amazing. Derya 's mother, Makbule said; "My daughter would not normally wake up before 12 p.m. in the
Children enjoy theatre all around the world. Theatre is playing, entertainment, language and life. A university student, Nesibe, brought out a short Arabic play with children creating great excitement and enthusiasm in children. By the way children of the village are bilingual (Arabic&Turkish). The play was presented to the families and children at the Servas Peace Party. It drew lots of attention and developed big sensitivity in terms of protecting local languages. Nisan, Mevsim and other volunteers worked in groups with children and monitored them to create t
How about introducing kids feminism? Is it possible? If you have the book called “The Book of a Little Feminist” and a good volunteer teacher like Ferdus, surely, the children can understand the equality of the genders, in other words, Feminism. Nice conversations which enabled children express their ideas freely were held in the shade of the pomegranate trees with the children of the village and sometimes with their mothers. They told the examples of gender discrimination they observe in their own lives, in their country and the world. Any topic can be discussed at the Peace School considering their age and level. Most of the topics neglected by the regular schools are introduced at the Servas Peace School.
While the children at the Peace School were having fun and are exposed to the universal values, what
Ana Maria built good relationship with the children and local families despite her limited English. However her smiling face was enough to communicate. As we do every year, we organized a city tour of Antakya for the volunteers. We introduced them the multicultural life style of Antakya, its different religions, ancient architecture, the old bazaar called Suk Al Tavil and the unique flavors of Middle East. We told Ana Maria the tradition of tolerance in Antakya with the help of a scene we witnessed by chance. The bride and groom coming to the church door noticed that the church was on lunch break. At that moment, the bride says ; "Seeing that the church is closed, let's go the mosque".
We are helping the children build up their own dreams at Servas Peace School. We know that their dreams are colourful and unlimited. We try to open new windows and introduce them options on how to make their dreams come true. It is impossible to tell how much Servas volunteers coming from Colombia, India, Russia, New Zealand, Spain, Belgium, Iran and many more countries and other Servas volunteers coming from different cities of Turkey have enriched the children's dreams, knowledge and lives for eight years now.
Children, volunteers and local people like the Servas Peace School. Would not it be wonderful to organise more Peace Schools in different corners of the world within Servas?
Servas Peace School Coordinator
Facebook: “Servas Peace School”
Translated by the local volunteer Selen Karataş
We appriciate it.