January 26, 2015
Education Youth Ambassadors in Pakistan have visited Peshawar to pay tribute to students and teachers who died in the school massacre.
The young activists planted trees in their memory and said prayers in the grounds of the Army Public School, which is lined with thousands of messages, flowers and wreaths.
The Education Youth Ambassadors (EYAs) were formed through a partnership between A World at School and Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi(ITA), which promotes education in Pakistan. During their visit to Peshawar, they decided to try to put together profiles of as many students and teachers, Baela Raza Jamil, Trustee/Advisor at ITA, said the ambassadors wanted to ensure that the 132 children and 13 adults killed by Taliban terrorists on December 16 “remain living symbols of courage and action for education and learning in Pakistan”.
Baela Raza Jamil looks at messages at the Peshawar school
In a blog for Right to Education Pakistan, she wrote: “They asked parents and siblings present for permission for interviews and conversations about their loved ones; the families responded readily, assenting with warm welcomes giving them addresses/telephone numbers. It was as if they wanted to speak to many and heal through the collective spirit.” They also visited the family of the school’s principal, Tahira Qazi, who gave her life to try to save her pupils.
Baela wrote that – after planting the trees – and standing with other people paying tribute “it felt as if we were a growing tribe who wanted change, who wanted to search for and to speak the truth; who wanted to break the culture of silence against violence and tyranny of a mangled religion in our homes, neighbourhoods, schools and classrooms”.
You can read Baela’s full blog here.