Peacemaker Fridays: March 4, 2016

Confronting fear at a Christian school in Tennessee; reconciliation through soccer in Africa; military veterans rally in support of their Muslim neighbors; teaching kindness to children.

Here are the week’s best stories of people reaching across enemy lines, loving the other, and waging peace…

Muslim girl confronts fear, finds support at Episcopal school
“She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t concentrate on her studies. She had visions of law enforcement officers sending her parents back to Pakistan or forcing her and her two brothers into an internment camp,” said Leigh Mansberg, St. Mary’s assistant head of school. “I was watching Zoya’s face and the emotions were everywhere. She had something she wanted to say so badly. I leaned in and told her it was safe and OK, and the tears and the fears all came pouring out of her.’” 
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Reconciliation through soccer in the DRC
“The war had brought tribal conflicts between people. My purpose was to bring together young people, who were being used by some people for killing others, to come together to rebuild and develop our nation for God’s glory,” says Canon Désiré Mukaniwra, a priest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many of the children and young people in that area had been traumatized by violent rebel attacks, and he believes soccer can help them heal.
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Veterans rally at Boston mosque to support Muslim neighbors
Armida, a member of the mosque, voiced her appreciation for the veterans’ willingness to learn about her faith. “It’s like breaking walls down,” she said. “My heart is just so filled with love.” 
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Teaching kindness to children
Research suggests that kindness makes you happier. As Anne Armstrong writes, “Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it.” The article includes several practical acts of kindness that parents and children can share with others. 
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