Sometimes it feels like Christmas has come early in the Peace Direct office, as we receive kind words of hope and encouragement sent in by our supporters. In our Christmas appeal this year, we asked people to write their own messages of hope to send to Heartbeat, a brave group of young Israeli and Palestinian musicians who make music together, bridging the divides of conflict there. Through the power of music, they amplify their songs above hatred and mistrust to spread messages of respect and trust instead. They are a voice for the voiceless in their communities and they are changing attitudes that previously have led to violence.
Now our supporters have joined this chorus of voices. We feel inspired by their many individual messages of hope and encouragement to musicians Guy, Muhammad and all the inspirational young people part of Heartbeat. We have been working determinedly for the past ten years to support local, grassroots peacebuilders and we are excited and humbled to see our supporters sending their own messages of confidence and optimism to Heartbeat’s musicians. It is a powerful and personal sign of support for our approach, and for those brave people standing up for peace in their communities.
In the words of one supporter: “I have walked in the Negev – never thought I would hear such a brave and thoughtful group! Youth and music together. Thanks and best wishes for the future.” Another message said, ““You are doing a wonderful job for the world. Thank you so much.”
Heartbeat take action to change the world they live in. They challenge beliefs and come together to meet ‘the other side’. This is essential for building peace – but it is unusual and can be dangerous. Knowing that people across the world believe in their mission and are reaching out to support them is inspiring and encouraging. Our supporters’ words offer a strong message of solidarity and support, and their importance should not be understated. Perhaps this simple message captures this best: “Thank you for the hope you bring.” We couldn’t agree more.