Art for a good cause? The Charter for Compassion Pakistan, a partner of the global Charter for Compassion project launched by TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong in 2008, hosted a youth art exhibition in Karachi this past weekend as part of its overall drive to promote compassion nationwide.
More than 1600 children and young adults from Korangi, a low-income part of eastern Karachi, showcased their artistic talents and unique perspectives by painting diverse works of art which were exhibited at the Karachi Arts Council.
This exhibition was the culmination of ten workshops organized in the Korangi area, where residents between the ages of 5 to 30 were invited to make their own illustrations reflecting themes such as peace, compassion, forgiveness and acceptability.
The resulting paintings are imbued with messages of peace and prosperity, reflecting a national yearning for a more peaceful political narrative, and also serving as an artistic antidote to violent extremism.
Charter for Compassion Pakistan currently has three projects underway: the Compassionate School Network, the Compassionate Community Network and the Compassionate Cricket Camp, where students are taught cricket as well as the skills required to become better sportsmen and global citizens at large.
The Compassionate School Network already has 60 schools on board in Karachi, and hopes to reach 5,000 schools nationwide by 2018. In all of these schools, students will learn the importance of practicing forgiveness, humility, self-compassion, gratitude and empathy.