Paint the World - Peace Project Week 2016, Tbilisi Georgia

Youth Organization Paint the World organized Peace Project Week in Tbilisi involving charity work and community service aimed at benefiting both people and the environment.

Numerous foreign guests took part in the project in Georgia, the birthplace of the Organization, and got the chance to meet the local community and learn about Georgian culture and traditions.

“We’ve created a firm bond between the participants of our project from various parts of the world, helping towards future world peace,” Lika Torikashvili, founder of the Paint the World told GEORGIA TODAY.

Paint the World - Gauperade Samkaro - was found in 2012 by a current Atlantic College student, Lika Torikashvili, in Tbilisi, Georgia. After Lika went to study in the college in the UK, the Movement went international and now boasts various branches around the world.

Peace Project Week in Georgia hosted students from Miri, Malaysia, who have already established a branch of Paint the World in Malaysia, and four students from UWC Atlantic College. Aziza Aznizan (from Malaysia, the founder of Paint the World in Malaysia and Oman), Saiora Immamkulova (from Ossetia), and Anton Tekhniriadov (from Russia) also participated in the events in Georgia, together with young Georgian members. They spent time visiting orphanages and hospitals and had Clinton Chua, famous Malaysian singer, singing live at each event. In order to get more participants for their future projects, the Paint the World organized presentations of Paint the world in local schools. Mr.Giorgi Maisashvili, a Georgian Politician, attended one presentation of Paint the World and expressed huge support towards the Movement.

The participants of the 2016 Project Week came from various religious and national backgrounds. The project was unique not only because was entirely organized by teenagers, but also because it brought together religions and countries that have been in conflict for centuries.

“I myself am a Jew. My best friend from Malaysia, Aziza, and her friends that came over to Tbilisi are Muslims, and lots of my Georgian and Russian friends are Christians. We all stood together, side by side on Georgian land, to show the world that, no matter how much hate there has been, we, the future generations, are ready to change the world. This “act of peace” happened in Georgia, on our land, because I believe we are one of the most peaceful countries in the world, and we need to emphasize this one more time. We are not a state in the US, we are Georgians, and we have a great country and an ancient history. And we want peace!” Lika.

Dave Booker, Vice Principal of UWC Atlantic College, became so interested in Lika’s Paint the World Project that he decided to take part and visit the “mysterious country” called Georgia, together with his students.

“I heard and experienced a great deal of the hospitality of the Georgians, and I’ve no doubt I’ll be back to visit again. It’s in the quiet, unacknowledged aspects of the life of Tbilisi that I found most to value, celebrate and respect: how a people has grown to live together and acknowledge the richness that each brings to a country. This goes deeper than tolerance. It is openness to possibility, and makes Tbilisi a rich city of faiths but also of commerce, architecture and culture,” Booker said.

In one day, the participants of the project visited a local Mosque, Synagogue, and the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Jews, Muslims, Christians together.

The members of the Georgian team got to know members of Paint the World from all over the world, another very important aspect of the project as Georgian students rarely have the opportunity to travel, so meeting youngsters from completely different backgrounds was a huge inspiration.

“Our parents taught us to be tolerant towards others no matter what their religion, skin color or culture is, but we see people killing each other for their differences, we see the sick world getting even sicker and we see how nobody seems to care. But we do care,” said Keta Bagashvili, an 18-year-old Paint the world Georgian team member. “We don’t want to see any more blood, aggression and cold hearted people running around our cities. We don’t want borders, just brushes to paint our world together.

“If I was going to compare ‘Paint the World’ to anything, it would definitely be a sparkling star, and if stars are lit it means there is someone who needs them,” said Anton Tekhneriadov, the Russian member of Paint the World and a Brown University freshman. “I’m extremely grateful to Lika for getting me involved in ‘Paint the World,’ an unimaginably wonderful organization that not only brings vital colors into the lives of people who lack them but also unites “painters” of all ages through an unbroken chain of collective events and the invincible power of friendships that have begun in hospitable, tolerant and incredibly amicable Georgia.”

The members were invited to UWC Dilijan College, a branch of UWC in Armenia, where they organized the presentation of the project and inspired the students of Dilijan to start their own Paint the World Branch to have future exchange projects between Georgia and Armenia.

All the participants and guests left Georgia inspired and motivated by the hospitality and love of Georgian hosts. In the future, Paint the World plans to hold more Project Weeks in Georgia and keep hosting UWC students in the country through exchange programs between Georgian and Malaysian Paint the World branches. Seven Malaysians received sponsorship from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to visit Georgia this year- the next step is a project in Malaysia, Borneo, in which Georgian students will take part. The hope is to create a bond and connect two parts of the world, Georgia and Malaysia, with this idea of spreading colors in part of a worldwide Movement.

Meri Taliashvili

07 April 2016 20:15