What do I wish for the Future of Peace Child??
Peace Child has only ever been about empowering young people: giving them the sense of their own power – their responsibility for shaping the world in the way that they want it. That’s why the key to the play is that it is set forty to fifty years in the future: this allows young people to imagine the world as they want it to be in the last quarter of their lives. And doing the play challenges them to figure out a story of what they are going to do with their lives – their energies, their passions – to make it that way.
I would like every child to have that “Peace Child experience” – whether it’s done through creating a musical play, or creating a book, essay or painting. Doing the musical play is much the richest, and most empowering, experience because it introduces a child / young person to so many different skills and disciplines – singing, public-speaking, team-work, stage discipline and the research and writing of dialogue about different important issues.
Peace Child has never been a household name: it has never made it to the mainstream of education in any country in the way that I would have liked it to have done. Maybe it never will for the Founders always felt at the beginning of the Peace Child journey that if a Peace Child experience changed and improved the life of one single child, that would be enough.
But – of course – it isn’t enough for me. Which is why I dream of making a movie of Peace Child. A movie set in the future when peace has broken out all round the world; when poverty, HIV-AIDs, armies, climate change are all things of the past. The environment is on the mend and humanity is set for a bright, sustainable future. In towns and villages across the world, communities celebrate Peace Day – the day that world leaders operationalised intergenerational equity and acted upon the concerns of children and young people. And on that day, around the world, in their different languages, a Storyteller and a young cast tell the story of how that happened.
That is the story of the Peace Child Movie – the screenplay of which you can read here. A 1-page synopsis is attached below; and a 5-page synopsis can be found here. I shall work until my last breath to get it made – because I think that the challenge of climate change requires much, much bolder action than anything the climate / justice movement is contemplating at the moment. And because I would love Peace Child to become a household name – to feel that children all over the world in their schools and local drama groups would have the chance to experience the thrill of creating the Future they Want and – more important – the chance to figure out what they are going to do with their lives to help create it.
So – read the screenplay. Think about the history that you have read here and then think about how YOU would like to carry forward the work that we have done so far with Peace Child. And, if you want, write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org – and let me know how / if you think I might be able to help. For, as long as I am able, I promise you I will write back.
David R Woollcombe, November 2018