Project Description

Humanize the “Other” through sensitization workshops, psycho-social support, and by fostering pen pals across borders and cultures.

Pooja

Pooja, India
Pooja, India

CHALLENGE:
An unprecedented 28 million children have been left without quality education or emotional support as a result of the ongoing migrant crisis, yet for many this fact is just that — a statistic, removed from real human suffering.

SOLUTION:
Humanize the “Other” through sensitization workshops, psycho-social support, and by fostering pen pals across borders and cultures.

“The core idea of my work is to shake the inertia of apathy people have about grave humanitarian issues. To inspire others to help make a difference in this daunting crisis, we must first inspire empathy.”

About Pooja
As a physics and mathematics educator, Pooja has always rooted for children and believes them to be the key to sustainable positive change in the world. To her, sensitizing students to topics of conflict and equipping them with life skills are as important as academics. Outraged by the way global media have abstracted and desensitized the ongoing refugee crisis, Pooja founded Letters of Love in 2015. Through this initiative, a team of activists across 11 countries works to forge that critical human connection.

Letters of Love, which is an official member of the UNHCR #WithRefugees Coalition and a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), operates on many levels. Its Pen Pal Project fosters impossible friendships between students in fortunate settings to refugee children and those entrapped by war in an effort to humanize one another and encourage the flow of perspectives. The organization delivers handwritten notes to tens of thousands of Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian, Rohingya, and Yazidi refugee children, as well as children in Gaza and Syria. Letters of Love also runs sensitization workshops at schools and universities around the world to cultivate empathy, develop students’ self-worth, and bring about social change. Its Student Ambassador Program trains exceptional teenagers demonstrating leadership potential to become changemakers in their communities. And finally, the organization provides children living in community centers, refugee camps, and war zones with necessary provisions and psycho-social support.


SE Forum is partnering with Seeds of Peace on the 2018 GATHER Fellowship. GATHER is the social innovation arm of Seeds of Peace, investing in alumni and other changemakers who have the greatest potential to effect social, political, and economic change.

Seeds of Peace inspires and cultivates new generations of leaders in communities divided by conflict. Its network now includes nearly 6,700 alumni throughout the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, and the US who are uniquely positioned to lead change. The nonprofit was founded in 1993 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Learn more about the Seeds of Peace journey and its impact here.

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