The characters in the stories, A Journey of Peace, come to life in an extraordinary undertaking to distribute beautiful hand crafted puppets to accompany the stories in the classrooms of Kabul.
After the writing of the stories was complete, the project continued to evolve. To enrich and enliven the experience of the messages in the stories, two of the authors (Mary Jo Land and Joanna Santa Barbara) initiated a project to design and produce hand puppets that animate four of the main characters in the book: Jameela, Ahmed, Bibi Jan and Merza.
The children of Afghanistan particularly enjoy the playfulness and joy that these characters bring into their lives. The puppets create animated stories for those unable to read, and promote further expression and therapeutic exploration of trauma and healing in the classrooms.
The puppets were designed by Fabric Artist and Costumer Jan MacKie in consultation from Ruth Danszinger, Play Therapist and Puppeteer. Jan spent some time in Afghanistan in the 1960's and fell in love with the people and their culture. Her work in fabrics has been greatly influenced by her experiences in Afghanistan. Jan supervised the production of the first 50 puppets at volunteer workshops held at McMaster University.
For two years, Caron Banda and the women of the Binbrook Women's Institute, in Binbrook, Ontario, created 250 more puppets. Caron was a highly skilled lace artist and seamstress. She wore out her last sewing machine through her devotion to puppets for the children's classrooms in Afghanistan.
In Australia, Viva Rodwell works steadfastly in Sydney, creating puppets which are sent to Kabul's classrooms.
Additional materials on how to use the puppets with the stories are available. Please email the authors for further information.
Below you will find images of the pattern pieces and the finished puppets. You may double click to open an image, then right click to reveal a menu. Select Print from this menu to print the image on your printer.
Images of Patterns and Finished Puppets
This site was last updated 05/07/09