‘Puppets of Peace’
An Appeal to Kids, for Kids.
Puppets of Peace is an ongoing humanitarian project
Non threatening, puppets speak to all ages and all cultures. Unlike a doll, they compel the holder to enter the realm of play in order to impart life. Puppets can ‘do’ without limits when all around them are captivated. Puppetry stimulates the imagination of the players and viewers.
Puppets have an ancient history in most countries of the world. They are employed to keep traditions alive, retell cautionary tales and connect with children at fundamental levels of expression, play, and education.
Puppets provide a safe way to express difficult and painful issues that might not otherwise be expressed as needed. Puppets can also provide a wonderful healing distraction for children experiencing lengthy hospitalisation.
Unlike a doll, a puppet is an instrument of freedom.
“War has stripped many things away from children, in some cases meaning their constant daily effort to survive, is dependant upon aid agencies; at their limit to provide the basics of food and shelter. The healing powers of play have been bombed/starved & washed away.”
Children represent the future of a society. If children from disadvantaged societies experience terror, struggles for basic survival and are witness to unimaginable horrors in their short lives, where are they to find hope? How are they to develop social skills according to their own cultural standards and who will keep their cultural heritage alive?
A healthy population extends beyond the basic necessities of food and shelter. Imagination must be fed and maintained. Psychological health must be addressed and currently it is not. Consequently many dispossessed children are available for the wrong kinds of influence. Many are being bought by fundamentalist organisations with no concept of tolerance or appreciation for diversity. It is a short step to negative propaganda and actions currently “termed acts of Terror”.
“Our children, whom are restricted and dis- empowered in their responses to war (yet untouchable when it comes to play)”, need ways to respond that are within their means and ability. The ‘making’ of a gift for a needy person, is a gesture that will remain precious to self and others for life. Children need to see compassionate deeds that address suffering children directly (they little understand the implications of the ‘lifting of trade embargoes etc.’). By getting active and making something tangible, kids can feel re-empowered knowing that they too can contribute something valuable.
A playing child is good medicine for everyone.
“It is planned to send 100,000 puppets into war poor and recovering communities.”
Puppets of Peace are available to be shipped to any person who is an accredited member of a humanitarian association, registered schools and hospitals, detention centres in western countries and world-wide.
“Made by 100,000 Aussie kids, made at the kitchen table and out in the back shed. Made in schools and workplaces.”
Why Aussie kids?
As kids of ‘the lucky country’, aussie kids have been shielded from the first hand ‘face’ of war. Our kids have been afforded the time and means for creative play, contributing to the global rumour that we are an innovative and capable people. Our kids are well suited to this this challenge, our country is equipped and we’ve got a lot to show the world.
Today Australia, Tomorrow Great Britain and America. The project has to start somewhere. The more inclusive the better.
An empowering opportunity for parents and kids to spend quality time together. An opportunity to unite the family in a ‘world warming’ project.
Kits sent to schools can educate in a subject uniting project.
Schools will be encouraged to become sister organisations with other schools. Imagine Your Local PS linked to an Ugandan or Iranian PS.
You can obtain plans via the bibliography or download plans (to suite all types, ages, skill levels) from the web site. From supporter products.
See this mission statement along with a gallery of inlisted puppets (makers details optional), and follow dispatches. Encounter testimonials, maps and photos. Lodge Scripts. Download plans, useful links, chat room, products… puppet kits ,TTT.
Affiliate – any member of the team. Individual private and corporate sponsorship. Sponsorship might include in kind support e.g.: Spotlight and Bunnings Warehouse donating materials, Australia Post donating postage or shipping, Visy Board donating packaging.
Your puppet may be of any kind, built by you, your family, at home, school, or just ‘found living with you’. We will accept used or second hand puppets along with ones which may need a little repair. Every puppet deserves a life! Command Centre?
The P.O.P. Command Centre is the operations centre responsible for receiving, photographing, logging to web, categorising (repairs) and stowing to await enlistment.
When a collection of puppets in the same category are matched to a suitable script / culture / special purpose, they are grouped as an action ready ‘family’ or cast. (Much like a travelling circus.)
It’s a long way and a big job for one puppet. We will match up your puppet with a P.O.P. ‘Family’; a group of other puppets that will travel and perform with yours, to many children across the globe.
Dispatched in a ‘pop-up’ table-top theatre, each PoP Family will instantly have a ‘home’ (appealing thought). The TT serves as a carry case for puppets, props, curtains and scripts as well as serving as a performance venue. Made from ‘carton’ grade cardboard and suitable for decorating and elaborating. TT are available to local sales.
Dispatch to a special need request is carried out within 24 hours. Otherwise the dispatch arrangements are at the discretion of P.O.P.C.C.
Your puppet should be made in a durable, non toxic and safe fashion. All puppets will be inspected for export suitability.
Your puppet should not contain or represent any object that may be deemed as offensive or not in the spirit of the P.O.P. project.
A word on scripts:
Recipients of the packages will be encourage to express them selves, their cultures (folk tales) and responses to their current circumstances.
In instances where they are too removed psychologically, they may wish to refer to scripts provided and designed to kick-start their creative the ‘play juices’ in an attempt to help get things flowing.
Children engaged in compiling puppets may also be invited to create simple scripts under the guidance of their school or parents. However a great deal of sensitivity is required from a script.
An ideal script originating from Australia, might contain the following elements:
• Universal relevance
• Understandable without language (visual reliance might see a script enlisted for many nations)
•A cultural fable or folk story that is well known in the country of destination. It is hoped that many Aussie kids of differing cultural backgrounds would contribute scripts.
Representatives from diverse cultural backgrounds may be engaged to oversee scripts refined for their country of birth. (e.g. Australian based Iraqi story tellers/teachers) They are required to assess incoming scripts for suitability, relevance, and sensitivity regarding the destination country. Issues needing a watchful eye could include; religious, social or political issues, It is hoped that the scripts would have no need to encounter censorship.
Remember: There is no point for example referring to shiny cars or european style princesses when dealing with a desert dwelling african child suffering malnutrition .
The hands of children are stronger than the ‘arms’ of man.