The ‘HWPL Peace Camp’ was held at seven elementary schools in Ivory Coast and Mali from December 9th to the 23rd of last year. The message of ‘Peace and Safety, Respect and Cooperation’ from Peace Camp was significant since both neighboring countries in the Sahel region of West Africa suffered conflicts between French military and Islamic extremism in the same month.
The first five-day activities in Ivory Coast made local educators feel the need for peace-education. Allou Fatimata Marie Christ, Director of the Sainte Marie High School in Abidjan, who attended the Peace Camp, emphasized the role of peace-education as she expressed, “To live in this world as a human being, it is important to learn about peace because we must create a peaceful world.”
In addition, the UNESCO National Committee of the Ivory Coast immediately organized a meeting between UNESCO officials and educators, as the educators felt that the importance and necessity of peace-education should be understood. The MOU on peace-education with HWPL, which was discussed prior to the meeting, enabled the establishment of a cooperative relationship.
In the meantime, peace camps will be held at four schools in Mali until the 23rd. The government held a meeting with education officials to discuss the future peace-education plan of Mali and to conduct peace-education through mutual cooperation. Students have had time to learn peace by practicing peace on their own, and peace-education will continue to be implemented based on schools’ responses about the hope and need for peace-education.
Where does war come from? Unfortunately, 80 percent of the causes of the war are religion.
Scholars say that violent acts of extremism have the basis on the misinterpretation of religious scripture as means to mobilize the public and incite angers in the mass number of people.
Imam Anas Hajjar, Head Imam of Finland Islam Community, pays a closer attention to religious scripture and points out that “Because many people interpret the scripture with their own thoughts and ideologies without correctly knowing what is the will of God inside the scripture, and if laymen continue to interpret without true knowledge and study, the problems caused by extremists will continue to occur.”
So, what can we do?
The role of leaders in reflecting on religion through scripture to discourage religion as means of violent conflicts
The role of religious leaders is so important. Regarding the role of religious leaders, Imam Anas Hajjar, Head Imam of Finland Islam Community emphasized, “Although political extremism and the hate-speech have been in the rise in Europe, NGOs have a critical role in resisting and opposing this type of breakdown in respect of the laws of religious freedom, peace and harmony in the country. The best way to combat all types of extremism is knowledge and this part of the job is given to scholars and religious leaders.”
“In order to find the truth all the humanity wants religious leaders need to put away the thoughts that only my religion is the best and do the comparative work based on Scriptures without dividing themselves and saying ‘your religion’, ‘my religion’,” said Swami Veetamohananda, Swami (religious leader in Hinduism) of Ramakrishna Veda center.
BIG Questions: “Is what I know always right? Is the other religion always wrong? Or is there something in that religion that mine doesn’t have?”
Let us find the best truth and achieve the ultimate value of peace. 🙂
On December 30, the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) France Branch hosted the second IPYG “Peace and Me” Forum in Paris, France. Many youth in Paris learned about IPYG and IPYG’s determination for peace through the first forum, which was held in October. Many requested for a second forum, and this event successfully brought people from all walks of life together.
The forum began with “High Hopes”, a special dance performance by the IPYG members, and was proceeded by a live talk show, a discussion panel, and a dinner banquet for networking. The live talk show was on the topic of “Education is the Passport to the Future”.
The live talk show’s special guests were Etienne Lemaire, the France coordinator of Plan des jeunes, an international youth group, and two members of the group, Sabrina Touati and Raphaëlle Tanoh. The guests introduced their organizations and activities, and shared their plans for the next year. Plan des jeunes actively holds activities to raise awareness for gender equality in the educational field and it described what kind of education is necessary in current society and what France’s educational system needs to grow further.
Non-governmental organizations, including GRAD Guinée, Association Jeunesse Bara, Association Jeunesse de Madihawaya et Moussala, and fédération des travailleurs africains en France et en Europe were also in attendance and agreed that peace should be fulfilled through education and that it is crucial that children and youth, who are our future leaders, learn about peace. It was also mentioned that peace education is very much needed within Africa as well.
The “Peace and Me” Forum is a platform for youth organizations, big and small, within Paris to share their activities and to create networks among each other. The students showed their maturity throughout the event by taking responsibility for a peaceful future by expressing their thoughts on a peaceful world for the future generations. Many are hopeful that the students in France will continue their peace activities next year as well.
It’s a great pleasure for peace-loving friends to get together so voluntarily. Let’s all speak one voice! We are a small force but we can change the world.
Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Turkic, Anatolian, Ottoman and Western culture and traditions. Also, Turkey is not the only country in the world that is famous for its beautiful textiles, but only Turkey has Tulu, an amazing shop with a myriad of exceptionally colorful goods. Turkish culture is a product of efforts to be a “modern” Western state, while maintaining traditional religious and historical values.
The news of peace is also heard in Turkey, which is so beautiful.
Türk Gençler Sultanahmet’te Barış Etkinliği Düzenledi
The event took place in cooperation with the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) and HWPL, under the leadership of the Chairman Man Hee Lee. In the event, historical beauties such as Sultanahmet and Hagia Sophia were in the middle of the square. The participants painted the Turkish flag and showed their support for the peace campaign. Turkey was also performed simultaneously with similar events in many places in the world.
Stating the importance of DPCW, the Chairman Man Hee Lee said, “DPCW represents the will of global citizens. Societies want to be at peace and to live together in peace. This declaration advocates that everyone should build peace. The DPCW’s 10 articles and 38 clauses provide the basis for the peace of all world communities.”
About Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)
The DPCW dates back to South Korea, where 150,000 people called for and participated in the Peace Letter Campaign. The declaration focuses on resolving conflicts in many regions around the world through international cooperation. It is also stated that the implementation of international law is of critical importance for achieving world peace and spreading the culture of peace.
KNATCOM is the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO. She is the Secretary General Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Dr. Evangeline Njoka, 5 years ago. Their Mission is “to promote building of peace, eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intellectual dialogue through education, sciences, culture, communication and information.”
“1st Peace Educator Workshop for the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) in 2019” took place in Kenya Education Management Institute on 11, December. Hosted by KNATCOM HWPL, this workshop was organized by an international NGO named HWPL affiliated with the UN ECOSOC. 34 people including principal education officer of the Ministry of Education, deputy director of programme of KNATCOM and educators from UNESCO associated schools participated in the event.
The workshop was devoted to enabling educators from UNESCO associated schools to experience and practice peace value education in the fields through presentation sessions on peace education materials and pilot class.
Q. What is the aim of HWPL Peace Education?
A. HWPL says that peace education serves as a global platform with the aim of “leaving peace as a legacy to the future generations” by raising awareness of building peace from citizens and fostering a culture of peace to challenge the threat from war and violence.
Ms. Dorah Kitala, principal education officer of Ministry of Education said, “Peace education textbooks and the curricula are innovative. After the demonstration, I could feel that peace education is necessary for Kenya and would work with HWPL in the future.”
With the need for teaching values of peace to Kenyan students, 20 educators from UNESCO associated schools signed an agreement, which says they teach the right character for those who would carry the future of the country and to disperse peace education in Kenya. HWPL, KNATCOM and the Ministry of Education of Kenya are considering formalizing peace education activities throughout the country.
What comes to your mind when you think about your school days? What did you do? I think all I did was eating, studying and playing with my friends.
Let’s take a look at what these 80 students have done.
DPCW Article 10 : Spreading the Culture of Peace
To celebrate United Nations Day, 24 October, students of Bethel Knox paraded in a variety of costumes representing different cultures and nations. Paraders dressed in respective national dresses marched and chanted, “Spread the culture of peace,” the title of the 10th article of the DPCW, stirring air of hope amongst the audience for a world united with peace.
There is a reason why this is more meaningful. The Philippines has a history of many conflicts and wars. So people have a longing for peace in their hearts. These are expressed in children’s pure behavior. What happens when these kids grow up? Will the world change?
Philippines is changing
Bethel Knox students recently started taking the HWPL Peace Education program, and their faces gleamed with excitement and anticipation for a future of peace throughout the event. Bethel Knox is offering the HWPL Peace Education program to inspire students with the spirit of peace and nurture future peace activists.
Peace Education is set to serve as a building block to bring people of diverse ethnicities and cultures together to call for peace. Students who finish the Peace Education courses will become the beacon of a brighter and more peaceful future.
After the parade, students presented dance performances to celebrate “a day of marching toward peace,” followed by a multicultural feast with international cuisines including a boodle fight, a traditional Filipino meal.
I hope that this will serve as an opportunity to think about what we can do about peace. 🙂 Supporting DPCW is one way.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.
After he heard the news of the award of Nobel Peace Prize, he said “I was so humbled and thrilled when I just heard the news. Peace is a very expensive commodity in my country.” (If you want to hear more)
When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea. In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long “no peace, no war” stalemate between the two countries.
Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries. In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future.
In line with this joyful news, there are so many efforts to achieve peace in Ethiopia.
On the 19th of October, the 2019 Ethiopia Peace Press Forum was held at the meeting hall of IPSS in Ethiopia, and Ethiopian journalists were in attendance. The theme of the forum was the “Realization of Peace Journalism and Public Journalism.”
They emphasized the role of a journalist in spreading the news of peace. Attendees also discussed freedom of expression based on Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights.
In addition, the journalists who attended the forum wrote and signed the Pledge of Peace Initiative, in which they promised to deliver peace news through the platform called Peace Initiative (PI) (http://peaceinitiative.net) and participate in peace projects. HWPL is running a Peace Initiative platform with journalists all over the world. This platform raises awareness of peace based on social atmosphere and the freedom of speech and press, and aims to ensure that the news of peace, which contributes to conflict resolution, can be delivered to people from all over the world.
Mr. Zelalem Girma, the Senior Editor to the Ethiopian Herald and who has participated in the Peace Initiative, emphasized the importance of a peace news channel saying, “Peace Initiative (PI) is a global journalist network in efforts of facilitating a culture of peace as contribution to conflict resolution and peace building through press freedom and freedom of information stipulated in the UN resolutions and international agreements. Individual journalists and media agencies affiliated with PI dedicate to spreading news of peace to enhance human rights and protect democracy.”
2018 Addis Ababa Summit
On 9th of July, 2018, Ethiopia and Eritrea declared an end to the conflict that has been raging for 20 years, thus promoting further peace and prosperity within Africa. Immediately after that, the work of peace was done quickly. The 2018 Addis Ababa Summit was held in Medium CR, African Union Commission and co-hosted by international organizations including the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC), the International Law Association (ILA) and HWPL. Politicians from Africa and the Middle East discussed the need for an international law for peace to bring out stability in the region and promote peace-related projects at all levels of society.
Mrs. Dagmawit Moges, Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa’s municipal government, gave a speech at the event and addressed the participants saying, “Addis Ababa city administration has a deep conviction that the launching of peace education in the universities could help promote harmony among students regardless of their nationalities, cultural background and religions.” She emphasized the necessity of the integration of peace education and also stated that the City Administration will pledge to extend every support necessary to institutions engaged in the implementation of this peace education project. An MOU agreeing to implement HWPL’s peace education curriculum was also signed by the university representatives in attendance laying the foundation for peace education in Ethiopia.
I’ve been a fan of HWPL. When I heard that the true story book was coming out, I expected a lot and I really wanted to see it. In fact, I looked at it all at once, but I didn’t know the time was passing.
Numerous photos and the names of world leaders have convinced us that peace can be achieved. When I read their words one by one, I think that those who are not with HWPL in this work of peace want war. Short-term achievements will be unrivaled.
This book is not about what has passed, but it is about the present reality and not just a picture book. This book contains the work of peace the seven peace messengers (HWPL, IWPG, IPYG) have done throughout the world.
The purpose of the work recorded in this book is to cease all wars and leave an eternal legacy of peace to future generations. This book has been distributed to 195 countries. It is placed in major institutions such as national and public libraries, national assembly libraries, national museums, and universities. The work of the messengers of peace and this book will be an eternal light in history.
In this book, you will see some of the people that they have met, what work they did, what the results were, and what they will be doing. You will also see how politicians, members of society, and religious people responded to their work. Additionally, you will see what the possibilities of peace, cessation of war, and alliance of religions are, how each school in each country reacted, and what the media reports are.
It will also show the activities of the messengers of peace and how each nation is accepting it. I would like to ask those who read this book: if you experience certain feelings, needs, or feel that there are some things you want to change, please send them an e-mail. If you would like to see video footages of some of the things our peace messengers are doing, please contact us by e-mail as well.
The June 16 1976 Uprising that began in Soweto and spread countrywide profoundly changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa. It is estimated that 20,000 black students took part in the protests. Deaths are 176 (~700) who are killed by police. So, 16 June is now a public holiday in South Africa, named Youth Day.
What was the reason? Policies of the Apartheid government are the problem. Finally it resulted in the introduction of the Bantu Education Act in 1953. Despite the inequality and oppression caused by apartheid, many heroes were born. Who are they? The “Youth of 1976” played a really important role in fighting.
One photo shocked the world
During the fracas the 12-year-old Hector Pieterson was shot by the police. He was covered in blood. Pieterson was rushed to a local clinic and declared dead on arrival. This photo became an icon of the Soweto uprising.
“The uprising means different things for different people,” says Khwezi Gule, chief curator of the Hector Pieterson museum and memorial in Soweto. “There are different generations and varying constituencies. Even those who were there in 1976 were affected differently: parents, students, leaders, people just caught in the crossfire.”
Nelson Mandela said “The events of that day reverberated in every town and townships of South Africa. The uprising triggered riots and violence across the country. Mass funerals for the victims of state violence became national rallying points.
Suddenly the young people of South Africa were fired with the spirit of protest and rebellion. Students boycotted schools all across the country. Bantu education had come back to haunt its creators, for these angry and audacious young people were its progeny.”
South Africa’s Youth Discusses NDP 2030 on Youth Day
Commemorating the heroes of Soweto from June 1976 young, South Africans were challenged to chart their own solutions for dealing with the struggles the youth face today. So, the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) is collaborated with the Gauteng Province, the City of Johannesburg Library and Information Services, South African Council of NGO’s, Green Peace Africa, IWPG, Save the Children and HWPL.
Also, the Specialized Agency of the African Union and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) helped these passionate young peace activits. IPYG was established in 2013 with 805 affiliate organisations in 110 countries. What is their purpose? It is the “National Development Plan (NDP).”
NDP 2030: Youth CAN do it!
The NDP aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. According to the plan, South Africa can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society. Lets all work together to make the National Development Plan (NDP) a success and build a better South Africa for all, it is up to each one of us.
In dealing with International and Regional Peace and Security, Editor of Zimbabwe Digital News brought about the need to create a culture of peace and referenced the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) as an instrument that the President of South African to put an end to armed conflict. (What is DPCW?)
Because Africa has great potential, countless young people can surely achieve peace with IPYG. At IPYG Peace Letter Campaign, more than 200,000 young people from each country have sent handwritten letters to the heads of 193 countries of the United Nations. We Are One!
France is the first country in the world to have a civil revolution. The French Revolution (1789-1799) is one of the most important events in human history. On August 26, 1789, it introduced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, proclaiming liberty, equality, the inviolability of property, and the right to resist oppression. It is Influenced by the doctrine of “natural right”; the rights of man are held to be valid at all times and in every place. And this document inspired in large part the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
French Peace Walk “We Are One!”
On May 24th, about 200 youths gathered in front of the Ibis Hotel in Paris, and the Eiffel Tower, France’s representative landmark, in commemoration of the 6th anniversary of the Declaration of World Peace. HWPL hosted this event. Also it was supported by renowned international organizations such as, AIESEC in France and Regards de Paix.
The event started with congratulatory videos of Anna Bossman, the UNESCO Ambassador of Ghana, Oumar Keita, the UNESCO Ambassador of Mali, and also continued with congratulatory addresses of Gaura Bhakta, the Guru of ISKCON, and André Lokisso, the head of the Assistance To The Integration Of Demobilized Child Soldiers, which is one of the UNESCO affiliated organizations with the country of Africa.
“I really liked to feel the power of youths who are longing for peace and I never knew that there were so many youths who wanted to have peace like this.”
DPCW & Peace Letter Campaign
The DPCW is a phenomenal declaration that has the answer to cease all wars, and is soon to be submitted to the UN as a resolution. Everyone around the world is urging the heads of state to support the DPCW through the Peace Letter Campaign. (more info about DPCW)
Today, millions of peace letters have been sent to a number of national leaders. Young people around the world are writing these peace letters with a longing heart for peace. It is expected to stimulate the heads of state to make a peaceful world free of wars.
Especially, a graduate student of Sciences po Paris recited her letter to President Emmanuel Macron. All the participants were inspired by her letter and gave her a big round of applause.
At end of the event, the HWPL Peace Walk took place. About 200 youths shouted, “We want peace! We are one!” This France HWPL Peace Walk will have a great influence in France and Europe. Why? Because France is where the history of the global civil revolution began.