The second Georgia Peace Camp, held in Tbilisi, Georgia from January 8 to 13, 2024, concluded. The camp brought together 34 youth and teachers from Korea and Georgia to learn about the meaning and value of peace and to understand each other’s cultures. This initiative aimed to promote communication and raise awareness of peace, especially for the youth growing. The camp was hosted by the international peace organization HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light) and Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess in Tbilisi.

It featured various programs, including handprint ceremonies, a peace fashion show, peace education sessions, and visits to Georgian landmarks. These activities strengthened students’ dedication to peace, with handprint ceremonies symbolizing personal pledges, while the peace fashion show serving as a creative platform for expressing messages of peace from their respective countries.

Beka, a student participant from Aiaegis, expressed excitement, saying, “I felt excited to finally meet her friends in person after meeting them online. I felt the moment was real finally, when I saw my Korean friends in person at the Tbilisi airport.” Recalling the memories, Anastasia, a student of Aiaegis, said, “It was a time to enhance understanding of religious diversity through learning about diversity”.

After the camp program and education, the participants visited Georgia’s landmarks to experience Georgia’s history and culture. Students visited the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, to explore various cultural heritage sites, including the Old Town and the Sophia Cathedral.

Gega student who participated in the camp expressed her powerful reflections: “Having witnessed the preciousness of life, I believe it’s far more important to protect and support others, even if a war promises gains for a better life. During the peace education class, I was deeply moved by the gratitude exercise. It made me constantly appreciate my parents, my loved ones, and the opportunity to be here.”

Tamar Lolishvili, an English Teacher who has been coming to Korea for the event like September 18 World Peace Summit hosted by HWPL, played main role in making the meeting of both countries’ youth possible.“The camp held value as both sides exerted effort. Students on both sides need to practice everything learned in class. I observed that some values and skills should be enhanced among Georgian students—they need to be more flexible, thoughtful, understanding, and have vision for details. Thanks to HWPL for their trust. I will prove myself by fulfilling any promises I made.” she said.

HWPL plans to expand the size of the camp to provide more youth with the opportunity to learn the meaning and value of peace and understand each other’s cultures. By empowering young people from diverse backgrounds to become agents of peace, the program paves the way for future possibility to lead neighboring cities international schools to join the 3rd Peace Camp.

Georgia, located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, bordered by Russia to the north, closely witnessed the recent tragedy of armed conflicts. The mainland has been secure yet the shadow of fear is still among the air. Hence, to establish both physical safety and emotional peace in Georgia and its neighboring countries, HWPL and Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess of Tbilisi will jointly broaden their collaboration beyond geographical boundaries.