Project Peacecard seeks to foster conversations between youth in the West Bank and America through storytelling via means of postcards. By creating and exchanging written and visual artwork cross-continentally, we aim to generate authentic dialogue, provide a platform for creative expression, and promote peaceful and progressive relationships.
Welcome to Project Peacecard! We are a non-profit pen pal program designed to bridge together young Palestinian students and young American students via Peacecards. Peacecards are handmade postcards by the students themselves that include visual artwork on the front and written artwork or a short letter on the back.
On March 9th, to launch the project, I traveled to the West Bank to visit Palestinian elementary schools and complete the project with students there. I set off with 2 envelopes stuffed with blank postcards, a backpack full of art supplies, and little-to-no idea of what would come out of my spontaneous trip. Throughout my one week stay I collected over 100 Peacecards from students in grades 3, 5, and 7. I spent two days with 5th graders at the Friends school in Ramallah and one day with 3rd and 7th graders at the Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour. The children were kind, creative, enthusiastic, and far exceeded my expectations for the first PPC participants.
Upon my return I've been working to get in contact with elementary schools in the State College area that would be willing and able to participate in PPC and become pen pals with the Palestinian students. I hope that the students remain in regular correspondence with each other and that the program expands to other schools in the US and in the West Bank. In doing so I also hope that Project Peacecard fulfills its goals of generating creative storytelling, artistic expression, a realization of shared experiences, an awareness of cultural differences, a broadening of world views, peaceful relationships, and a sense of community.
It is important to note that none of this would have been possible without the support, assistance, and encouragement from Natalia and the rest of art 397A, Sa'id, Haneen, the staff at the Ramallah Friends School and at the Lutheran School in Beit Sahour, my parents, and the extraordinary students that are the life blood of Project Peacecard!
This first wave of success with the project was incredible and promising. However there is still so much work to be done in order for it to grow to its full potential. If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, making a donation, or there are general questions about PPC, feel free to email me at email@example.com. Also, please share this blog page with your friends and family and be on the look out for more updates!