Seeds of Peace held a seven-day Cross Border Trip which brought six students from Mumbai to Lahore in order to provide the group with a unique first-hand experience about life in Pakistan.
The basic objective of the Cross Border Trip was to provide both Indian and Pakistani students a rare opportunity to interact with one another on a human, individual level, by sharing conversations, meals, as well as making each other aware of their respective cultures and countries.
The six Indian students were hosted by local families in Lahore whose children are also Seeds of Peace alumni. The week-long stay entailed visits to historical sites in Lahore, which included a trip to witness the flag ceremony at the Wagha border from the Pakistani side. In addition, the Seeds visited several local government, semi-government and private schools in Lahore throughout the week of their visit.
Through these visits, the students learned more about the Pakistani education system and also had an opportunity to interact with Pakistani students outside of their host families.
It, at the same time, was an exciting opportunity for the Pakistani host students.
“It has been awesome to have the Indian Seeds here to share our culture with them. Having the students at my home and being so close with them allowed us to discuss about different issues, and our cultures and different events. I hope to host them again and wished it could have been for a longer period of time,” said Jazib Ijaz, 17, a Pakistani student.
For Indian students, the trip provided cherishable memories while observing stark similarities about the life and culture.
“It has been very surreal to be here in Lahore and this will be an experience that I will never forget and will carry it with me wherever I go. I found many stark similarities between the home of my host family and my own home; it felt like being home all over again and it had that feeling of being loved,” said Ira, 17, an Indian student.
Sajjad Ahmad, Country Director Seeds of Peace Pakistan said “that we should encourage people to people interaction between Pakistan and India which can only lead to improved relations between the two nations.” Further, “Seeds of Peace Pakistan appreciates the cooperation and hospitality of the host families who, despite the fact that their children were in the midst of exams, hosted students for the week-long stay.”
Seeds of Peace as an NGO works towards conflict resolution in many regions of the world, including Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.