Bal Sahyog, Sat Nagar, New Delhi– An impressive 130 youth attended the celebration at Karol Bagh Peace Club. 4 youth volunteers including Vijay Kumar held interfaith activities at different areas in Kelash Colony, Regar Pura, and at a women’s shelter home discussing peace efforts and sharing reflection about PFP. Activities were held daily from 45 minutes to about an hour. A group of young men and women enjoyed the facilitative games and activities. They were able relate and understand others in the spirit of caring and inclusion, and cheer on other participants as they performed and cooperated during play sessions. Most were not shy and very enthusiastic to share in the fun.
Kolkota, India– Arzoo Shakir has a lot of deep reflection about PFP at the age of 19. He’s been a volunteer for PFP since 2015. And just like other youth facilitators, he wants to make this world a better place to live in.
“We are suffering from childhood. So now, we are able to handle any kind of situation with lots of smile,” Arzoo said. He is a third year college student studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honors in the Urdu language. He led the Interfaith activities with Shareen Alam, Arsha Pervez, Md Zulquar Nain and Sk Arshi. A total of 40-45 participants were facilitated by his team at Disciples for Peace Club.
“It’s not easy to participate but also not so difficult, but it takes time to change their narrow concept,” Arzoo added. All great learnings take time. A product of hard work and rich experiences in life.
As a youth facilitator at PFP, Arzoo has seen the plight of children who continue to suffer from poverty in his community. “We have a group of youth members who connect with the marginalized sector of society. When we conducted Interfaith Harmony Week, it was a collective effort with PFP and NEWS.” The Narkeldanga Educational and Welfare Society (NEWS) is another club that reaches out to children who work or are in child labor. “When children connect with NEWS, they give them free classes. They extend support to children by paying for their tuition fees,” Arzoo shared.
Arzoo revealed during an interview that before his PFP experience, his father reminded him of this principle: “Never do incomplete work.” While Arzoo was finishing one of the training modules for PFP, his father suffered a stroke. But since he was aiming to be part of a global movement for peace, he chose to finish his module. And hoped that his father would recover. Fortunately, he did.
When he reminisced this early challenge of being a youth trainer, he was proud that he listened to the wisdom of his father. He finished the module and is now training other children to bring hope to their communities. Arzoo said that he is a strong young man; he performs his best in both work and school. “I believe volunteering for socio-civic causes has taught me to be selfless – an ingredient of real love for God and other people regardless of social status, age, culture, and religious beliefs.”
“During Interfaith Harmony Week in February, we observed that there were many children who came from different communities and different religions, but when they started playing, they learned about the core values of PFP,” said Arzoo. Even for a short period, children from his community were relieved from their daily stresses.
Arzoo has found his inner peace and strength because of the trainings he had at PFP. To him, PFP is a life-changing movement. “No matter what our religion, what our caste, we always know one thing…we are all human beings,” Arzoo said.
At the time of writing, Arzoo is on his way to Ranchi, India for another youth leadership program.