To mark World Peace Day 2018, Empathy Action partnered with humanitarian relief supplier NRS International to run a #PeaceDoves campaign to give wings to a message of hope, peace and reconciliation that went across the world.
The project connected local schools and businesses in Kent with NRS International’s factory workers in Pakistan and Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh. Some even made it to the United Nations for Global Goals week in New York.
Small doves, big messages
Six women stitchers in Pakistan crafted 650 handcrafted dove toys made from upcycled offcuts of refugee blankets and tarpaulins. Speaking about the #PeaceDoves concept, Sandy Glanfield, Innovations Manager at Empathy Action, says:
The doves carry a reminder that for the 65 million refugees around the world, a blanket or tarpaulin is basic necessity to survive. The passionate and skillful women who made the doves, add the love into this story.”
It’s more than just a dove
Empathy Action worked with children at local schools as part of the initiative, including Tonbridge Grammar School, Hilden Grange School in Tonbridge and Lady Boswell’s Primary School in Sevenoaks. The children reflected on the meaning of peace and what peace means to them. They also had the opportunity to buy their very own #PeaceDove.
Local businesses and community groups also backed our campaign, including Juliet’s Café, independent retailer Anna Poulsen, local yoga teacher Helen Bishop and Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis Club. Peaceful messages about ethical business practices, community, self-care and peace were shared on social media under the #PeaceDoves banner.
Messages of hope
Meanwhile in Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, an art exhibition organised by the Danish Refugee Council to highlight peace and hope in conflict settings, involved over 300 displaced Rohingya children. 150 of our #PeaceDoves were presented to the children as prizes, bringing joy and hope.
I am very happy with this dove. I like it so much” Anjuman (age 8)
Through the #PeaceDoves project, Empathy Action and NRS International hope to raise social awareness, ignite empathy and encourage private businesses and individuals to contribute to a more peaceful society by spreading messages of peace.
Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about how to bring a messages of peace activity to your group.