I’m an earth protector, a lover of the natural world and seeker of internal peace and aim for a lifestyle with a lower impact on our beautiful earth. I'm also keen to use my creativity for good causes!
Following a transformative journey to Japan in 2017 (for family reasons), I was left in turbulent thought I found myself in Hiroshima; a city of horrendous disaster having being destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II on 6th August 1945. Although visiting the museum dedicated to the people and animals killed by the explosion left me deeply saddened, I spent a day in the wonderful Peace Memorial Park absorbing the energy of hope. Hope that another atrocity never occurs in the world, for peace, and that all nuclear weapons are banned.
I was really struck by the feeling of peace. In the Memorial Park in Hiroshima, the Children's Peace Monument captures a girl with outstretched arms holding a folded paper crane above her, depicting strength and freedom. Surrounding her are glass cabinets stuffed full of origami paper birds – thousands of them made in memory of the children who died. Thousands made by children around the world, who also hold onto that peace and hope for their future on our planet. The making of paper cranes originally came from Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died from the radiation from the bomb. She believed if she made 1000 cranes, she would be cured. A belief of peace.
On The International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day on 21st September 2018, I launched my own mission to make 1000 unique origami birds of peace. World Peace Day in 2018 celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70." The birds I create are an alternative design to the traditional Japanese origami cranes.
This project is growing organically, as I see good purpose for the #1000PeaceBirds. A series of the origami birds have been made with love in my heart for all those who suffered in Hiroshima, and hope for a future free from nuclear war. Some are being made for other causes; all raising awareness of a need for more peace on earth, such as climate change, extinction of birds and sharing my skills so others can create their own version of the Peace Birds through free workshops. A number of Peace Birds are made for friends, family and others; beautiful and meaningful gifts with the intention to pass on the energy of peace.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament series
In 2018 it was the 60th anniversary of CND and I was honoured to stand next to the internationally recognised giant three-dimensional peace symbol which came to Norwich on 11th August 2018. Following this, I’ve created unique lino-printed designs and hand-printed these onto recycled brown origami paper. The intention behind the Peace Birds is to raise money for CND - Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. If you are interested in buying a single Peace Bird or Peace Bird mobile (various designs and colour schemes), please see more information and complete the order form.
Extinction Rebellion series
Learning about our climate crisis and this catastrophic environmental disaster which is affecting all life on earth, I have felt compelled to raise awareness by creating a series under the umbrella of the organisation Extinction Rebellion. From 12th April 2019, I was grateful to have a voice through my #1000PeaceBirds and my submitted message was read out as part of the #LettersToTheEarth campaign across 52 theatres, arts venues and community spaces nationwide. My intention is to help do something to save our beautiful planet and bring peace on earth through education and awareness.
Since April 2019, I have put on a number of workshops in Norwich to teach others to fold the origami Peace Birds and encourage them to write their own messages about protecting our planet (and birds) from the climate emergency. A little bit of gentle craftivism! We used old re-purposed printing/photocopying paper, alongside donated second-hand art materials. All the #MessengerBirds in April travelled down to London to be displayed on Waterloo Bridge during International Rebellion - an event organised by Extinction Rebellion which demanded the government take necessary action on the global climate and ecological emergency. #MessengerBirds continue to be made, carrying messages from the community.
A wonderful charity, who every year put together around 120 food hampers for those in Norfolk who have had a tough year. Delivered anonymously on 23rd December, these packages of kindness go a long way in bringing about some brightness to those in need. I contributed 70 Christmas #PeaceBirds to the 'baskets' in 2019, reusing old music sheet paper and tying them with twine.
Time To Talk
As a qualified Counsellor, helping stop the stigma of mental health issues is very important to me. Finding the #PeaceBirds so relaxing to make, I decided to put on a free origami workshop in Norwich (1st February 2020) to teach others the skill, whilst discussing mental health in a supportive and safe environment. The makers will also decorate their bird and write a positive message/intention/quote on it to take home. Find out more about the workshop, also check out the articles on 18th January 2020 that made it into the EDP (Eastern Daily Press) and Norwich Evening News!
Check out my ongoing fundraising for CND.
If there is no peace in the minds of individuals, how can there be peace in the world? Make peace in your own mind first. - S. N. Goenka