Children's International Village Promotes Peace - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/14/03

Children's International Village Promotes Peace

The 40 children come from ten foreign countries. They look, talk and dress differently. But for one month, they are all under one roof, playing together, singing and trying to communicate.

Jasmine Alakari said "I use my hands and if they don't understand, I can ask the leaders. They understand English".

The 11-year olds are learning to get along in the Children's International Summer Village in Biloxi. Laura Tate is the director of the program. She said "It's a great time to develop mentally, because they haven't formed their prejudices yet. Children at this age are great. They're sponges. They soak up everything".

Alexis Cleaud said "I like the people and the village and the games". Oda Bolme said "I want to have more friends here, meet new people and see how Americans live here".

With all the turmoil and conflicts going on in many parts of the world, we cannot name the countries the children came from. That's to protect them from harm. Organizers hope the program will help promote peace, so children will not have to live in fear.

Tate said "We get children together to help promote peace through cultural education. We get children together to get to start to play, to start to understand that kids all over the world are basically fundamentally the same".

Hopefully when the children leave here, they'll spread that message in their homelands. Right now, there are ten Summer Villages going on all over the world. The program ends July 24th.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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