Finding creative ways to build skills for peace and reconciliation is woven into MCC’s work in Bangladesh. Check out photos from different peace programs in the country.
In addition to funding peace projects, MCC supports activities such as this multi-day restorative justice training for MCC partners, staff and staff of other nongovernmental organizations — spreading skills for peace to more people and communities than MCC could reach alone.MCC photo/Dave Klassen
In Rangpur District in northern Bangladesh, Monira Akter plays on the swings of a peace playground, built to help bring together children and parents of different faiths and backgrounds. In this region, MCC’s primary work focuses on food security for Indigenous families and encouraging people to plant kitchen gardens and to compost. But improving life also means healing divisions between Indigenous people and other community members and striving to bridge the gaps between people of different religions.
MCC worked with the Garopara Catholic Church to build this peace playground, which is next to the Garopara Mission School but open to all children in the community. Murals on the school wall depict peace leaders from around the world including Dorothy Day, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.
MCC photo/Dave Klassen
Public events, including this march to commemorate International Peace Day on September 21, 2017, bring the message of peace out into the streets. Students in school uniforms join other children and adults in the community of Baromari for a day of activities organized through a project that MCC supports through the Baromari Catholic Church. Peace marches often are paired with speeches and programs such as dancing or singing, helping to draw in community members and underscore the importance of and need to work for peace. MCC photo/Dave Klassen
Mohammad Selim and Tondrea Dibe participate in a role play at a community relationship building training led by MCC Bangladesh program officer Kamal Hossain. Skits like this one, where a couple deal with a conflict over a dowry and physical abuse, help participants see resolutions to the kind of conflicts they face in their own homes and community. MCC also provides sessions on restorative justice and conflict transformation to Arbitrators, local government officials who resolve disputes.MCC photo/Colin Vandenberg
Can something as small as a puppet help build peace? As part of its peace program, MCC partner Shanti Mitra Social Welfare Organization holds puppet shows in three high schools in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Here, puppeteers Akramula Islam Ripon, Robin Miah and Sabir Hassan Prokash put on a show about a conflict between father and son that talks about managing anger and learning to apologize. Bangladesh is made up of different religious and ethnic groups and Shanti Mitra, which means “friends of peace” in Bangla, works to build fellowship between youth from different backgrounds. Shanti Mitra also organizes community activities including a peace festival, and publishes books on peacemakers. MCC supports the peace activities and also provides some funding for education for 10 students active in Shanti Mitra’s work, including Ripon and Prokash.MCC photo/Colin Vandenberg