I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop enjoying my first coffee in a month. For the entire month of October, I participated in PeaceGeeks’ #GiveItUp4Peace campaign and gave up coffee to raise money for projects like the Pathways App which helps newcomers settle in Canada and Meshkat Community which empowers youth in the MENA region to challenge polarization in online spaces.
I decided to give up coffee because of how much it had become a part of my everyday life. I wanted to give up something that I would think about daily and that would disrupt my day-to-day routine. On September 30th I had my last cup of coffee and expected the worst to come.
It wasn’t easy. Every morning I would pass by a cafe on my way to work or school and feel slightly uneasy, like something was missing. I would join my friends at coffee shops and be forced to order tea while they indulged in their espressos and americanos. Coffee had become such an integral and constant part of my routine that it felt impossible to go without it.
Despite all the hardship, I was glad to experience it. It made me realize how we take many of the comforts in our life for granted. It made me reflect on how many people had to give up much bigger things such as their homes, jobs, family and friends in the pursuit of peace and helped me grasp the extent of the struggle and sacrifice that they face on a daily basis.
While I am indulging in my coffee in the comfort of this cafe, I realized one more thing. After my month of giving coffee was over, I could go back. It made me understand that many people don’t have that same privilege. Part of the reason I took part in this campaign is to help those who are unsure if they can get back the things they have had to give up. I wanted to support projects like the Pathways App to help newcomers settle in Canada and help them find housing, work and most importantly a community they can belong to so that they are able to get back at least a little bit of what they have had to give up in the pursuit of peace.
If you would like more information on projects like these or would like to contribute, visit peacegeeks.org