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4th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and the Peace Walk: “Talk & Walk to Prevent Violent Extremism”

MAY 2017

Seoul, Republic of Korea – Today’s global community is facing widespread extremism that accompanies violence with radical views, which has become a great concern on stability and prosperity of the globe. National governments around the world have responded to the contemporary issues of extremism by domestic policies and international cooperation on security and education. Along with the national efforts, international NGOs are organizing campaigns to raise public awareness on the need for peace and tolerance and further to prevent violent extremism.

At 85 cities in 43 countries including Beijing, New York, Paris, Seoul, Sydney, and Tokyo on May 25th, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO under the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI), co-hosted ‘4th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and the Peace Walk’ with the International Peace Youth Group(IPYG) and subtitled the event ‘Walk &Talk to Prevent Violent Extremism’ as a peace culture campaign to address the issue.

In his congratulatory speech, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL called for global cooperation on peacebuilding, saying, “Who can bring about peace while we stand still? By putting an end to war, a world of peace can be established.” He also stressed the need for civic participation to “make an end to war and establish a world of peace as a legacy for future generations, which is the very task of every one of our global family.”

In the event, through conversations on values and beliefs the participants have, the time for reflection is given to understand how their beliefs are internalized based on the peaceful values and how their actions can follow in accordance with their faiths. Sara Florian, graduate student who takes part in this event, said, “My country Guatemala suffered from internal conflict for about 30 years. I grew up listening to the stories of the war from my parents and the devastation is still widespread in many parts of the country as psychological and physical damage even today, 20 years after the end of the conflict. We need to take steps forward to transforming our ideas into communication for a world of peace in the future. That way, we can heal the scars the war left. I hope that the time for reflection like this event can continue to develop the pursuit of peace in our times.”

Hope to achieve peace and promote peaceful co-existence was furthermore stressed through sticky-notes performance organized by the IPYG. Three thousand sticky-notes containing peaceful messages have been posted by the participants and covered the wall filled with tragic scenes of battlefield with hope for peace, symbolizing their will to achieve peace through their own hands.

At the end of the event, the participants gathered together for a peace walk. Duhyen Kim, Director of IPYG, emphasized, “IPYG has been working with intergovernmental groups, NGOs, and youth associations globally undertaking projects concerning youth development and peace education. The youth of today are awakening, I myself, have witnessed the world as it is, and do not accept this as my reality. We are made for better things, the world can become a better place.” The peace walk traces back to 2013 when the Declaration of World Peace drafted by HWPL with a slogan of ‘Leave peace as a legacy to future generations’. In this year, the annual event is expected to be held from May 19th to May 28th.

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Youth leadership & Peace

MAY 2017

Make Young Way

Saibaan is an organization in Pakistan working for the regional development and equal and sustainable development for all people. The organization recently organized the Youth Leadership & Peace Development Program for the development of peace and strengthening youth’s sovereignty and leadership. The program was held with the understanding that a good mindset and leadership are crucial for the youth, who are the future, to live in a better world.

The program was held for five days with 20 students aged 14 to 17. The program offered five lectures, which were all led by the CEO of Saibaan, Mr. Sahibzada Jawad Alfaizi. After the lectures, the participants had discussions and presentations on what they felt. In particular, the last day’s lecture was “Make Young Way,” which was prepared with the IPYG to illustrate why the youth need to carry out peace activities. The session included explanations on the sovereignty of youth and the sacrifices they make in wars. Those who joined the program hoped for peace even more and they were motivated to actively work for peace. The students who completed the program received graduation certificates and those who prepared the program hope that the youth who participated will grow into great leaders who lead the effort to achieve peace knowing its importance.

 Mr. Alfaizi, who supervised the program, said the students participated with much enthusiasm and that the lectures will continue in the future to help shape the mindset of youth regarding the value of peace. Saibaan will continue to instill the importance of peace to the Pakistan youth through these opportunities. The organization believes that ultimately, these activities of youth will come together to make the world a peaceful place.

 

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School of India, “The flower of peace has blossomed.”

MAY 2017

The students of India who are putting peace into action, after learning about peace in an IPYG peace lecture

After receiving a very profound peace lecture during the months of April-May, the HWPL peace academy of India spread a culture of peace to the entire region of India.

The starting point of HWPL peace education was this special lecture, and it was an opportunity for students to understand the concept of peace and personally experience the necessity of peace. The events began with a special performance that the students had prepared, followed by a lecture on “Why are the activities of HWPL and the IPYG needed in this fulfillment of peace?” The purpose of this lecture was to inform the students of the severity of war, the meaning of peace, and the need for peace.

 

Indian Heights School

Peace lectures began on April 11th, starting at Indian Heights School. Ms. Anchal Sharma, the peace education leader who attended this day, touched the hearts of all participants of the event by expressing, “I once again felt the importance of peace in our lives and will participate in many activities with the IPYG. I realize that my role as a peace education leader is very important and I am confident that if I make the effort and work with the IPYG, we can establish a world of peace.”

Kaushalya World School

Following this, special peace lectures were also held at Kaushalya World School on April 17th. The participants of this event praised the fact that the event was carried out in good order, and that many attractions were also provided.

In the closing statement of the event, peace education leading lecturer Ms. Anjali Mittal concluded, “HWPL has become a model of peace by spreading peace work in such a short period of time, and it is truly impressive and deserves to be acknowledged. It is a great honor for Kaushalya World School to become a peace academy, and I am anticipating how it will contribute in fulfilling peace through a constructive way for the remainder of this year.”

Samsara, The World Academy

On April 21, a special peace lecture was also held at Samsara, World Academy. On this day, an 8th grade student who attended the special lecture surprised all of the participants by stating, “I have come to realize that peace should not be only fulfilled physically, but peace should also be fulfilled mentally. We must prohibit all kinds of violence, and we must not allow ourselves to just stand by and watch violence happen, not even trying to stop it. Through this seminar, I was able to realize the true meaning of peace.”

Savitri Bai Phule Balika Inter College

The special peace lecture commenced once again in Savitri Bai Phule Balika Inter College, and this time, a peace walk took place after the lecture. The blistering 40-degree weather did not put a damper on the passion these participants had in regards to peace. After the event, peace education leading lecturer Ms. Neelanjana Chakravorty aspired, “HWPL and the IPYG reminded my students and me of how peace needs to be taught. As a peace education lecturer, I will continue to carry out peace activities.”

Lakshmibai College, University of Delhi

On April 26th, a special peace lecture was held specifically for college students at Lakshmibai College, University of Delhi. The president of Lakshmibai College, Ms. Pratyush Vatsala expressed, “I believe that this kind of peace lecture should be targeted at an audience of college students first. It is needed even more in this era where war, conflicts, and structural violence exist. Thank you for allowing us to think about peace.” The students who attended the event on this day signed up for the IPYG and expressed their intention to cooperate altogether.

 

Hamdard Public School

On May 3rd, about 500 students participated in the special lecture at Hamdard Public School. President of Hamdard Public School, Mr. Zubair Ahmed Khan sent forth a message of peace by saying, “I am delighted to have a peace lecture held at our school. Because of the sincerity of Chairman Lee, our school has become one with the peace academy of HWPL, and today is the day where we have learned about peace and have become messengers of peace. The youth are the ones who can bring about change and put peace into action, and achieving world peace is our mission for this generation.” The special peace lecture on this day was concluded by various performances and a peace walk, and the hearts of those who prepared this event to express peace drew the focus of many people.

Fortune World School

In the event held at Fortune World School on May 4th, peace education leading lecturer Ms. Mansi Sharma stated, “Through this event, our view has broadened. We have learned that these peace activities should not only be spread within our country (India) and to other specific regions, but it must be spread out to every country. In addition, in order to maintain peace all around the world, we who are living on this earth must work altogether.” This peace lecture has provided an opportunity for the participants to change their perception of peace.

 

Jaypee Public School (Green)

In the event held on May 6th in Jaypee Public School (Green), a student who participated expressed, “I am so happy and thankful to have participated in this event. I have made the determination to put in all my effort for peace, and have realized that peace is very critical for us, and that through it, we will be able to cease wars. First, through this peace education, I myself have to make the effort to become a person of peace.” In this event, the parents of the students participated as well, creating a very fruitful peace lecture.

 

Modern School Noida

On May 10th, a peace lecture was held at Modern School of Noida. On this day, about 500 students participated and a special performance also drew the attention of many participants. Diverse performances of songs and dances were prepared, and this was a time where many hearts were touched by the preparation of this peace lecture. President of Modern School Noida, Mr. Neeraj Awasthy, stated, “We have the heart to fulfill peace. Peace is the only path that can spread harmony all over the world.”

There were a total of 9 schools in India that hosted peace lectures, and about 2,065 students and school officials participated. Many schools in India participated in these peace lectures and have become one in heart. These events surprised many people, and as a result, have become the opportunity for many organizations and schools to feel motivated to work together with the IPYG.

All HWPL peace academies are in the process of preparing peace education due to these events, and have expressed their intention to continue cooperating with HWPL peace education and the activities of the IPYG so that the students, the leaders of the future, will become messengers of peace.

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Together we are youth pioneers of peace

MAY 2017

Starting today we will change the world

Since 2013, the IPYG has been carrying out an online peace project called “Speak Up Your Voice” which is organized to build diverse and peaceful youth community around the globe through promoting active interactions between youth from various countries and cultures. “Speak Up Your Voice” provides the platform for the youth to have discussion on the ways to make a better society through their own voice. At the end of last month, European Youth Community, one of the leading youth organizations in East-central Ukraine, also participated in the project and co-hosted the event with the IPYG members in Korea. During the event, Alevtyna Chuprina, the chairperson of EYC, shared valuable stories of Ukrainian youth communities and current policies of Ukraine on Ukrainian students. Below is the interview with Alevtyna after the event.

 


Q1. What motivated you to work for peace and harmony in your country?

-       I was raised by my parents in a belief that people have to be respectful to each other, be truthful and helpful to each other. My friends and relatives support same way of thinking.

Q2. What is the priority in the agenda of youth policy in Ukraine?

-       Giving good education to young people.

Q3. Please tell us one method you would like to suggest to educate youth the values of peace, harmony, and tolerance.

-      The methods of non-formal education are ones of the most valuable. We conduct workshops and seminars for youth where we together with participants take part in different activities so that young people can practice the knowledge which they get from us.

Q4. Could you introduce "Speak Up Your Voice" to other Ukrainian youth? Please tell us about your experience freely.

-       The idea of the project is nice and it’s good to share it with other organizations. When we planned to take part in this project we gathered some Ukrainian young people together and made an agenda of how it would be done. While we were drawing pictures and preparing for taking photos we had interesting conversations with our youth about human rights and peace-building.

Q5. What will you do to build peaceful society in your community and in the world?

-       I can keep doing what I already do: create and conduct educational projects for youth, promote peace-building, respect and obeying human rights.

Q6. What activities or projects do you further hope to organize in Ukraine with IPYG members in Korea?

-       It would be nice to have intercultural event in Ukraine where Korean and Ukrainian cultures would be presented.

Q7. After your participation in "Speak Up Your Voice" with IPYG members in Korea, what message would you like to give them?

Living in different parts of the world we both want one thing – peace and harmony in all the countries. Also it’s important to remember your history and keep the culture. And Ukraine always welcomes citizens of South Korea.

 


The event was an important platform to exchange challenges faced by youth in both countries. Both IPYG and EYC were sincerely motivated and ready to seek opportunities to provide young people with educational activities, through which they can learn the values of harmony, equality, and peace.

At the end of the event, there was a truly touching moment for both sides to recognize how much they have become open and welcoming to each other. Together, they promised to continuously support the valuable works for youth in Ukraine and Korea.

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Peace sports festival

MAY 2017

Peace is built through sports

Trust for Community Development wanted to hold a sporting event for the low-income children in Pakistan where they can experience and build peace by becoming one with each other through sports. As they wished, on April 16th, TCD held a peace sports festival at Aga Khan Gymkhana in Karachi with the support of Mr. Sardar Mohammad Buksh Khan Meher, the Minister of Sports in Sindh.

At this festival, about 100 low-income children competed against each other in various sporting events such as American football, 100m race, volleyball and more. The staff members of TCD and students wore the IPYG

T-shirts that they themselves made and volunteered at the event to make sure that every sporting event went well. At the end of all the events, the invited guests that attended on this day awarded prizes to the winners and commended them on their efforts.

This festival emphasized how important it is for the teenagers to have a healthy body and mind through sports rather than to depend on drugs. Also, as they cooperated with each other to win in the games, an atmosphere of peace was created. The children that participated in this festival said that they could feel peace and freedom during the events and hoped to live in a place where they can always enjoy freedom and peace. After the event was over, the members of TCD presented IPYG T-shirts as a gift to the students who volunteered at the event, and said they are planning various activities where the youth can build peace in their region.

The IPYG will continue to make efforts with TCD to bring peace to Karachi, Pakistan by informing many youth and low-income people about the importance of peace and encouraging them to participate in the peace network.

 

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Youth Leaders Discuss the Future in Hungary

MAY 2017

Hungarian Youth Speak Forum 2017, Budapest

The Hungarian Youth Speak Forum 2017 was hosted by AEISEC in Budapest, Hungary Friday, May 5, 2017. The Youth Speak Forum focused on youth and youth leadership. Currently, youth take up over 50% of the global population. That makes today's generation of youth the largest one in history. As AIESEC explained in the program, developing youth leaders today not only allows us to impact the world together, but unlocks the enormous potential for building a better future for all. The Forum was based on discussions, outcomes and studies from the Global Youth Speak Forum and AIESEC Youth Action Summit which were held earlier.

The first part of the program featured keynote speeches. A variety of speakers presented ways for reimagining solutions to global challenges and how they strive for reducing inequalities. IPYG presented the peace activities it runs as a global youth group and their vision moving towards an equal society. IPYG's keynote was well received by an attentive and interested audience. The keynote session was followed by 90-minute workshops that offered participants a chance to learn more deeply about a specific topic and to take pragmatic approaches exploring actionable ideas to design projects.

One of the workshops was dedicated to IPYG's program, which highlighted the importance and necessity of peace education. Participants of the workshop discussed ways to implement peace education at schools in Hungary.

While presenting the outcomes at the end of the workshop, one university student argued that children must be the primary target of peace education, and a carefully designed curriculum must be offered for higher grades including university level afterwards.

The final part of the program was a panel session titled ACTION SPACE with be-novative where four to six panelists directly engaged with the audience. Participants had brainstorming and discussions to generate forward-thinking solutions to specific "how" questions, refining new approaches to global challenges such as inequality, social welfare, female rights, and education inequality. By materializing concrete ideas, the Forum concluded.

Ms. Annamária Horváth, the head of AIESEC Hungary, remarked, "It was a great pleasure to be part of this forum, and it was amazing to see that everything presented and contributed by IPYG was about peace."

IPYG was able to listen to various opinions and take part in the youth discourse in Hungary through the Hungarian Youth Speak Forum 2017. IPYG will continue the global youth interaction, and it looks forward to working together for peace with a wider youth community.

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“Understanding the dynamics of conflict is the best way of learning how to create a more peaceful society.”

MAY 2017

A letter from a Peace Messenger of France

The International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It has worked with many Catholic students in activities concerning peace and social issues. Below is the message of peace from Edouard Pihewa Karoue, International President of the IMCS.

Today, IMCS is made up of around 3,000,000 Catholic students who reflect upon social issues, using Catholic social teaching. IMCS believes that the spirit of openness for friendship with our diverse society is the only way to build a peaceful world where one can care for people and their dignity.

If there is something I have to say, it is to let all of us realize that peace is not an autonomous reality. When we talk about a real peace, we talk about solidarity, human dignity, social justice, equality, respect of human rights, intercultural (faith) dialogue, tolerance, etc. Peace doesn’t come from the quantity of speeches for peace that we make. It comes from the care we have for every human being.

Understanding the dynamics of conflict is the best way of learning how to create a more peaceful society. I am sure that a life of simplicity, respect, truth, justice, love and forgiveness are the central keys to building peace.

We should realizing that “goods” and “cultural differences” (including religion) are two key elements that animate conflicts. These elements should help us to complete an examination of conscience every day. I’m convinced that each one of us has to make a supplementary effort to create a more peaceful community where we live. Being peaceful is not “being silent in order not to offend others”. It is more to challenge ourselves to meet, understand, and learn from others and welcome them and their realities without judging them. It is also a challenging task for us all to look for the common good in all of our small actions and improve our values of sharing.

The younger generations have a central role to play in this because the older generations are already departing. They can build a new society by sharing all the good human values by being lights within their families and friends. I will not invite my fellow young people to build peace. I invite all of us (myself included) to be just, truthful, in solidarity with and welcome to others.

Edouard Pihewa KAROUE

International Movement of Catholic Students

The sincere letter of Edouard Pihewa Karoue ignites peace in the hearts of the IPYG youths. This year, the IPYG will communicate closely with French youth and work together for the better tomorrow as future decision-makers.

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