It is hard to imagine going back to that place of anxiety eight years ago when my journey started with Roots for Peace, but also in that place it was impossible to imagine that I would be the person I am today. Imagination is a powerful thing, and it is intriguing in many ways.
Peace Work Institute was an opportunity to be transformed by perspectives and stories from around the world that I may otherwise have never even known existed. I have had so many rich experiences and opportunities with the Roots that will forever shape and influence my professional life while fostering personal growth and development. The experiences I have gained through Peace Work Institute has had an enormous impact on my personal life, an impact that has changed the lens through which I view the world and my life in it.
I have come to realize that peacebuilding is not just a job, but a personal commitment to contribute to building peaceful communities within our own capacities. I always thought that peace and the issues surrounding it were work meant for the government, but my time with the Peace Work Institute project proved to me that each of us could be a worker for peace.
The safe spaces created during the trainings allowed for openness, diversity of stories, learning and sharing of experiences. It inspired me to think that peace is a reality that is not impossible to achieve. Through this, I learned how basic civility to others in our community and communities all over the world can make a positive impact that travels further than we can even imagine.
It is also by living my life with integrity and character and inspiring positive change in myself and in the lives of those around me that I make peace. Roots ignited in me a passion and eagerness to seek opportunities to be a peacemaker (and keeper) in my own surroundings.
I can pride myself on the fact that because of Roots, I am inspired to make a change for the better. Not only do I aspire to do so, now I have the resources and knowledge to accomplish it. I feel so blessed to have been a part of such an amazing journey where strangers met and became family through a bond not by blood, but by a stronger family bond build from genuine trust, understanding and acceptance and forever grateful to those who have given me this opportunity.
Frah Saeed, England – Roots Peace Work Institute 2015 Alumna
More testimonials available in our Peacework Guidebook.