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Last year, Friends Without Borders arose quickly and dramatically and created a huge stir in India and Pakistan. Tens of thousands of kids throughout both countries poured their hearts into their letters – perhaps for the first time seeing their peers across the border as new friends.
Last year, we helped create The World's Largest Love Letter – a gigantic gift of love from the children of India to the children of Pakistan. This letter was bigger than a football field and was featured at huge kid-empowering cricket stadium events, from Bangalore to Mumbai to Lahore! One of our events was even televised live to 20 crore (200 million) viewers during an Indo-Pak cricket match. These events created front page news stories throughout both countries. In Ahmedabad, thousands of kids from diverse backgrounds marched pieces of the letter from various houses of worship, down the busy streets, all converging together in symbolic unity at the Gandhi Ashram. We even had a candlelight ceremony at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar before walking the letter on six carts to the border, where we were warmly greeted with a marching band and an excited crowd of new friends! Thousands of children, from the cities to the rural villages all signed the enormous letter. It was a dazzling adventure! This exciting video by Rahul Brown captures some of the magic.
Last year , a Friends Without Borders public service announcement was created that captured the imaginations… and hearts… of people throughout India and Pakistan. It was made in seven languages and played for months on every major network! This PSA, made by our friends at Black Magic Motion Pictures is now up for an ABBY award. If you haven't seen it - watch it now – it's a gem and truly captures the heart of our project.
Last year, with a small group of volunteers, we pulled off one of the most amazing initiatives in IndoPak history, and created a new model for world peace, inviting children into the democratic process. Outside of some important in-kind donations and support from friends, the entire project was funded as a labor of love out of our own pockets. With a core team of just 5 people, and volunteers in the thousands, together we managed to pull of something truly beautiful and have fun all along the way.
In short, last year rocked.
And this year, the rocking continues! :) Stay tuned. We will send another update very shortly. The natural goodness of children might just be the most awesome force in the universe – strong enough to heal any divides. We're preparing to crank our efforts up a notch and may need your help.
With love and gratitude,
The Friends Without Borders Team,
Mark, Yoo-Mi, Rahul, Sachi, Mona, John, and way too many others to mention!
|It may be long before the law of love will be recognised in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another. -- M.K. Gandhi|