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Our Stories: PFP Blogger Natasha Das

Natasha Das is a trained architect and designer who is currently based in Dubai, UAE. She joined the Play for Peace community as an online blog writer through the United Nations Online Volunteer Program. The Play for Peace spirit of “everyone is invited, everybody wins” has resonated well with her. When we asked Natasha about the people she is meeting through Play for Peace, she immediately commented on how inspirational her connections have been. Through a Skype interview, Natasha “met” Javed Ansari and Archana Magar, both certified trainers.  She learned of the enormous personal challenges both faced and of their triumphs and successes. Committed to maintaining her new connections, Natasha still follows Javed’s work and recently helped him with a survey. Natasha also found great inspiration from Shalini Menon, an experiential educator, social artist, and certified Play for Peace trainer in Bangalore, India. 

Shalini works with the Educators Collective, helping to break down barriers of caste, gender, and religion, using Play for Peace tools. The work is complex and often includes managing conflict within communities and organizations. Natasha also continues to follow Shalini's work diligently. In a blog article that Natasha recently wrote, she also interviewed Nikhil Mehta, a very enthusiastic Play for Peace facilitator. In May 2016, Nikhil conducted a week-long workshop for parents and children at the Sapna Ranch farm. Here, play and hands-on experience are the main modes of learning and living. Natasha found one of the most inspirational lessons from Nikhil. He says: "When our food, sleep, and safety needs are taken care of, play comes instinctively to us like breathing. If those instincts are listened to, then wonderful, unthought-of things can happen!" Natasha cherishes her connections through Play for Peace and knows that they will make a significant contribution to her work in the future.