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International Day of Peace 2004

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What you can do | What others have done | AllinPeace Festival

What you can do

Teachers and students are planning events for the International Day of Peace in many countries around the world. Here are a couple of events you can participate in:

  • The ENO Program, a global network of schools that study environmental issues throughout the school year, is sponsoring a tree planting event in celebration of the International Day of Peace. On 21 September, 2004, more than 100 schools in over 40 countries will be planting trees at 12 noon local time. This event will start in Australia and end in Hawaii. If you want to participate, you must first register on the ENO website.

  • At the same time (12 noon on 21 September) people around the world are being asked to observe a minute of silence as an expression of global unity for peace. Urge others you know to do the same.

send a message of peace

Or create your own event. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Ring a bell for peace on 21 September. Last year European Schoolnet organized a Spring Day event that involved ringing peace bells. Some teachers wrote to Cyberschoolbus to tell us what they were planning to do. Here is an example we received from a teacher in the Czech Republic:

    "...students will bring their own small bells and together with the school bell will ring them three times. Then a discussion will follow. The discussion will be focused on the importance of peace and the contribution of our country to the rest of the world. We will stress the values of solidarity, tolerance, and understanding among cultures."

    And another from a teacher in Romania:
    "We'll keep a moment of silence for peace. An exhibition of drawings with the theme of peace will be organized and students from different levels will talk about peace in Balkans, in Europe and all over the world. A questionnaire will be given to pupils to find out their opinions about what chance they think peace has in a world of violence and wars. The results will be discussed with the students."
    Organize similar activities in your class!

For more ideas visit the International Day of Peace Web site. Write to us at cyberschoolbus@un.org to let us know what you did.

What others have done

  • One of the best examples of achieving peace through sports is a programme organized by a non-governmental organization, AllinPeace, that encourages cooperation between youth that have faced each other as "enemies" in conflict areas around the world. In July 2001, AllinPeace organized its first Peace Olympia-Delphi Festival for Children which brought together children from 12 countries -- mostly from conflict regions in Europe and the Middle East. The week-long programme which ended with two-day festival modeled on the Olympic Games aimed to break down stereotypes that breed hostility and to build a sense of community through athletic, artistic, and non-violent communication activities. A second festival was held in Delphi in July 2003. View photos taken during these events.

  • UNESCO organized a similar event in June 2001 on the Emerald Coast of Brittany, France. Five hundred young people from nearly 60 countries participated in sports and cultural activities that encouraged cooperation and intercultural dialogue and demonstrated to all the contribution of sport to building a culture of peace.



Text by Amos Mokadi
Photographs by Ohad Romano

Over two hundred youngsters, most of whom are fifth graders, travel from conflict areas in Europe, South Africa and around the Mediterranean, to gather in Greece, in order to compete for peace.

Theirs is not an ordinary combat – for stress is not laid on beating the enemy, but, rather, on beauty and cooperation.

If there is strife, it is largely an inner one – on whether young persons are able to overcome the common urge to win at all costs, in favor of harmony and purity of movement.

One often misses home…

…but the reward, the deep and subtle absorption of the spirit of Ekecheiria (which means "holding of hands") is overwhelming.

There are great festivities –

and sadness in departing from friends,
nobly won in action!


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