The Jakarta Post, page 2
Purwa Lintang, an autistic 12th grader took to the stage and enthusiastically delivered his English on speech Wednesday to convey a message about peace at the hall of SMA 74 Jakarta state senior high school, in Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta. Purwa said peace is a condition when people can solve their problems without involving any single [act of] violence.
Hundreds of his schoolmates responded to the speech with cheers and ovations. Dozens of others exhilaratingly raised colorful banners that read “Peace begins with a smile”, “Peace can change the world” and other adages promoting hope of a more forgiving and peaceful world.
Purwa said he hoped that event could strengthen peace and bonds among student, particularly in overcoming the bad image of Jakarta’s high schools as the public had often associated them with violence, brawls and bullying.
The events were part of celebrating the International Day of Peace, an event sponsored by the UN. The school, which has a history of student of student bullying and mass brawls, cooperated with NGO Global Peace Foundation (GPF) to hold the event, advocating “building blocks for peace” as its main them.
Tedy Domuli, the education manager of GFP Indonesia, said the event was aimed at instilling tolerance and harmony among the younger generation.
The school`s principal, Markorijasti, acknowledged that her school has been long associated with violence because of its track record of mass student brawls. She added that according to a report released by a relevant city agency recently, her school was ranked the fifth most violent school beacuse it students often engaged in brawls. She hopes through this event will strengthen bonds among students and gradually change school`s image.