Peace Day Reaches 60,000 people
27 Sep 2012
Up to 60,000 people from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation's global schools programme, Face to Faith took part in the Global Truce 2012 campaign. The goal was to achieve the largest ever gathering of individuals and reduction of violence in the name of peace one day.
Peace Day, 21 September, was established by the UN after Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day led the initiative to establish the first-ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. The day itself has seen a remarkable decrease in violence with the UN Department for Safety and Security reporting a 70% reduction in violent incidents in Afghanistan on Peace Day 2008. 57 Face to Faith schools in 12 countries including Pakistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Mexico and Ukraine stood up for peace this year. Awards are being given to the most creative, most diverse and largest events organised.
Below you can read about some of the remarkable events our Face to Faith schools organised.
Australia: St. Patrick's College, Shorncliffe. The school was officially recognised and accredited as a United Nations "Global Peace School" through Save the Children Australia. They received a UN flag and held their own television show where students spoke up on behalf of marginalised children in the world.
India, New Delhi: Bal Bharati Public School, Pitampura. The school held interfaith activities for each grade level. There was a special Peace Day assembly for the entire school and the students made wall hangings with hand printed symbols of doves to mark peace. Grade 1 students dressed up as peace messengers and went from class to class sharing their messages. They also visited a church and a Gurdwara. Primary school students participated in a Peace March visiting neighbouring schools and collecting messages on world peace.
India, Delhi: Darbari Lal DAV Model School. The school held a special assembly to announce a slogan writing competition for peace. They also made a peace tree, held a peace rally, and made a human chain.
Australia: Parade College, Melbourne. The classes investigated the texts and traditions of peace in the Secular, Christian, Buddhist, and Islamic faiths. They then wrote messages of peace on paper leaves and hung them on a tree in the school's garden.
Palestine: Surda School. They held an event where they studied the Quran for messages of peace in Islam. The event also dealt with anti- bullying.
Bethlehem: Dar Al-Kalima School of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land. They held an interfaith dialogue forum. The school is 42% Christian and 58% Muslim. The goal was to have a peaceful opportunity to provide a safe environment for the students of the different traditions to ask questions of each other and discuss the similarities between the two groups.
Abu Dabi: Our Own Sharjah. The school held events all week and hoped to include 8,000 people in their various activities. Students also wore white hats and spelled out peace in their school field.
UK: St. James's Church of England School. They held training for all 120 staff on peace and Peace One Day. They held assemblies and had POD featured in a fair trade café. They also sent cards and messages to local Face to Faith schools.
Indonesia, Jakarta: Smp Labschool Kebayoran. They held a two hour peace parade that involved 40 teachers and 686 students. Students dressed up in costumes reflecting the different religions in Indonesia.
Mexico, Monterrey: Tec Campus Cumbres High school of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. The Face to Faith students handed out white ribbons from 7:30am – 10:30 am. People wrote one promise of peace each on their ribbons. They held a vow of silence to observe those whose voices cannot be heard. They also made a human peace sign. Then the vow of silence was broken symbolically by the whole school's singing of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance".
Pakistan: Over 1100 students participated in standing up for Peace. They drew pictures illustrating a more peaceful society and took part in an interfaith art event.