From Taiwan to Russia: Potatoes venture on

December 02, 2019

The past few months have been an incredibly busy period for Potatoes for Peace, traversing from Asia to Europe, braving tropical heat, humidity and bitter cold in order to share their vision of how we can foster peace.

Potatoes for Peace, represented by Potato Kylie, was invited to present in Taipei, Taiwan at the ‘2nd Global Summit for Mental Health Advocates: prioritising mental health promotion’. It was a great opportunity for Potatoes for Peace to showcase their school-based programs which have been trialling this year internationally. In addition, it was food for thought as to how Potatoes for Peace can also act as an entry point to tackle issues including bullying in schools.      

Potato Kylie also got the V.I.P. (Very Important Potato person) treatment and was showed around a beautiful Buddhist monastery in scenic Hualien, a few hours outside Taipei. She was welcomed by Buddhist nuns and volunteers at the Tzu Chi Foundation. Potato Kylie learnt a lot about Taiwanese culture and Buddhist teachings, including mindfulness. The philosophies were very different to the ideas she was accustomed to, growing up in urban Melbourne. However, Potato Kylie appreciated being able to sit down to read the book of aphorisms with a soy latte prepared by the nuns.

Potato Kylie’s caffeine fix was certainly needed as she headed to Penang in Malaysia to see some of the work of the Tzu Chi Foundation, a volunteer led Buddhist non-governmental organisation. The unpaid volunteers of the organisation, put into action their values:

“There is no one, I cannot trust. There is no one, I cannot love.
There is no one I cannot forgive” 

As ever, eager to learn, Potato Kylie took a whistle-stop trip just before leaving to Penang’s Harmony Street, a UNESCO world heritage site -where 4 religious houses of worship are located within steps from one another, with a longstanding history of living together harmoniously.

Returning to colder climes, Potatoes for Peace returned to Europe as they were invited to the Paris Peace Forum, where Potato Kylie met with an impressive array of heads of governments, and diplomats as well as those at tackling peace through sport in South Korea and those bravely fostering peace through sport in conflict-sensitive areas in Nigeria.

Potato Kylie has achieved a lot on her own and has realised that as an individual spud she can certainly make a contribution to peace but she also realised that she can do far more together, with like-minded individuals. And with this in mind, Potato Kylie called up some of her Potato friends for her next mission to Russia.  

This time the merry crew, energised by camaraderie, packed their woolly hats and scarves and travelled to Moscow, for the ‘5th European Conference on Health Promoting Schools’ in association with WHO Europe and SHE, Schools for Health in Europe, to present on the plenary session on inclusivity. Furthermore, Potatoes for Peace heard the latest research and best practices from academics, teachers and those in public health.

Finally, Ivor Potato, originally from Moscow convinced his spud friends that it was imperative they brave freezing cold, minus 11 Celsius to soak up the ambiance of The Red Square before heading back to London.  Potatoes for Peace and the potato friends are continuously learning from others whilst sharing their mission and these insights are hugely valuable in fostering collaboration. However, Potatoes for Peace are most grateful to be able to incorporate these experiences into the lessons and programmes we offer in school; It is certainly great to be back in school.

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All comments (4)
  • Michael Reiss
    December 04, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Keep going! Your work can really make a difference.

    Reply
  • Michael Reiss
    December 04, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Keep going! Your work can really make a difference.

    Reply
  • ROSALIND BACON
    December 08, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Wonderful work! Spread your message everywhere!

    Reply
  • Stephen
    December 08, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Spreading the message of peace seems just what the world needs right now. Potatoes for Peace is onto a good thing. Thanks spuds.

    Reply

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