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Woodstock Students Represent India

Caroline, Jarem, Nishant, Mrs. Chander

On the 16th of June, 2000, three Woodstock School Students, arrived at Basel, Switzerland to attend the First Children's World Festival for Global Peace. The three students, Jaremenla Imkong, Caroline Jose and Nishant Datt, all 13 years old, were selected after rigorous interviews conducted at Woodstock School.

They joined four other students, two from Kodaikanal School in South India and two from Mumbai, to represent India. Woodstock was put in contact with the event by TZ Chu (Class of '52), whose Swiss sister-in-law was involved. The Indian delegates were chaperoned by Woodstock Staff member, Ms. Shonila Chander. Europa Park

The 10-day Festival was attended by 2000 children from around the world, and provided a mix of intense activity and fun. In the workshops, the candidates had to write poems, make posters, write reaction papers, write essays and discuss different educational systems. Other activities included planting 'trees for peace'. Peter Ustinav, the Ambassador of UNICEF, was a special guest for the tree planting ceremony.

The Chief Guest for the Festival was the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Caroline states, 'We were privileged to hear his speech which challenged us to be more involved in global peace.' Caroline performs an Indian dance

Back at school, the three students prepared an audio-visual presentation for the High School Assembly telling of their experiences at the trip.

On the whole, the students said they were 'enriched' by the experience of the trip. Chaperone Ms. Chander noted that while such a large festival may not directly foster global peace, 'it made the students more aware of different cultures, as well as enabled them to see the world from another's point of view.' Ms. Chander was particularly impressed by the way the Woodstock students were not phased by the international presence: 'they fit right in.'

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