Six young students from Harbourview Montessori School in Westmount, NS are in their final weeks of preparation to participate in the four-day Montessori Model UN (MMUN) Conference in New York, NY. To assist in fundraising efforts the children are busy designing, building, decorating and selling gardens for peace. The annual conference, which hosts over 1200 international delegates from 12 countries around the globe, takes place from April 24–27, 2013.
The Peace Garden Project was inspired by the emphasis on peace both within the school itself and as a goal of the UN for achievement of lasting world peace. The children, who have used Japanese Zen gardens as a meditation tool to bring internal peace, felt that hand-building the peace gardens and custom designing each one for others to cultivate peace was a great fundraising idea. Anais Cammaert-Spinazzola, a 9-year old MMUN delegate, says about the Project, “It just seems so perfect to make peace gardens because you can’t really make peace in the world if you don’t have peace on the inside. Raking the sand into beautiful designs helps you slow down and feel peace.”
Each uniquely designed Peace Garden will be sold and all proceeds will support the expenses of their teacher’s trip to the conference. The Peace Gardens are available for purchase and their well-timed completion makes them perfect alternative gifts for Easter, a time of peace.
Montessori Model UN students formulate, present, debate, and revise positions on current issues that are affecting people of the world. By assuming the perspectives of a citizen of their selected countries, students develop an understanding of the needs and rights of others, but also learn the respect the cultures, the political views, and the belief system of others. Model UN participants also learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the rights of the child, child labour, the environment, food and hunger, economic development and globalization. This year’s delegation from Harbourview Montessori School is representing Belgium.
The 12”x12” Peace Gardens, complete with a handmade rake, can be purchased at a cost of $25 to support the MMUN delegation by contacting Harbourview Montessori School at 539-8884.