Israel: Angelica Edna Calo Livne

Understanding the different cultures, the traditions of people from different religions, races and nationalities, is something that has to be taught to your children from a very young age.

— Angelica Edna Calo Livne

Angelica Edna Calo Livne is an educator and advocate of peace through arts, among children from different religious and cultural backgrounds. In 2002, Angelica created the Arcobaleno Rainbow Theater, in the Upper Galilee of Israel, involving young Jews and Arabs, Christians, Muslims and Druses, who with mime and dance narrate what goes on in the mind of an adolescent living in a country at war. Using their bodies, the actors express their inner thoughts and burning desires to accept people and be accepted as they are. One of Angelica’s projects is to help children physically hurt by terrorist attacks.

At the break of the Intifada in 2000, Angelica felt she needed to do something to bring about a change. She could not just stand by and watch the terrible events traumatizing the lives of people in the Middle East and around the world. She was driven by her conscience, a sense of responsibility and an inner feeling to help the children suffering from these tragic times. Angelica lives in a Kibbutz near the border with Lebanon. Only few people believed in the importance of her project in the beginning. She has worked voluntarily for many years, rewarded only by the spark she sees in the eyes of the children and adults who work with her. The costs of her first theatre performance about peace, Beresheet, were financed thanks to her family’s savings. More than once the members of her Kibbutz have tried to convince her to give up her projects, stating that they are based on arts and education and so cannot provide concrete influential results. However, she is convinced of the importance of her project. Angelica Livne has been living in a very small house, filled with papers, books and information about projects from all over the world. She had no car, no office, and no facilities to operate such projects. Today she owns a car to bring the young people to the activities and her office is in a shelter. Yet she writes books and articles on education and operates projects to help children hurt by terrorism. She also gives theatre lessons and runs artistic workshops, and is active in the forum for Jewish and Arabic people. Since 2011 she has been an Academic Counselor in a Druze experimental school in the Hurfeish Village. Moreover she travels into vulnerable areas with the theatre and with the wounded children to spread the message of peace. Angelica presents her vision for peace, saying, "I believe that the person who is rich inside, who loves what he has, who is sure of himself and his faith, can love and accept others without reservations! He has no need to predominate, to impose himself and his faith on others." The next big project is to help her great Palestinian friend Samar Sahhar to recreate the Lazarus Home For Wounded Girls in East Jerusalem.

Beresheet LaShalom Foundation (BLF) Rainbow Theater in the Upper Galilee (RTiUG)