In 1963 a young man called Satish Kumar walked from his native India to the four “nuclear capitals” of the world at the time – Moscow, Paris, London and Washington DC – to deliver a message of peace to their leaders. Travelling with no money and relying solely on the kindness of strangers, along the way he was given four packets of tea by a factory worker in Georgia, with the request to deliver the tea along with his message. The idea was that before deciding to press the nuclear button, those powerful men might stop and think for a moment, as they drank their tea. This was our inspiration for Time for Tea – a simple mechanism for giving young people a voice on the issues of today.
Satish, now a world-renowned peace activist living in England and still active as Editor Emeritus of the magazine Resurgence and Ecologist, has given his personal endorsement to the project, encouraging young people to follow in his footsteps. “Time for Tea is time to act” he says, “to make the world a better place, to let go of your prejudices, to take care of each other. Thank you for believing in young people.” Satish’s video message can be seen on the Time for Tea website www.time4tea.info
We use tea because:
- Tea brings people together. It is enjoyed in different cultures all round the world.
- When busy people have a cup of tea, they stop and relax for a moment – the perfect time to listen and think.
- The medium of tea allows young people to initiate dialogue with decision makers in a way that is engaging and non-confrontational.
Any teacher, youth worker or other motivated person can lead a Time for Tea project, with a group of any age, in or out of the classroom. No specialist knowledge is required.
Time for Tea is designed to allow maximum flexibility, so the approach, content, activities and timetable can be adapted to the needs and interests of each group. The project can support almost any subject on the formal education curriculum.
There are 3 simple steps:
· Plan your activities. Choose a group of young people to work with. Remember – it is their project: the leader should only advise and support.
· Explore the issues that matter to young people about the world, near or far.
· Decide which topic is most important: what do you want to say about it, and who you do want to listen?
· Get some tea, and work together to design an imaginative packet for the tea plus your message. How creative can you be?
· Deliver your tea and message to the person you want to listen. Ask them to drink the tea and think about your message. Hopefully they will answer or offer to meet you.
· Tell the story of your project, through video, photographs or other media. Send it to us, and we share it with the world on the website.
· We encourage links between schools, leading to further international project initiatives.