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“Be the Peace – Be the Hope” is an Exchange and Educational Healing Art Program between Houston Youth (schools and Community Centers) and Children in Refugee Camps
The program implement an educational curriculum focused on therapeutic arts and mindfulness for refugee children in the camps and Houston Youth from participating schools and community centers.
By utilizing the youth’s openness for dialogue, this program unites cultures through participation in creating the positive change they wish to see in the world, despite disparate situations.
The youth from Houston schools and community centers will be active participants in spreading a spirit of hope, peace and mutual concern with refugee camp children, cultivating compassion and global awareness through simple actions.
Refugee camp youth will experience positive and creative perspectives through the powerful mediums of art, symbols and words created by youth and for youth.
The “Be the Peace – Be the Hope” pilot program will culminate in several traveling exhibitions that document a “Cycle of Hope”. Displayed in various locations, including Houston Public Libraries, Harris County Library, participating schools, and the tunnel at Houston City Hall, these exhibitions will take viewers on a visual journey from life in Houston to life in refugee camps and back. These presentations will offer glimpses of the entire program through photographs, video footage, and personal art pieces created by the children from both worlds. Participating students from Houston will be invited to curate their own mini-exhibitions of the project in the participating schools and community centers.
The exhibited works of art are excerpts of the “art quilts” created by combining the children’s individual art pieces to cover the refugee tents and bring hope to the camps. The photographs displayed will be intermingled, presenting children from Houston and from the camps mixed together. In addition to the indoor traveling exhibitions, we will also showcase a traveling replica of one of the “hope tents” in various outdoor locations around Houston. Inside the replica tent will be information about the “Be the Peace – Be the Hope” project, personal stories from the participating children from Houston and from the refugee camps, and a documentary of the creative journey in action.
As a citizen led call-to-action, we will host a contest inviting the Houston youth to propose ideas and projects that encourage local actions of hope. Entries will be juried, and the winning proposal will be granted funding for its implementation in the Houston community. The idea behind these exhibitions is to demonstrate how hope can travel through different countries and cultures through the compassionate spirits of children. Through this program, children can create bridges between their cultures, using simple actions to plant seeds of hope locally while sharing hope across oceans where it can take root and spread even further.