Routs 2 Roots in collaboration with The Citizens Archive of Pakistan launched ‘Exchange for Change 2013 – 2015

5,000 Indian & Pakistani Students to interact through letters

unnamed (3)Routes 2 Roots (R2R), an Indian non-profit organization in collaboration with The Citizens Archive of Pakistan(CAP), working for peace and dialogue between India and Pakistan, has launched Exchange for Change 2013 – 2015 in Karachi, Pakistan. 5,000 students aged 10 to 14 from schools across Delhi, Dehradun, Mumbai Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore will be participating in this programme. The project aims to help students in both countries realize that a sustained dialogue is the only means to encourage them to form their opinions. During the life of this project, a sustained exchange of written, visual and oral histories will take place between the students.

Exchange for Change was launched in September 2010 between 2400 students from 10 schools in Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi and Lahore. After its spectacular success the project was expanded in 2012 to 3500 students from 17 schools in Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi. During the fourteen-month of the project, a sustained exchange of written, visual and oral histories linked school children aged 10-14 years across the six cities.

Exchange for Change is an exciting initiative by Routs2Roots & The Citizens Archive of Pakistan that aims at improving relationships between school students in different countries. The program seeks to help students across borders realize that dialogue is possible and sustainable. Through cross-culture communication we have realized that students can have a clearer understanding of their history, culture and lifestyles. Routs 2 Roots believes that such interaction will in turn lead to a positive change and eliminate cultural misconceptions and inter-generational conflict.

Tina Vachani, Founder of Routes 2 Roots said: “EFC is not an ordinary program or just an extra curricular activity for the children, it is the value we see in the connect between India and Pakistan, which we want to grow with in terms of culture, festivities, lifestyle and sustaining togetherness. The leaders of tomorrow, our children from both the countries share the realities for their glorious future.

Swaleha Alam Shahzada, Executive Director and Governing Board Member of CAP said: “The growth of the project from 2400 students in 2010 to 5000 students in 2013 has created a bridge that can no longer be ignored. These students from across Pakistan and India have taught us a very important lesson – a lesson of tolerance and appreciation of each other. Now it is up to the society to support this bridge and these students in their mission to sustain and strengthen the relationships created through EFC.”

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