von Alina Chaudry, Pakistan
"Today, the most common cause of religious and cultural conflict is ignorance." Alina Chaudry, CrossCulture alumna from Pakistan and initiator of the Little Globains project is convinced of this, adding: "It is incredibly important for future generations in Pakistan to understand and respect other cultures."
In order to close this knowledge gap as quickly as possible and raise awareness of cultural diversity, Alina introduced 600 children and teenagers to examples of German culture – the everyday culture that she herself got to know during her CrossCulture internship in Germany.
The lectures, art projects and workshops were not only made available to privileged children, but also to those with limited access to education. "Some of these children have no TV or internet access", says Alina Chaudry. "So it's all the more important to familiarise them with the message of peaceful diversity." The artworks that resulted from the project were later presented in a special exhibition. Alina Chaudry's fondest hope is that these young people will themselves continue to promote harmony, understanding and peace.
The 'Little Globains' project was financed by the Federal Foreign Office using funds made available by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen). Rastay Arts, a non-governmental organisation based in Islamabad, and a multitude of volunteer artists, students and teachers were also involved in the project.
Students from a Pakistani Pehli Kiran school took part in Alina Chaudry's Little Globains project. The schools were set up by the JAQ Trust, a foundation for disadvantaged children living on the urban fringes and in underprivileged areas. The majority of the students come from families who have moved to the cities on a fruitless search for work.
"The world is currently facing many challenges, including terrorism and religious conflicts. Lack of awareness is one of the main causes of these problems. It is therefore important to promote respect towards other religions and cultures, and particularly human rights. This can only be achieved through the promotion of cultural understanding."
Alina Chaudry, 2016
Alina Chaudry is delighted with the help she has received from so many volunteers, without whom the project would not have been possible. She sums up the whole experience: “Little Globains was a fantastic experience for me and my team. We learned a lot about international standards in project management – from planning and budgeting to money transfers and developing the necessary sense of responsibility”.
Brimming with creative energy, the children explored German culture in a playful way. They learnt about the national colours of black, red and gold, and wrote some simple words using the Roman alphabet.
Moving forward, Alina Chaudry is keen to launch more of her own initiatives and projects. She comments: "Now that the Little Globains project has come to an end, I am working in the area of girls' and women's rights. I'm developing campaigns and activities aimed at strengthening people's awareness of the important issues. I want to continue my work in the area of human rights and culture and get more involved in international cooperation."