Archive for April, 2014

International Catholic Students at Johanneskolleg Dormitory plants Peace Pole in Munich

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

April 8th 2014

The Munich Catholic Students`Dormitory “Johanneskolleg” (part of Missio international) planted a peace pole together with current and former students from 42 nations, such as China, Peru, Indonesia, Syria, Nepal and Australia.

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The Management of the Dormitory read about the peace pole project during a recent inter-religious Peace Prayer in Munich  and ordered a peace pole on the next day. Two Catholic priests blessed the pole with holy water, students representing each continent said prayers. Sister Francesca mentioned the acupuncture comparison, ie; peace poles are like acupuncture for the world.

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In the Dormitory’s Entrance hall there were congratulations mail from former students for the new peace pole. Afterwards everybody went inside where the young students represented their respective countries not only with flags but also gorgeous finger food.

One could tell the students are proud about their dormitory in the heart of Munich`s University Area. 

May Peace Prevail with all Students in this world.

The 20th Kwanju World Peace & Prayer Ceremony – Kwanju – KOREA

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

April 4, 2014

The 20th memorial Kwanju World Peace & Prayer Ceremony (WPPC) was held in Kwanju, (referred to as “the city of light”) in Korea on April 4th, 2014.  The host of the event was IN-AE-DON-SAN, the social welfare group of Korea.  The representative of the group, Mr. Kim In Jae and Peace Representative of The World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS) in Korea has been leading the Kwanju-WPPC as a community grand event to include social welfare and peace activities.

Mrs. Masami Saionji, Chairperson of The World Peace Prayer Society and Mr. Hiroo Saionji, President of The World Peace Prayer Society attended the event to express their support for the long standing commitment of IN-AE-DON-SAN.  More than 300 people gathered to pray for world peace, including over 30 supporters who traveled from Japan.

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Mrs. Masami Saionji expressed her deep gratitude for the support of the World Peace Prayer Movement by Mr. and Mrs. Kim In Jae and the IN-AE-DON-SAN group.  Mrs. Saionji expressed her desire for Korea and Japan to make a strong bond to create world peace and to walk that path together.  Mr. Hiroo Saionji mentioned his plan regarding the launch of a new declaration that will “light fire” to the consciousness and innovation of individuals for the spring-head of Peace.  He called for the support and participation of everyone.

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After the performance of drumming and children dancing, the WPPC proceeded with a colorful procession of flags, as 194 participants volunteered as flag bearers to proudly carry and wave a flag to represent each country around the world.

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Mr. Kim In Jae, a great supporter of the World Peace Prayer Movement, has been leading the Movement in Korea for more than 40 years! The World Peace Prayer Society pays deep respect for his love of humanity.

Peace Pole to Afghanistan initiative – AFGHANISTAN

Monday, April 7th, 2014

JANUARY, 2014

A 167th Airlift Wing crew transported a Peace Pole from Martinsburg, W.Va., to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on a C-5 Galaxy in January-2014.

Every step of the way, it’s been a matter of the heart, and of the children’s love.

The issue of a peaceful world for children has been pivotal for us at the Communities of Peace Foundation since our dedication of a Peace Pole for the Pentagon in September of 2000.  At that event, in the Secretary of the Army’s Conference Room, a little eight-year old girl stated her intention of starting a long narrow  children’s peace quilt that would contain the children’s love and their feelings of what “peace on earth” would be like for them.  (It would follow a similar model made mostly by adults and conceived by James Twyman.)

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8 year old Brynn Stalvey at Pentagon Ceremony

That peace quilt, The Children’s Cloth of Many Colors-(CCMC), is now over 1/3 mile long, containing sections from thousands of children in 32 countries, including Afghanistan.  Our recent gift of a Peace Pole to the government of Afghanistan has involved many children and young people, a gift of a section of the CCMC, the US military, the state department, military public affairs people, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington DC and the US Embassy in Kabul.

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CCMC current size—Children’s Cloth of Many Colors

Kind hearts have made each step possible.  The Communities of Peace Foundation has been sponsoring international exchange programs with local children (Fauquier County, VA) and Afghan children for ten years or so.   Last September, after attending the United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, Ms. Gerry Eitner, president of the Communities of Peace Foundation resolved to up the ante, and to interact with the government of Afghanistan.  The country is a focal area now, with the world’s attention on the subject of war and peace.  When all other things have been tried, can we somehow create a solution that will mean a peaceful world for our children? Ms. Eitner reconnected with a longtime Afghan friend who had just returned to the US from working with the Afghan High Council for Peace.  She explained that this was indeed a government agency, dedicated to creating internal peace in Afghanistan.  She connected Ms. Eitner with both the High Council people and the officials from the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington DC.

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Presentation of CCMC section to Afghan Embassy officials

With these connections, they set up a two-stage gift to the Afghan High Council for Peace.  The first was a gift of a section of the CCMC made by 75 fifth-graders at the local PB Smith Elementary School.  This was presented by the children to the Afghan embassy officials this past December, then personally by Ms. Eitner to the visiting Chairman of the High Council, in an hour-long meeting.  At this meeting, she described the next stage gift of the Peace Pole, which would arrive at the Bagram base in Afghanistan in a US military plane.  Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani graciously accepted the two gifts, and committed to displaying them in a prominent place in Afghanistan after the April elections.

Peace pole safekeeping at Bagram military base

Peace pole safekeeping at Bagram military base

The Peace Pole was flown to Afghanistan in January-2014, initiated by a military pilot who has been a longtime collaborator of Communities of Peace.  He involved the 167th Air Wing of the Air National Guard, who were most gracious in their assistance.   Ms. Eitner contacted a sergeant at Bagram who had been communicating with the fifth-graders and asked him if he would protect the Peace Pole until it could be transferred.  Again, he was most gracious and helpful.  He assisted in the transfer to its current location in the offices of the Afghan High Council for Peace.  The ongoing story has initiated the interest of Pentagon officials.

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Loading peace pole on C-5 plane

The High Council would like to involve the women and children of Afghanistan in the upcoming dedication of the Peace Pole.  They have invited Ms. Eitner to come for the dedication –  Ms. Gerry Eitner is currently engaged in conversations with them about how Communities of Peace might play a part in this next stage.

MAY PEACE PREVAIL IN AFGHANISTAN! 
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH!

Gerry Eitner, president
Communities of Peace Foundation
www.communitiesofpeace.org

Peace Pole Planted – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

March 8, 2014

The peace activities commenced with the initiation of the caring & sharing club at a local school. With the children of the school, there were different activities  undertaken which included:

  1. Balloons for Joy where by seed money was provided to the students to buy balloons- the students used to sell the balloons and from the proceeds they would replenish their stock of balloons while with the rest they would buy toys for children being treated for Cancer.
  2. Poles for peace whereby 100 small wooden poles were to be distributed among those who had played a role for bringing about peace in the region or those who need to do so and to plant Peace poles in prominent places with the peace prayer in different languages.

The activities came to a halt after attacks on human-rights defenders and schools by the non-state actors- The school management and the parents were worried that these activities would make the school and the children a target and hence the caring & sharing club came to an end but before that a number of poles were distributed to individuals as per the criteria and Peace poles were planted on the Pak Afghan Border at Torkham, the historic Michni Post overlooking the Torkham crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan. All these activities were given a lot of coverage by the print and electronic media both local and international.

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After almost 8 years we were able to plant a peace pole on the international women day at the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in collaboration with the EVAW/G (Ending Violence against Women & Girls) alliance KP/FATA and members of the parliament. The ceremony was attended by the alliance members, parliamentarians, members of the civil society and delegates from United Nations and International humanitarian agencies. It is important that this pole was among the peace poles that we had received from Japan thanks to the Goi Peace Foundation

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We are exploring the possibility of more peace poles in collaboration with the civil society organizations

Peace Group-Peshawar

May Peace Prevail on Earth- Ameen

“May Peace Prevail On Earth” — A peace movement in Pokhara – NEPAL

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

March 11th, 2014

After 10 years of conflict in Nepal, (2) Peace Poles were planted in the city of Pokhara-Nepal.

Nepal went through a long civil war (1998-2006). The peace message through the Peace Pole Project initiative brought hope to the development of Nepal.

The Peace Poles were inaugurated on March 11th, 2014,  in memory of the 3rd Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

“Peace Friends” an active peace group from the city of Sapporo located in Japan donated the Peace Poles to the NGO-(Non-Governmental Organization) Tsubomi-Gakko Pokhara, which is an organization committed  to helping the poor children in Nepal.

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http://tsubomigakko.org/

The President of “Peace Friends”  Mr. Dilip BK Sunar,  took the initiative to ensure that the Peace Poles were planted in two specific locations, as follows:

1st Peace Pole planted at Gaighat, Baidam-6, in Pokhara, Nepal

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2nd Peace Pole planted at Amarsingh Chowk-11, in Pokhara, Nepal

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The local civic group referred to as the “United Club” have volunteered to steward the Peace Poles.

The Peace Poles bear the peace message,  “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in the following languages: Nepal, Japanese, Chinese, English