On Wednesday 15 October, the Peace Run visited the University of Melbourne’s Swanston Street Children's Centre.
The children, aged from 3 to 5, had all made their own Peace Torches from coloured paper and cellophane weeks in advance which they all proudly showed to us.
However once they saw our lighted torch they were all keen to hold this too ...
... (Well, almost all of them.)
The teachers had done an excellent job teaching the children the Peace Run’s World Harmony Run song, with all the actions, which the children enthusiastically performed for us. After they performed the song so well, Peace Runners, Pushpendra and Abhinandan, treated the children to a little skit about Peaceful and non-Peaceful running, which elicited much laughter and joy from the children. The skit taught the children about the importance of teamwork, cooperation, patience, compassion and assisting others in need of help.
The children had also prepared an excellent banner on World Peace with a little assistance from their teachers. On the banner the children had painted “Wominjeka Peace Runners” in the colours of the Aboriginal flag. ”Wominjeka” means ‘welcome’ in the local Aboriginal language. In the centre of the banner was a large orange tie-dyed peace symbol. The children had painted the dove’s foot of the peace sign using black paint and a masking-tape stencil, and around it were displayed their drawings of what they felt “Peace Looks Like”.
All the children were given their own Peace Run passports and they ran to each of the 6 continent banners dotted around the playground to have these stamped- a kangaroo stamp for Australia; a penguin stamp for Antartica; an elephant stamp for Asia; a buffalo stamp for America; a giraffe stamp for Africa, and a deer stamp for Europe. The children ran to each continent banner with their peace torches to get their Peace Run passports stamped, in a symbolic game of running around the world for peace.
It was lovely to spend an hour with these bright little children. As well as being very knowledgeable about the Peace Run, the children also practise meditation every week as part of the kindergarten program’s yearly concept of peace.
Thank you to all staff, Annie (director), Michi, Martina and Kuvarani, and to all of the children for welcoming us to your pre-school for an hour of joy.