Forget violent video games and do something positive for peace

Banning violent video games doesn't go far enough,according to Steve Pearce at MethodistChildren: "We need to takethe more difficult step and do something positive to buildpeace."

Peacebuilders is a brand new project which does exactly that. Itis designed to take the Church into its community to explore whatpractical steps children and adults of all groups might be preparedto take to build peace in the neighbourhood and in the nation. "Weoften teach children about peace, but letting them take a leadcould be just what many communities need," suggests Doug Swanney,Children's Work Development Officer. The Peacebuilders bookletoffers 36 pages of ideas and activities and churches are beingencouraged to set up Peacebuilders groups in all their churches andschools. Personal peace, community peace and world peace eachreceive attention in biblical and practical ways intentionallyleading to suggestions for improving ourselves and our world.

The project is a ground-breaking co-operation between TheMethodist Church, The United Reformed Church, The Church of NorthIndia and the Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad. The Indianconnection has brought a wealth of experience from its work withthe marginalized and communities in conflict.

Ruby Beech, Vice-President Designate of the Methodist Conference,launched Peacebuilders in Hyderabad by saying, "Peace is everyone'sresponsibility and children have a huge role to play, in fact it'sthe children who often push us to work harder for peace. We're nottelling children what to do to create peace in their communities -we are here to listen and let them teach us."

Sudipta Singh, Director of Programmes for the Church of NorthIndia, has warmly welcomed the opportunity of this uniqueco-operation, "Children are central to our Church, peace is centralto our faith so we are delighted to be working together in this waywith our British colleagues." Indian street and working childrenhave contributed a dramatic story to Peacebuilders, about thethings that undermine peace and the way children can work torebuild peace.

A focal point of the project is a travelling Peace Box, whichencourages children and adults to share possibilities for buildingpeace and understanding while engaging with different groups in thecommunity. Finally decisions are made about which peace ideas fromthe box are to be acted on. "The aim of Peacebuilders is to get upand do things. That's the only way to build peace," says StevePearce.