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Lindze Giles Reflects on Her Year as a Play for Peace Intern

The following is a reflection piece written by Play for Peace intern Lindze Giles. We'd like to thank her for her passion and dedication for the last year and look forward to the work she will do to spread peace.  During the time I have spent with Play for Peace this year as an intern, I have been provided with the opportunity to practice social work within a global nonprofit organization.  I was given the chance to become aware of oppression faced around the world, rather than limited to my community. I became educated on the trauma and struggles communities' Play for Peace is actively facing. I have spent the year researching how Play for Peace has provided children in hundreds of communities around the world in varying socioeconomic conditions, that have benefited from having an opportunity to play peacefully. My year has been filled with various tasks that allowed me to empathize with the struggles currently being faced around the world. From natural disasters causing food insecurity to community violence from war, I have witnessed how Play for Peace has actively been beneficial by facilitating the practice of peace. In the thousands of photographs I have seen of children participating in Practice Peace Sessions, it was evident how practicing cooperative play brought them together.  

With smiles on their faces, it appears that within that moment they felt no stress. It became clear that children are not the only ones who benefit from Play for Peace, but that entire communities do. I have read the difference Play for Peace has made for youth who volunteer as youth facilitators. When they connect with the marginalized populations they volunteer in, they develop a hope and vision for making the world a better place. When beginning my internship I had to become comfortable with various methods of online communication I wasn’t previously familiar with. I learned how to communicate and collaborate with colleagues around the world.  I gained experience learning what it is like to work virtually while using new software and computer programs. Completing training programs for mentors abroad, and uploading various documents to the Play for Peace archives taught me how to work in a virtual office environment.

Future interns will have the opportunity to help change the long-term affective behaviors of children living in fear. Children involved with Play for Peace are given the chance to learn to love and accept children who are different then they are. As an intern, the work you do will help facilitate change, often by playing a role in advocating on social media platforms online. Ultimately, Play for Peace transforms communities by growing peace. People are brought together to discover their potential for change while participating in cooperative play. My year as an intern with Play for Peace has been enjoyable and has changed my perspective on how marginalized populations can be helped. Seeing things from an international social work lens I was able to understand the capacity people living in horrifying environments have for change, to create peace. Play for Peace has allowed me to learn and discover things I otherwise wouldn’t have at a local agency.