by Tale Weavers &
The Red Elephant Foundation
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable TALE
Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development, weavers
adopted by world leaders in September
2015 at an historic UN Summit, weaving tales, breaking stereotypes
officially came into force.
Over the next fifteen years, with these
new Goals that universally apply to all,
countries will mobilize efforts to end all
forms of poverty, fight inequalities and
tackle climate change, while ensuring
that no one is left behind.
Stories for Awareness is a collaboration
between The Red Elephant Foundation
and Tale Weavers to engage with
children and build awareness around the
17 Sustainable Development Goals.
This story throws light on SDG 16:
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
“Come on! Shoot! Shoot! Hurry up!” screamed
Sourya, excitedly. His eyes were glued to the television
set. His virtual self was chasing after a man on screen,
dressed in red.
“I can’t! I have to defuse the bomb!” Vandita shouted,
holding her joystick nervously as she wondered which
wire she had to cut.
Sourya and Vandita were busy playing their favourite
video game on their Playstation.
Manasa sat behind them, reading quietly.
Watching the two of them battle it out, she was curious
to see what the commotion was all about.
“Oh no! Vandita! We lost!” Sourya said, sounding
Manasa smiled as she looked at them, and said, “It is
only a video game! For many people around the world,
this is actually reality!”
“Do you mean that people fight like this in real life?”
Sourya asked, his eyes widened in curiosity.
“Well, almost,” said Aashima, who
joined them from the other room.
“But the sad part is, when a
bomb explodes, or when someone
shoots, a lot of people get hurt and
sometimes even die.
“And they don’t get to push a re-set
button and start over again!”
“Do you mean like the war that
is happening in Syria?” asked
Vandita, remembering what she
had heard on the news.
Exactly,” said Aashima. “You see,
war is a very harmful reality that a
lot of people are challenged by.”
“It causes injuries and hurts people, and it also
causes poverty. The environment and monuments are
destroyed, and people are forced to leave their homes.”
“Refugees!” Sourya chimed in.
“That’s correct, Sourya!” said Manasa. “When there is
tremendous violence, people are no longer able to live
in their homes and their countries, so they leave their
lands to settle where there is peace. But it’s hard for
them to settle because…”
“… They don’t all have passports, and other countries
may not take them in!” said Vandita, thinking deeply.
“Why do people fight wars?” asked Sourya.
“It’s difficult to say that there is only one reason for
war – it could be anything from a fight for land, or for
money, or because of different religions and races, and
many other reasons that vary from war to war.
But, what keeps it alive is the constant
cycle of hate, fear and sometimes,
ignorance,” said Aashima.
Manasa nodded solemnly and added,
“It takes a lot of effort to rebuild a
nation after a war – and it can be
devastating for the future, too!
And when we are rebuilding the nation,
it is important to give justice to all
those who were wronged!”
“What is justice?” asked
“Justice is when you give
someone exactly what they are
due to receive.
For example, let’s say you
wrote a math test and your
teacher corrected all your
answers except one, which she
You would have gotten 10 on
10 if she had corrected that, but
without it, you got only 8!”
“Now let’s say the teacher corrected all of Sourya’s
answers, and he got 9 on 10 – and the teacher said he
got the highest in class.
But you should get those two marks too, right?
Because you got the answer right but the teacher had
So you could ask your teacher politely to look at your
answers again, and then, you get 10 on 10!” Aashima
Sourya was puzzled. “But what about in a war? Who
gets ten on ten there?”
“Ah! Well, there, the situation is
a little different. During a war,
people can use harmful tactics
and methods to hurt other people
– and this can cause a lot of pain,
loss and suffering.
Those that suffered this pain,
or loss, or suffering, can then
go to court and ask for some
compensation, or some help to
them, or even punishment of
those that did the wrong thing!”
“But why should we do that? Shouldn’t we work for
peace alone? In peace, no one will harm one another!”
“Ofcourse,” said Aashima. “Let’s look at it this way. In
a class, let’s say there is a bully.
He hurts all the children by hitting them, calling them
names or saying rude things.
Now the teacher announces that there should be no
violence in class and walks away. What do you think
the children will be feeling?”
“Well, Vandita began, “the children may still be scared
of the bully! He may not be obedient…”
“And, he may also think that the teacher was not
going to find out if he did something to hurt the children
outside class!” Sourya added.
“Exactly,” said Manasa. “This is why it is important that
before there is peace, there must be justice.
The teacher could talk to the bully, or ask the bully to
stop his violence, and maybe even
help him out with anything
that is troubling him.
The teacher could also request the bully to apologize
to those he hurt – and that can then make a beautiful,
peaceful place! We can try to make change happen,
Vandita and Sourya nodded. “How can we end wars?”
“Well, as children, we can all choose not to fight with
one another, and try to settle things peacefully.
For example, when Vandita borrows your toys, Sourya,
and you want to play with them, instead of snatching
them from her, you can politely tell her that you want to
And it gets all the more fun when you share your toys,
because you don’t have to play alone!” said Manasa
“Or let’s say you see someone bullying a younger
child, you can tell the bully to stop, or, you can report
the bully to your teacher or a safe adult.
With that, you can create safe spaces for you, your
friends and for those younger to you to play in!
Peace comes in all shapes and sizes, doesn’t it?”
Tale Weavers is an initiative that
aims to engage with children and the
youth through stories that challenge
stereotypes and break the barriers in
creating a just society.
We welcome you to our world of stories
where simple conversations, colorful
illustrations, and powerful characters
help break the stereotypes and create
an inclusive learning space which is
free of bias - be it gender, religion, race,
nationality or ethnicity.
The Red Elephant Foundation is an
initiative that is built on the foundations
of story-telling, civilian peacebuilding
and activism for sensitisation on
all drivers of peace - gender, race,
nationality, colour and orientation.
The initiative is titled “Red Elephant”
to stand out as a vehicle that projects
stories that must never be forgotten:
stories that show you such courage that
you should never forget, and stories that
show the world such profound lessons
that the world should never forget. In
doing so, the initiative aims at creating
awareness and opening up channels
of communication towards creating
societies of tolerance, peacebuilding