Who We Are

February 10, 2009

Afghan Peace Volunteers

A protest against all forms of violence and the killing of two Afghan kids who were herding cattle

Afghan Peace Volunteers

Mission : Non Violence

The Afghan Peace Volunteers are a grassroots group of ordinary, multi-ethnic Afghans seeking a life of non-violence. We seek non-military solutions for Afghanistan.

They seek to practice non-violence in the following areas:

  1. Non-violence towards the earth and environment
  2. Non-violent economy
  3. Non-violent conflict resolution, abolishing weapons and war
  4. Non-violent education
  5. Non-violent self, community and humanity

Their Borderfree campaign represents the collective wish of the human family to relate and work with one another non-violently and in solidarity under the same blue sky, with the people organizing themselves selves as a strong 99% free of borders, so as to take care of our earth, build socio-economic equality for all, and abolish war.

The Afghan Peace Volunteers do not work for the benefit of any political group or religion. They are registered with the Ministry of Justice Afghanistan ( registration certificate number 2956 – 24/12/1390 ) as an Afghan civil society volunteer organization.

A Short History

In 2008, about 50 university students participated in a 3-month Peace Workshop at Bamiyan University in Bamiyan Province, facilitated by a Singaporean medical doctor and humanitarian worker Dr Hakim ( Dr Teck Young, Wee ). The university students concluded that ‘peace in Afghanistan is not possible.’

But, 16 of the Bamiyan University students from six different ethnic groups agreed to live together for a semester to demonstrate the possibility of ethnic unity.

From this effort, youth from different valleys and villages in Bamiyan gathered to raise their voice of peace and to protest against war, violence and killings in Afghanistan. One of their first protest-actions was a tent vigil at Bamiyan Peace Park, which the youth had helped establish. The tent vigil was held to ask U.S. President Obama to bring genuine peace and reconciliation to Afghanistan. They ended their tent vigil when the then U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, promised to deliver their message to President Obama

Ex U.S. Ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, his wife and Bamiyan Governor Dr Habiba Sarobi

visited the Afghan Peace Volunteers at the tent vigil in Bamiyan Peace Park

The vigil did not end the Afghan war, but it raised a core group of Afghan youth who eventually called themselves the Afghan Peace Volunteers, and it placed them in contact with international peacemakers who helped bring their message of nonviolence to people in other parts of the world, like through Skype conversations in the Global Days of Listening program which since has become a chapter of Fellowship of Reconciliation USA.  They built person-to-person relationships with other Afghan youth and with international peace groups, and began to campaign consistently for an end to violence and war.

In 2011, against a background of local opposition and security concerns, the core group of Afghan Peace Volunteers moved to Kabul to study, live and work together in their commitment to non-violent and non-military solutions for the challenges Afghans face today. They officially registered themselves with the Afghan Ministry of Justice as a civil society group. One of their first campaigns in Kabul was the ‘I wish to live without war’ campaign  in the spring of 2011, in which they invited 25 international peace builders of a U.S. based peace group,  Voices for Creative Nonviolence, to participate.

 

 A peace walk in Kabul in 2011, expressing our desire to live without wars

They began to reach out to youth from different provinces and to organize grassroots service and income-generating projects, like running an Afghan women’s tailoring co-operative, a winter duvet project and a street kids program.

The core group of Afghan Peace Volunteers formed a small, intentional, multiethnic live-in community in Kabul. They wish to be a working example of a group of youth who are building alternative lifestyles and ways of relating which counter the socio-economic, environmental and military violence in Afghanistan and the world.

Their long term mission of non-violence includes Borderfree, which is the collective wish of the human family to relate and work with one another non-violently and in solidarity under the same blue sky, organizing ourselves as a strong 99% free of borders, so as to take care of our earth, build socio-economic equality for all, and abolish war.

Activities for non-violence

The following is a brief list of programs, activities and actions which the Afghan Peace Volunteers ( APVs ) organize to work towards their aims.

1.        Non-violence towards the earth and environment

The APVs helped to develop Bamiyan Peace Park in 2009

The inauguration of Bamiyan Peace Park in 2009

They organize tree planting and street cleaning campaigns annually

.Planting trees in Kabul

They stand in solidarity with efforts to prevent further global warming,

Asking for the Arctic 30 to be freed

2.        Non-violent economy

To build a self-sufficient economy of the people, they have a tailoring co-operative. Microloans are given to set up or run small businesse

An Afghan women’s tailoring cooperative

Embroidery work on Borderfree scarves part of small income generation

3. Non-violent conflict resolution, abolishing weapons and war

Non-violent conflict resolution training sessions are held.

Various programs, vigils, walks and campaigns are organized to protest against all forms of violence and war.

Our ‘2 Million Friends’ campaign with Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire

4.        Non-violent education

They hold global awareness learning sessions and Peace Jam classes ( Peace Jam is an international peace education and action network supported by 12 Nobel Peace Laureates )

Mr Oscar Arias and Peace Jam in New England, USA wore Borderfree blue scarves and sent greetings to the APVs

Meetings, seminars, and media are used to raise awareness on non-violence and its practice in Afghanistan and the world.

  1. 4.        Non-violent self, community and humanity
  2. A multiethnic Afghan community live and work together to exemplify nonviolence and change ethnic divisions.
  3. Relationships are built in Afghanistan and across the world through:

-       Global Days of Listening at http://global daysoflistening.org

-       Borderfree and its Blue Scarves

borderfree@mail2world.com

                facebook.com/borderfreeworld

Twitter @afg_borderfree (with the hashtag #2millionvoices)

http://borderfree.tumblr.com

Skype name: Afghan Peace Volunteers

.

 c. Serving the people and humanity is done through:

The Winter Duvet Project

 Distributing duvets to poor families

The Street Kids Program

 

Some of the street kids

   Barath Khan teaches Naseem

  

Ismael is the literacy class


Nur Rahman with his monthly portion of rice and oil

 More Information and Contact 

Borderfree

http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/borderfree

 

 Afghan Peace Volunteers

http://ourjourneytosmile.com

http://globaldaysoflistening.org

journeytosmile@gmail.com

 borderfree@mail2world.com

 

 

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6 Responses to Who We Are

  1. Pingback: Love is How We’ll Ask For Peace — Casteluzzo

  2. Glenn Castro says:

    You are a ray of hope in a sea of darkness. The Afghan people are noble and generous. They treated me very well in 1971-2, throughout their nation. Having almost no income, i have no money to give. If it were to help, I will lay down my life to bring peace to my Afghan sisters and brothers. If you need my life energy, please tell me how I may help.

    Thanks and Peace,
    Glenn Castro

  3. Kim Breas says:

    The insane are allowed to rule our world too often. There is no justice in America’s killings. I apologize for my government. My heart is with you.

  4. mike says:

    re: Conversation with Raoshan.

    Beautiful, beautiful. God protect her, and all of you fine people.

  5. Carmell Waters says:

    Your organization is an answer to my prayers for world peace. You are wonderful. I would like to work along with you to promote love, respect, and understanding in our world which seemed so hopeless until I read about you and went to your website.

  6. Linda Taffs says:

    You are truly an inspiration of hope in this troubled world. Ordinary people all over the world want peace; It is only the leaders of the world who have self interest, with their propaganda machine, that make war. I pray that you will always remain strong to your principles, which are admirable, and that peace and justice will come to Afghanistan. Thank you for being you.

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