At the end of April, Afri’s Co-ordinator Joe Murray and Choctaw Gary White Deer travelled to Moville for a ‘Just a Second’ event, as part of our WorldWise Global Schools Project. The ‘Just a Second’ educational programme focuses on the absurdity of in excess of €40,000 being spent every second on war and weapons while a billion people suffer from hunger, lack of clean water and adequate housing. We began by walking from Moville Community College to the Quays. This was the departure point for many people from Donegal and surrounding areas who emigrated down through the years, often because of poverty or famine. We were joined there by Rose Kelly and students from Scoil Eoghain. We had music, poetry and readings focussed on those who are being forced from their their homelands today as a result of poverty, war and climate change. Following this moving event, participants walked back to Moville Community College where we planted a mountain ash together with students and teachers and then had a short seminar touching on issues to do with climate change, militarisation, famine and forced migration. Continue reading “Just A Second in Moville”
The theme of our education programme is ‘Just a Second’ and it focuses on the absurdity of the choices that we make – or that are made on our behalf by governments and corporations. For example, it is a fact that in excess of €40,000 is spent every second on war and weapons while a billion people suffer from hunger, lack of clean water and adequate housing. Recently the Afri team visited Galway as part of the ‘Just A Second!’ schools project, holding a number of events including a Famine Walk to the Celia Griffin Memorial in Salthill, a book launch and a development education seminar. This short film (above) produced by Dave Donnellan gives a flavour of that visit.
A second film (below – also by Dave Donnellan) focuses on the launch of an educational resource (Just A Second! Exploring Global Issues Through Drama and Theatre written by Pete Mullineaux in the course of the project) which offers teachers, school groups and facilitators an accessible guide to exploring global issues through drama and theatre. This book is available to buy from Afri – please contact Afri (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 8827563) to find out more.
The third film in the Just A Second! series is made by RoJ Whelan and this takes a look at an event held at the Celia Griffin memorial in Salthill as well as a development education workshop, which was the finale of the project. It includes contributions from Mark Kennedy (who championed the idea of the Celia Griffin memorial), Choctaw artist Gary White Deer, Sakhile Heron (South Africa), music, graphic harvesting, the words of Malala Yousafzai, as well as reflections from teachers and students involved in the project.
Funded by Irish Aid’s World Wise Global Schools
Report by Rose Kelly, Afri Development Education Co-ordinator, 6th May 2014
‘Out beyond notions of wrong-doing and right- doing there is a field, I’ll meet you there.’ ~ Rumi
These were the favourite lines from poetry of young peace activist Aseel Asleh.
Aseel, who described himself as a ‘Palestininan citizen of Israel’, was a member of the international organisation Seeds of Peace .With his fellow members of that organisation, Aseel worked towards the manifestation of such a ‘field’ as Rumi describes. At 17 years of age, while attending a Seeds of Peace event, Aseel was shot and killed by Israeli security forces.
On the 29th April 2014, Afri facilitated a World Cafe event in St. Enda’s College Galway for over 70 young people all of whom are around the age Aseel would have been when he was shot and killed. The young people came from St. Enda’s, Salerno and Gort Community College. The session was the culmination of months of work involving a wide range of activities including art, story, drama, discussion, creative writing and imagining, as part of the Afri ‘Just a Second’ project.
The intention of the ‘Just a Second’ project was , starting with a focus on the amount of money spent on militarisation every second, to consider the real cost of war and militarisation; to imagine the alternatives; and to come up with ways in which we can work together to help bring about this alternative.
Symbols and story played a significant part in the unfolding of the project. At the event on the 29th April, we had several of these symbols in evidence eg peace cranes, dreamcatchers and St. Brigid’s Peace Crosses. Likewise, into the mix , we brought the stories of child/teenage victims of militarisation. Through their stories, we brought their presence into the room both as witnesses and inspiration. Six years old Celia Griffin who starved to death during An Gorta Mór, Ten years old Sadako Sasaki who died of Leukaemia, ( the A-bomb disease ) a decade after the bombing of Hiroshima and Aseel Asleh. We did our best to manifest Rumi’s field in the bright and spacious gym hall.
The three ‘questions’ up for discussion at the World Cafe were…
What are the real costs of militarsation?
How can we create an alternative Dream?
What am I/we going to do to make this happen?
What the young people came up with together was heart-warming and hopeful.
The event finished with the participants writing a message for peace on large sheets of paper which were then photographed as a contribution to the International Peace Bureau’s Global Day Against Military Spending.(GDAMS)
I began this piece with a reference to Rumi and to Aseel Asleh, not just because we included his story on the day but because, with a spine-tingling serendipity, as I opened my laptop to begin writing, waiting for me was a message from one of Aseel’s good friends, Jen Marlow. Today would have been Aseel’s Asleh’s 31st birthday.