From Afghanistan, love can open every border!

http://youtu.be/DD0Jqug7Mvo

Above is the video clip and below the excerpts of speeches made at the opening of the Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence in Afghanistan on the 7th of August, 2014.

Part of address by Basir Bita, Afghan advisor

In 30 years of war, 2 million Afghans have lost their lives

This Centre wants a world in which, without the use of weapons or the need for drones and without the need for fire and armies, we can build the country and eliminate violence.

The Afghan Peace Volunteers prepared for & turned up for the opening event at the Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence.

Part of address by Kathy Kelly, U.S. peace activist

You’ve your hearts filled with concern for people in Gaza, for people in Iraq now, for the family in Herat that lost four civilians because of an air strike just last night.

Never do you shout at us. You say, come and live with us. Sit with us. Drink tea. Hear our stories and see our visions. So, I want to say, besyar zyad tashakur ( thank you very much )!

Part of address by Dr Hakim, friend of Afghan Peace Volunteers

A better world is not only a possibility, it is being built right now.

Say that “It’s possible!”. Don’t say “It’s not possible.”

This is the dove. Isn’t it beautiful?

( The audience replies ) It’s beautiful!

Unfortunately, difficulties arose.

Someone clipped off one wing of the peace dove.

They also destroyed what we wrote on the sign, ‘Why not love?’

So, we wrote it three times over.

They destroyed it three times, and we rewrote it three times!

If you have pain or mistrust in your heart, befriend someone from another ethnic group today.

Write a note to give a word of encouragement to someone.

If we’ve made a mistake, ask for forgiveness.

Reconcile with a handshake or an embrace.

That’s the love that opens the borders in our hearts. That same love will open the borders of our minds.

With that same love, don’t think of others as Sunni or Shia, just think of them as Muslims.  

( The audience responds ) They’re humans!

They’re humans.

Response from Rafi Baiyan, participant in opening event

The honesty that is in everyone here, whether a foreign or local friend, truly, the honesty, love and passion in everyone here has made me very emotional today. I don’t know how to express my feelings to friends who work at this Centre. I thank each of them.

Hadisa, Afghan Peace Volunteer who teaches in the street kids program

They’re children who work in the streets, and we have gathered 20 of them to teach them at this Centre.  Because they’re financially needy, we also help them with their family needs.

Mahdi, Rana, Gulsom, Ismael, Fatima, Afghan street kids

Our aim is peace, and security, and freedom, and greenery, and friendship.

We all want a world without borders!

 

 The Afghan Peace Volunteers at the launch of

the Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence on 7th Aug 2014

 

Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence in Afghanistan

The Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence in Afghanistan was launched on the 7th of August, 2014.

From one of the persistent foci of wars, a group of young Afghan Peace Volunteers at the Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence want to work nonviolently with the human family across all borders to abolish the socioeconomic, environmental, educational and military wars that are being waged in Afghanistan and the world today.

Mission of the Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence in Afghanistan

To build relationships with people across all borders of the world and with the earth and nature, so as to work together as a strong 99% to address today’s violent and exploitative inequalities by

  1. Building a nonviolent economy where the basic needs of all are met ( especially of the most vulnerable people ),
  2. Abolishing war and weapons,
  3. Eliminating the human causes of global warming and
  4. Nurturing a non-violent, critical pedagogy.

This is the first Centre in Afghanistan that is fully dedicated to nonviolence.

The five areas of nonviolence that the Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence is working on are:

  1. Non-violent Economy ( a sharing economy that meets the basic needs of all human beings )

Current programs

–          Women’s tailoring cooperative

–          Winter duvet project

–          Small business microloans

       Future Programs

–          Learning and training courses will be held at the Centre to equip participants for ‘green’, non-military types of livelihoods, like agriculture workers, conflict resolution and peace-building workers, social workers, renewable energy workers, women’s home industries, worker-based cooperatives.

–          Growing food : There are future hopes and plans to establish a farm area where permaculture/organic farming/regenerative farming is practiced.

–          Living wage employment at the Centre

  1. Non-violent ways of conflict resolution ( abolish war and weapons )

Current programs

–          Sustained campaigns ( direct actions, advocacy and lobbying ) to abolish war, militarism , the threat of nuclear annihilation and all types of weapons and war-making tools

–          Non-violent conflict resolution training

       Future Programs

–          Learning and practicing restorative justice

–          Community-based support services for psychological challenges and war-related stress

–          Building a global mandate among the people of the world to abolish war

  1. Non-violence towards the earth and environment ( address global warming )

Current programs

–          Use and promotion of non-fossil fuels and renewable energy to eliminate the human causes of global warming and climate change

–          Tree planting and reforestation programs in Afghanistan

       Future Programs

–          Promote Rights for Mother Earth

–          Advocacy against extraction industries

  1. Non-violent education and awareness ( to nurture humane, pacifist persons who are engaged with serving humanity and building a better world )

Current programs

–          Courses, conferences, training on non-violence and its practice

–          Nonviolence Library with resource material on nonviolence and peace-related topics

–          Media on nonviolence : art, online, social media, videos, photos, film/T.V.

       Future Programs

–          Radio on Nonviolence

–          Non-violence curriculum in mainstream schools

  1. Non-violent self and relationships with the earth and all human beings ( to build relationships of equality across the borders of class, race, gender, language, religion, nations and others )

Current programs

–          Borderfree Homes/Communities/Space/Zones: communities organizing shared non-violent actions in solidarity with local and international groups

–          Global Days of Listening and other Skype connections

–          Multi-ethnic live-in communities of nonviolence, as practicum to build unity in nonviolence across the different ethnic groups in Afghanistan

–          Afghan Street Kids’ program

–          Cultural programs in Afghanistan

–          Ad hoc local and international exchange trips

        Future Programs

–          Borderfree Heartline

Our Borderfree Afghan street kids

 

 

 

 

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