What is the Peace School Like? Peace School is life practices and cultures. It aims to bring the knowledge and cultural riches of the world into the village and increase feelings of peace in children and local people. Also, it means to introduce the multicultural background and peace experience of Antakia with the world.
Philosophy behind the school? Every person has something to teach and every piece of knowledge is precious. A baker teaches how to make bread, the villagers teach making tomatoe paste, some people teach maths, astronomy, yoga, landart, folk dances, French, Arabic or an indiginous African or American language, etc. That means every person can volunteer in this school, teach and learn.
ation and training to thousands of children for 11 years with no money. That’s why this is a sustainable system and can be a good model for different parts of the world.
subjects have become more important for children. Families have developed more liberal values. Young people of the village travel abroad more often now. Most importantly, imagination of children has increased. They believe that all dreams are possible.
How was Servas Peace School this summer?Experience Share…
woke up early by themselves and even prepared breakfast for guest volunteers”. The programme was very intensive and we sometimes got exhausted during the workshops. Neighbours served us tea, coffee and water during those critical moments.
established in the 1950s, which aims to develope feelings of peace in the world by hosting people and becoming guests. Children made new dreams of becoming a member of this organisation in the future. Then they worked together and designed their own organisations to create peace between people and cultures. Peace School children discovered the variety of birds and other animals and plants in the river bank, olive fields and small forests during nature workshops. They also learnt interesting life of trees and land art. It was great fun for children to swim in the river with many of friends. The elder people taught them how to make old toys and they played together. Children read questioning stories during philosophy workshops. Volunteer teachers helped them discuss the points and the how to ask Why. All children played street games and sweated a lot. Tablet computers and other technological tools could not enter into Peace School. Photography team (Colors) members were trained and they went taking photos with a theme every day. They took interesting photos in the village and enjoyed telling their experience at the end of the day. The themes of the photo safaris were; the babies and old people, vegetables and fruit that grow in the village and pollution.
streets. Children shot short movies by themselves. At the end of the school, we shared all of the school products with 300 hundred local people at the Peace School Party. One could easily notice from smiles how parents were proud of their children. The volunteers seemed satified, proud, excited and happy when they saw the performance of the childen. Volunteers were satisfied because they did a job that served to create the good world they dreamt of. They also learnt from each other. Working together and making things beautiful meant a lot to them. The friendship they made with their host families and extraordinary daily life with them and exchanging cultural aspects and good feelings made
Peace School experience precious and special for everyone.
People who have dreams of a fair, good and peaceful world in their hearts come to volunteer in Peace school. Once they share these values with the children they feel satisfied and peaceful as they do their duties. One of those volunteers was a university academic, Pınar. She tells us her experience; “The small hearts were open enough to receive knowledge, practice it and have fun. I have realised that I have made some changes in those small hearts”. A university student from the village Burçin, who has the habit of nourishing herself with learning gives us feedback; “I have learnt that the most precious thing in life is sharing. I have the real volunteering. I have not only taught a lot but also learnt much.”
secretary of Turkey, Şermin was also one of the volunteers. She did an interesting workshop with children using drama. Şermin was excited while talking; “Peace School was an interesting experience for me. Children came here to learn and improve. My host family, Sinem-with 3 children, was kind, open minded and hospitable. This school is a big chance for the development of the children, parents and whole village. It would be a good idea to practice Peace School in different parts of Turkey and the World”.
We were having breakfast with all children sitting on the ground around the food under the olive,
pomegranate and fig trees. It was like a farewell activity. There were screams behind us coming from some of the children swimming in a traditional pool. At this moment, Gökçen, who has a loud nice laugh and who was like a well motivated teacher explains her experience; “I had such an interesting volunteering experience. I never felt tired with the questions of children and was very happy with their love they raised for me. I would come again next year”.
that children call her; “Teacher”. She says; “I have learnt how to improve myself and how to teach what I know. Also, I have realised that there is no limit for sharing and loving”. 11 years old girl, Rana, played the Zammuha (hand made flüte) and started to speak; “I learn to draw, play games and make musical instruments like this every time. Let’s all leave in peace”. Host family, Sibel invites all volunteers for a complete table of Antakya dishes every year. We met at her beautiful terrace and started to serve the dishes together. Sibel tells her feelings while making the Kofte with Rosa; “We host volunteers every year. We have fun together. My children become friends with them and they keep in touch throughout the year. The guests like our culture very much. They learn Arabic and Turkish. And also they experience how to make dishes of Antakya. They are welcome every year (Ehlen ve Sehlen)”. People of the village are aware of what the volunteers are trying to do with their children and they often appriciate it.
It made us feel good when we saw groups of children in different parts of the school, sitting on the ground and learning about mythology, Egypt, Colombia, Morocco, gender equality, peace in the world, children rights, making parfume out of scents of plants and different languages. Also, listening to the Zammuhas (made with reeds) played by all children
and decorating a wall with the theme of peace in the village helped us streghten our faith in peace.
ideas about the possible volunteering oppurtunities. We also watched the documentary movie, Naked, that I made on a Syrian refugee family in Turkey and discussed the prejudice against refugees and the ways of dealing with such sentiments. This year, we invited Syrian children to join Peace School workshops. Not suprisingly, local children were
good enough to play with them, draw pictures together and make toys. We had cinema workshops too and the trainer was a Syrian young man, Ayham, who studied cinema at a university in Turkey. He did the workshops in Arabic and Turkish.
the amazing museum and the old parliemant which played great importance in the identity of the city. We had some stops to eat the local desserts; Haytali, Kunefe Müşebbek and sometimes for Kagit Kabab. We drank a Suvari Coffee at the old inn watching the great mountain Habib-i Neccar that protects the city. Such sight seeing tours helped to exchange experience between volunteers and develop friendship.
people will water the plants patiently and they will grow until next year. When we meet again we will help them grow more and plant new seeds at the same time. We will continue from the point where J. Lennon left… The kids wrote it on the peace wall of the village this year; “Imagine all the people. Living life in peace.” We still imagine. That’s why, there is Peace School in our lives.