The Story Behind the Project
Founder of The Fountain of Peace Project and The World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature
In 2007 Kathleen Arnason started working on a project that came from a dream. In the dream she heard a message that said ” If we want World Peace we must begin with the Children!” There was also an image in the dream of a fountain that had stones hanging on towers. Kathleen called her friend Garry Hilderman OC from Winnipeg Manitoba and asked if he would create drawings so the fountain could be made. She then took the drawings to Playsted Steel in Victoria and had the basin made. Then it was a trip up to to Black Creek to find Douglas Walker, the fountain man. Douglas created the piping and towers. Between 2007 and 2010 Kathleen worked to bring on board schools for the fountain to visit and in 2010 she set out in her little car with the Fountain of Peace in the back , cedar poles to make peace poles , stones from all over the world, an entire country between two oceans and a schedule that would take three months to complete.
During her interviews with the students she asked 3 questions. What does peace mean to you? Is there anywhere you go or anything you do to help make you feel peaceful? As a researcher she was very careful to not lead the students so she switched the question around. She also asked them to close their eyes and describe the kind of would they would want to live in .
80% of the 400 children went to nature to feel peaceful!
The other 20 % played an instrument, did sports, danced, read, painted, spent time with their family
They all saw the colour of green in their new world , flowers, rainbows , people being kind to each other , recycling and THEY FELT SAFE!
It took the passion of many people who believed in the project to make it happen, from friends in Victoria to friends scattered across the country. They provided places to stay, food to eat and support to keep going! There are too many to mention but they know who they are and without their belief in a better world The Summit project would not have evolved.
Now after 7 years of dedication, thousands of miles, 10,000 students , 400 individual video interviews with early middle year students , principals and educators the information gathered would become the foundation for the next project.
Kathleen returned to Victoria and started to thinking about what she could do with the information the children had provided her. What next she thought. Rather then designing a gathering for children and include what she thought might be of value to them she decided to use what the children had told her to lead the design of a Summit where children would come together and have a platform to use their voices and share experiences.
In 2011 Kathleen started to develop the Summit idea and spent the next 3 years gathering people and idea’s of how best to bring children together and provide them tools and experiences they could share with their family, friends and community. In 2012 The World Children’s Summit on Peace and Nature started to take form. Though there is much ahead the foundation is strong and the design is simple and very reflective of what the children shared with Kathleen. Victoria was the perfect place for the Summit to launch as right in her back yard were experts in the very aspects of the design. All the workshop leaders are local and 4 out of 6 keynote speakers are from British Columbia.
The World Children’s Summit is a biannual event, it will be livestreamed to the world, information on the website will be made available to parents and educators and children will have the opportunity to submit stories, songs, video’s, pictures, paintings, photography to be displayed on our website.
Kathleen’s mantra has always been “If we want world Peace we must begin with the children.” Now knowing that nature is where they naturally go to feel peaceful then we had better step us and start taking care of our world so there is somewhere for them to go and grow!” The World Children’s Summit is working with the children from the inside out! It is about now, it is about the children and it is about their world!”
We can not do this alone so if you are able to donate please help by clicking our donation button!
In Peace & Nature