Life is certainly lived on the streets in Yangon. Food stalls, markets, books, teashops and meeting people all happens as you walk along the busy and crowded streets. As well as stray dogs, bicycles and lots of cars! I walk through these streets and travel the roads as we go to meet those who are willing to share stories about living here. I am meeting with local people who work for peace in different ways and listening to them talk about their lives and their work.
We have met a storytelling organisation who write and produce books for children about peace, friendship and tolerance. They send them out to children and libraries and schools so they can think and discuss about the way we want to live with other people. Some children have written their own illustrated stories about peace and conflict. We have met some amazing artists who use their skills and work to talk about peace, who sing about peace, organise festivals and are making magazines where people can discuss their hopes and visions.
I am struck by the huge change that people living here have faced. The difference that in Yangon they can now organise for a peace in a way which was not possible, before means that the people we meet are talking about different kinds of conflict and violence and how it affects their lives.
It is so interesting and I am learning so much from people, and about the ways in which violence and conflict and peace are present in our everyday lives.