The Valentine Peace Project (VPP) is a developing social enterprise connecting individuals, communities, gardens and the floral trade to the creative work of peace.
The Project began more than five years ago and continues as a larger themed Valentine's Day, spreading thousands of submitted original peace poems and reflections on meanings of love - from Zimbabwe, Kenya, England, the Netherlands, Israel, Palestine, New Zealand and the US.
"The world reflects back digging deep down inside . . The doors are open to a whole new store . . Cupid is here living with love . . Spread the care and feel for others . . Treat everyone as your brothers . . Away, away, away, peace is everywhere.” (Twelve year old's poem submission to the Project)
Next to promoting a Community Valentine in February we sell Dutch peace tulip bulbs around the International Day of Peace in September. The VPP plans to design a Valentine Peace tulip and produce bulbs as tools for international peace organisations as well as promote community peace poetry gardens and Fairtrade including conflict and post-conflict flowers and horticulture.
"Freedom's flowers are blooming." (US journalist on the Arab Spring)
As flowers helped evolve our planet it's time to evolve ourselves - from conflict and poverty to justice and sustainability - from pure commercialism to purposeful products - gifts of love working for peace. Peace is generally understood on three levels - inner, community and global. By inspiring poetry and art; education and awareness; transformative trade and new symbolism for global community and identity the VPP builds connection through community participation as well as VPP flowers and bulbs.
"The purpose of activism and art is to make a world in which people are producers of meaning, not just consumers." Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark - The Untold History of People Power
If you are a teacher or community coordinator and would like to participate in a larger hearted Valentine's day please contact us. If you are a retailer wanting creative horticultural peace products also contact us.
If you desire to be part of 'new institutions to match new cultural realities' (Occupied Times of London) - sign up for the newsletter on the right to keep posted.
Every country has a flower, every product a story, and every heart a message.
Photos of participants and recipients of flowers and poems in Amsterdam, San Francisco, and London
Building a Community Valentine and the International Day of Peace the VPP spreads messages around the globe and brings the horticulture and international floral trade to the work of peace creating a more expansive and connected expression of love.
Somewhere, just a short time before the close of the Age of Reptiles, there occurred a soundless, violent explosion.. . It marked the emergence of the angiosperms—the flowering plants . . Flowers changed the face of the planet. Without them, the world we know—even man himself—would never have existed. How Flowers Changed the World by Anthropologist and Scientist Loren Eiseley
Nothing has been more moving to me than this desire, realized imperfectly but repeatedly, to connect across differences, to be a community, to make a better world, to embrace each other . . to something unprecedented, a beloved community that circles the globe. Occupy Your Heart by Rebecca Solnit
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