Saturday, October 2, 2010

“Empowering the Leaders of Tomorrow” Seeds of Peace

Since 2001 CJM has been sending its pupils as members of the Pakistani delegation in the Seeds of Peace International Summer Camp held in Maine, USA. Sr. Pilar was the leader of the very first delegation that went from Pakistan. This year our school has continued the tradition by sending Noor Malik of class 11 as part of the Seeds from Pakistan. She attended the three week camp from 21 June to 17 July 2010. They went to Maine where the SOP camp was held and also spent a week in Washington D.C. where they visited landmarks such as the Whitehouse, Capitol Hill as well as the Air and Space Museum. When asked about the experience this is what she had to say: ‘I am thankful to the school for giving me the opportunity to go through this life changing experience. At camp we were able to interact with other Seeds our age from different parts of the world. The South Asian (Pakistan, India, Afghanistan) and American delegates took part in dialogue together and we were able to discuss the conflicted issues between our countries. Although we had different points of view which led us to have heated discussions in the end we were able to establish common ground between us. The daily activities that we had such as swimming, canoeing, water skiing, rock climbing, basketball and talent shows helped us know each other beyond the dialogue hut. The group challenges were designed in a way to make delegates who normally disagreed with each other in dialogue sessions work as a team and eventually develop trust amongst themselves. We especially focused on how we, the youth, can contribute towards making a change in the today’s In the end I would like to say that I hope we were able to present a positive image of our country. I wish the best of luck to Conventarians who get this opportunity to go as representatives of the Pakistani youth and hope that they will make their school and country proud.’
The main objective of Seeds of Peace is to bring together youth from those parts of the world that are not on friendly terms. The countries that participate include USA, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine, Afghanistan and India. At camp these delegates are given the unique opportunity to sit together and discuss the various issues of conflict between their countries so that they can together look for a practical solution to deal with their problems. The aim of all this is not only to remove the stereotypical views instilled into the youth by society but to also aid delegates in their leadership skills so that they can help brighten the future of their country. The SOP motto is “empowering the leaders of tomorrow”. At camp through the drama and music competitions the Seeds learn about the different cultures of the other delegates and at the same time learn how they are not so very different after all.
Report by Prefects, Mischa Sheikh and Rabbiya Abdullah.

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