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#CompassionInAction: Preparing European Teens to Help Refugee Centre

As soon as I found out about Play for Peace, I knew I’d join it one day.

  Sasha Trotsenko, a teacher at an International School in Switzerland, has begun to form a new Play for Peace Club in her school and hopes to take her teens to work at a local refugee center by the end of the school year. This is her story*;
When the teachers were asked if they could offer an activity and lead a group, I immediately thought of Play for Peace. I’ve known John Guarrine for almost 10 years and since the first day we met I was inspired by his gift to bring laughter to others. As soon as I found out about Play for Peace, I knew I’d join it one day. I considered it as one of the projects for my future life of a retired person. I’m very happy that I could be a part of it much earlier. I gave a presentation about Play for Peace to our high school seniors. Eight people signed up immediately. Later on, two more people asked me if they could join our Play for Peace team. So now, we are 11 excited people who are eager to bring peace and laughter to the younger children. To begin, we played some Play for Peace games which I facilitated, then I asked the students to get ready in pairs to facilitate a few activities for our next session. It was then they started to question themselves. How can we explain the rules so that everybody understands them? How can we work together? Should I help the others? Why didn’t my game work? I could see how more mature suddenly they became. After the feedbacks and discussions, we organised 1-hour games for younger students of our school. We were really surprised when 40 children came although half of them didn’t want to play because that would prevent them from playing games on their computers. However, in only 10 minutes, I could see that those who didn’t want to play at first were the ones who began to volunteer and laugh the loudest. It was a very special evening, beneficial and challenging at the same time. My Play for Peace students were wondering again; How to calm those who get overexcited? How to be fair and give a chance to everybody? How to deal with children who were acting bossy? We are learning so much. Our next session will be in April at a public school and then eventually in a local refugee centre. Practice makes perfect!:)  
*edited version  

Would you like to ensure that more teens around the world help build bridges of compassion? Consider supporting the Play for Peace #CompassionInAction Campaign running all month long.