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Peace Training in India: Young People for Justice and Peace

“YPJP is a moment for peace and justice.” - Arif Khan

At the beginning of this month, on July 1-2, Play For Peace was delighted to contribute to a peace education session with over fifty people participating. It was in Miraj, Maharashtra, that this gathering took place. A city on the smaller side, Miraj is known for its good hospitals and impressive performances: festivals, processions, music. Others report friendly citizens and a laid-back lifestyle. PFP Facilitator Arif Khan was one facilitator in the group, along with others from throughout the country. Arif assists with the Pink City Club in Jaipur. He also volunteers with World Vision India and is the local President of one of its movements: Young People for Justice and Peace. For those who aren’t aware, World Vision is a leading NGO, founded in the 1950s by a man named Bob Pierce.

As a faith-based organization, its mission is to help "the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation.” The objective of YPJP in India is much the same, encouraging peace and justice in the minds and actions of its members. That weekend consisted of two full-day sessions, where participants met to share their plans and ideas. Arif tells me that one of the goals of YPJP is to help people become positively independent and self-made. Our time together, he says, "is a moment for peace and justice.” YPJP conducts peace sessions, and performs advocacy with other NGOs, like SOS Children’s Villages, for example. These sessions are meant to help people go out into the world and ignite positive change in their personal lives, work, and routines. They provide strategies and mentorship for effectively doing so. During the sessions, they played PFP games like Hold the Ball, and had in-depth discussions about leadership and inner peace. Another focus was on bringing YPJP to India on the national level.

As of now, the group is small, but growing. Arif believes that making more PFP clubs, and spreading its curriculum into the further reaches of the country, as well as engaging other NGOs, is one way to do this. He took PFP training four years ago and believes strongly in the benefits of the curriculum. Was the event successful? Arif believes it was. For him, the fact that so many facilitators came from around the country was a positive thing: the group was able to share a diverse range of thoughts and ideas and to experience PFP together. A big thanks to everyone on the YPJP team, as well as those in the World Vision India advocacy department: Reny Jecob, Michael Pradhan, and Amanat Masih.