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’re very tired of wars and wish to build viable, non-military alternatives for the people of Afghanistan and the world.
We seek to practice non-violence in the following areas:
- Non-violence towards the earth and environment
- Non-violent economy
- Non-violent conflict resolution, including the abolishing of weapons and wars
- Non-violent education
- 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
.Planting trees in Kabul
They organize cleaning campaigns in public places
Picking up trash in a public park in Kabul
They use solar power at the Borderfree Nonviolence Centre & stand in solidarity with efforts to prevent further global warming,
Asking for the Arctic 30 to be freed
2. Non-violent economy
An Afghan women’s tailoring cooperative
Embroidery work on Borderfree scarves part of small income generation
3. Non-violent conflict resolution, including the abolishing of weapons and wars
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
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.
4. Non-violent self, community and humanity
- Two multi-ethnic Afghan communities live and work together to exemplify nonviolence and change ethnic divisions.
- Relationships are built in Afghanistan and across the world through:
– Global Days of Listening at http://global daysoflistening.org
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
Afghan Peace Volunteers