What has been the impact of your solution to date?
To date, I managed to make the word "nonviolence" a common term in disputes between youngsters and grown ups. I managed to create a new cultural window, the word Empathy is starting to become known and applied. I am overwhelmed with requests from several schools, educators, parents, activists who want to learn the "Giraffe" talk. NVC is smoothly taking its place. Students always want more, they are confident and they appreciate the fact that while playing or exercising we are using our lateral thinking to become more aware of our humanity. Even when we approach tough subjects as the capital punishment in Lebanon. All subjects are welcome when we know how to speak from our hearts. Conflicts are seen from a new perspective. Even if living peacefully needs a lot more to become a way of living in this part of the world. And with my media background, I managed to introduce the topic on local TVs, which brought more people to ask for more information.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
My project is to establish this pilot project, to bring it everywhere in Lebanon and the MENA region. I have the exercises, I wrote stories, translated international books and booklets. I am in contact with other professionals, locals and internationals who are willing to take part of this project after they saw what happened in my school. I can carry these kits, exercises and knowledge all around and train educators to introduce NVC and nonviolence to their schools. I have many local schools who are willing to give it a try. Already started visiting and training.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The biggest barrier is financial. Since I've been volunteering for 3 years now, I can barely find time to offer my time. My income from my other work is very important for my family, so little is left for my dream. I am giving time and expertise but I can't print, edit, film and be everywhere. I am planning of proving the pilot project, create an organization and promote it in order to get funds. Funds is all we need.
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Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
I was born in a torn country, my mom is Muslim, my dad Christian. During war, we had to hide from both sides at many occasions. I studied journalism and worked on the ground to be the voice of the voiceless people... But still, it wasn't enough. I felt helpless. Few years ago, I had the chance to be part of a pilot university in the Arab world: AUNOHR (Academic University for Nonviolence and Human Rights), I studied for my master in Nonviolent Education and Conflict Resolution. My teachers were an international panel of professionals. When I became well trained, and educated in the field, I felt I need to start being the change I want to see in the world.With my communications background I shifted naturally to NVC. And after giving many workshops, I realized how much we lack proper communication, active listening. I saw my kids school, the new kind of violence that is everywhere, like in the rest of the world. So I took my heart and managed get the school board get involved.