The Ateneo Peace Institute (API), in partnership with the Ateneo Grade School, local barangay units of Barangay Camino Nuevo and Zone II, Ateneo Blue Eagle and Centennial Scholars for Operation Shoebox organized the War Toys for Peaceful Joys at the Carlos Dominguez Conference Hall, ADZU on December 2, 2014. A total of 60 children (of Grades 4-6) from the partner barangays participated in the activity.
The War Toys Peaceful Joys was conceptualized to inspire children to live a life of non-violence. The project campaigns for an alternative life from violence. The children were asked to bring two or more of their old war toys which they traded in for peaceful joys gifts during the event. At the trade-in three to four ADZU volunteers (from API and Grade School) served as the Ate and Kuya for each child from the community. They were responsible in taking care of the student for a day of fun.
Most of the war toys traded in were toy guns. These were replaced with peaceful joy gifts such as slippers, books, educational toys, school supplies.
Through this activity, the organizers hoped to show the children that there is an alternative, that life has more to offer, that the choice of non-violence is more fruitful for everyone in the long run. It is a shared dream that this simple act of kindness will ripple out and inspire other acts of kindness that, with God’s grace, will encourage change, promote peace, and foster development.
All traded war toys will be gathered and later be converted into an installation art. This peace art will serve as an advocacy to non-violence. This will be exhibited at the college lobby during the National Arts Month on February.