Archive for the ‘Community Event’ Category

South Sudan Plants First Peace Pole!

Monday, October 9th, 2017
On the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2017, the Republic of South Sudan planted her first official Peace Pole in the City Council of Juba.  WPPS Peace Representative Mussie Hailu of Ethiopia organized the dedication in the capital city marking the planting of the first Peace Pole in the Republic of South Sudan.
The official ceremony was presided over by the Mayor of Juba City Council Hon. Stephen Wan Michael, religious leaders and other officials and representatives of the communities.

Mussie Hailu, standing to the right of Peace Pole, with South Sudanese officials.

 
Early in the year, Mussie who is also Regional Director of the United Religions Initiative in Africa (URI-Africa) signed an agreement with WPPS to work in partnership to promote a culture of peace in Africa through the universal peace prayer  May Peace Prevail on Earth.
 
The Mayor appreciated the effort of URI-Africa & WPPS in promoting peaceful co-existence and he said that peace initiative of the two organizations is very much needed more than ever in South Sudan. The Mayor also expressed his gratitude to URI-Africa and WPPS for dedicating and planting the first peace pole in the republic of South Sudan.
 
On the same occasion, URI – Africa facilitated the City of Juba to become a member organization of Mayors for Peace International based in Hiroshima and also fostered a working partnership between the City of Juba and the UN-Habitat/UNEP Regional Office for Africa. 
 
May Peace be in South Sudan
May Peace Prevail On Earth

International Day of Peace at the Sacramento State Capitol – USA

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

September 23rd, 2017

The International Day of Peace event was hosted by The United Nations Sacramento Chapter President, Kate Van Buren on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, California.  Local peace builders and organizations gathered to celebrate this occasion in the spirit of peace and goodwill in the very heart of California.
As part of the opening welcome, volunteer WPPS Peace Representative, Major Reneé Marie, spoke about the universal message of hope and prayer for peace, “May Peace Prevail On Earth” to attendees at the Peace Day Celebration.

WPPS Peace Representative, Major Reneé Marie

 

Following the welcome speeches, Fumi Johns-Stewart and Major Reneé Marie presented the World Peace Flag Ceremony honoring all sovereign nations by invoking the World Peace Prayer as participants placed the corresponding flag cards around the Peace Pole.  Participants held hands in a moment of silence to conclude the ceremony while speaking the Universal Message of hope for Peace, May Peace Prevail On Earth in unison, three times.  It was a very moving community event.

Peace was sent to all sovereign nations on every continent around the world.

 

Peace Builders gather for a group photo with the flags of every nation around the Peace Pole.

 

The Sacramento Chapter of the U.N. led our Peace Walk which concluded the celebration honoring The International Day of Peace.

Photos by Brendan Woolley

World Peace Prayer Society Brings It All Together in Washington DC – USA for IDP

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

As part of The World Peace Prayer Societies participation in numerous International Day of Peace 2017 events, Jim Dugan, Manager of The World Peace Sanctuary in New York, presented a United States Flag Ceremony on the steps of the Lincoln Monument in Washington DC as a highlight of the “March to Restore Civility” created by Ken Nwadike and the Free Hugs Project. This is the same spot that Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have A Dream “ speach. Speakers from varied backgrounds included Sargent Tommy Norman who is a Positive Police Practices Specialist from the North Little Rock PD along with other nationally known Police Officers, Native American Activist Eryn Wise, Daryl Davis (African American Activist who built bridges with Ku Klux Klan members), International Peace Educator Dr. Arthur Romano, Bobby Seale (Founder  of the Black Panther Party) and many many others. The US Flag Ceremony included the US Territories and the Indigenous Unity Flag.

L to R, Jim Dugan and Sally Damon. Photo from C-SPAN

You can watch the entire event, all the speakers and Flag Ceremony here on the C-SPAN website. C-SPAN broadcast the entire rally (the Flag Ceremony is at 1 hour and 6 minutes in part 1):
https://www.c-span.org/video/?434436-1/march-civility-rally-part-1
https://www.c-span.org/video/?434436-101/march-civility-rally-part-2
Here is a short video on the event and the featured speakers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkjnSJE-aPg

Atlanta celebrates International Day of Peace – Georgia – USA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

WPPS Peace Representative Andrea Kay Smith from Atlanta, Georgia, USA took part in an International Day of Peace event which took place at the local Atlanta Public Library.  The event was part of the Libraries for Peace initiative which will become an annual project.

Andrea shared a booth to highlight the many peace initiatives in Atlanta including Atlanta Peace Trails, a program that maps Peace Poles and Peace Monuments in Atlanta http://www.atlantapeacetrails.com, World Peace Trails and her own peace program, Partnerships in Peace.  The Peace Pole carries the peace message in  English, Creole, Swahili & Farsi.
 
May peace be in Atlanta

A “Celebration of Peace” at Connecticut Valley Hospital, Connecticut – USA

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
On Tuesday, September 19th, Jim Dugan of WPPS was the Keynote Speaker at two gatherings at Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH). Other speakers in addition to Jim were Imam Mohammad Hidara, The Reverend Rafael Torres and Rabbi Dr. Marshal Press along with top Hospital Administrators.
CVH is a State run hospital treating individuals with mental illness. Jim’s first address was given in the maximum security Whiting Forensic Division and the second address was delivered in the Yerbury Chapel, both on the Hospital grounds and delivered to the patients that reside at the Hospital. After the two heartfelt gatherings, Jim took part in the Re-dedication of the Hospital’s six sided Peace Pole. This was Jim Dugan’s forth time to be invited to be the Keynote Speaker at CVH’s yearly IDP events for their patients. As a gift from WPPS to CVH, Jim brought a butterfly bush that was in full bloom and it will be planted at the front entrance to Whiting.

Children’s Peace Festival at The World Peace Sanctuary, Wassaic, NY – USA

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

On Sunday, September 17th The World Peace Sanctuary hosted a Children’s Peace Festival for the Trillig Movement and produced by Jim Dugan and Jules Lamore of WPPS. The event brought together the Youth Art Peace Pole Project and other peace art projects, nature, bells with Doug Martin and a World Peace Flag Ceremony. It was a beautiful day to celebrate the IDP with our future leaders and we also released a young Northern Water Snake to the delight of the children present.

 

16th Annual Vigil 4 Peace & Ecology – International Day of Peace – New York City – USA

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

The 16th annual Vigil 4 Peace & Ecology hosted by Susana Bastaricca brought together artists, musicians, dancers, and the United Nations NGO community for a day of celebration in Central Park. From flamenco and butoh dance to group meditation, the event provided an open environment for the greater NYC community to interact within an event parallel to the International Day of Peace.

 

 

The day concluded with a World Peace flag ceremony coordinated by Rev. Deborah Moldow, who had honored Susana Bastaricca with a certificate of commemoration of her service to community-­‐building and spreading the message MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH, naming her as the latest Peace Representative within the World Peace Prayer Society community.

 

Student Observance of the International Day of Peace – United Nations – New York – USA

Friday, September 15th, 2017

The United Nations hosted its annual Student Observance of the International Day of Peace honoring the message of the TOGETHER campaign – safety and dignity for all. The event began with an outdoor moment of silence with a ceremonial ringing of the garden’s bell by Secretary General Antonio Guterres, which was complimented by a display of nations flags, compliments of the World Peace Prayer Society, held with pride by an international array of students. Honorable guests including S.G. Guterres and Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake then filed into Conference Room 4, welcoming valuable discussions of the Sustainable Development Goals, and hope for a diplomatic future amongst nations, including their leaders and their people. Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall offered a stunning testimony to the power of small grassroots efforts in addressing political voices including the pressing issue of our disruption of natural life and the impacts of our collective actions on the climate.

Students presented their own projects to address global issues. From Mater Day (New Jersey) school’s online tool kit to pursue peace in education, to Roots and Shoots, to the international Peace Crane Project, the passionate testimonies of the youth flooded the room with hope and a sense of forward-­‐motion toward a progressive global community. Musical guests (Omnia and Leila) Hegazy gifted attendees with stunning harmonies to original songs of belonging, home, and strength rooted in shared humanity.

We were joined via camera with the United Nations HQ in Bogota, Colombia, who offered stories of peace efforts within the country in the aftermath of a generation-­‐long civil war. Refugee students Saja Almogalli and Wendo Mbilizi presented personal stories of perseverance through struggle, change, and cultural boundaries. They then presented the peace bell, created from melted weapons of war, courtesy of the World Peace Prayer Society, which was rung, followed by a moment of silence, during which time the message “MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH” was present on the screens visible to the world.

Following this conference, members of the World Peace Prayer Society, Civil Society, and students filled the United Nations Church Center for even more presentations by youth of Vermont, who gathered under an image with the message “Vermont Youth UNITE Together For Peace.” Presentations centered on racial violence and prejudice visible and invisible in our modern world. The youth then facilitated a World Peace Flag Ceremony alongside Rev. Deborah Moldow with use of the flags provided by the World Peace Prayer Society. Youth Representative to the United Nations Brandon Perdomo played variations of the uplifting theme of “Chariots of Fire,” as attendees including members of the NGO community raised their flags in unity for wishes of global peace and harmony.

Little Artists for Peace – Peace Pals International – Cuiabá, Brazil

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

When I heard about the Annual Peace Pals International Art Exhibition and Awards project I immediately thought of the many children in Brazil, my native country, and in England where I live, which I would like to invite to this wonderful initiative. We cannot be neutral in the face of the great need for peace in the world and this would be a great opportunity for children not only to participate in a contest but to get in touch with the PEACE theme.

Then, after getting in touch with the project, I planned to gather “Little Artists for Peace”. That would be the name of my work groups and I started my contribution with this significant project, which has Art as an ally.

As I had planned a trip to Brazil, I saw the opportunity to work with children from the school Escola Municipal de Educação Básica Maria Tomich Monteiro da Silva (EMEB), in the city of Cuiabá, Brazil. Teacher Vania Campos is a dedicated education professional, who has stood out for making a difference in the classroom. I contacted her, who immediately accepted the challenge.

The school has as Director the Teacher Maria Estevina Mendes de Souza, a young educator who runs the institution, with almost 400 students (according to the school sense of 2016) with a lot of competence and affection. Maria Estevina authorized the accomplishment of my work in the school institution.

The theme for this year’s contest is “Nature for Everyone – Loving the Earth”, and after following the initial directions of the project, the children made their individual drawings, but in a united way, exchanging ideas, talking to each other about the theme. It was a wonderful day!

When we started the conversation about the drawings, the children showed a lot of interest in knowing the work of the winners of previous years, drawings of children from all over the world, so even in school was having other activities that prevented the organization of a more formal exhibition, We present the drawings for the students, with improvised form.

I believe in art as a transforming expression, as a form of aesthetic expression capable of educating critical thinking for the construction of another reality from an existing reality.

Its importance is made by being essentially human. To bet on an education through art is, first and foremost, to choose to bring to the educational environment what we have most essential: the capacity to create and recreate. Therefore, art can be seen as a form of language of strong pedagogical character where the child expresses him/herself to speak about the world and to the world. It is a bearer of meaning, an expression of thought that precedes a practice.

In this way, artistic expression, allowing the dialogue between the real life and the desired life, can nourish and strengthen the desire for change, for a better world.

All drawings must contain, in addition to the name and age of the author, the message “May Peace Prevail On Earth”, written by him/herself.

After finishing the drawings, we talked a little more about the activity and the message that should convey. Some children asked about the details of the contest, others said they liked to draw, but what I felt most important in developing the project was the fact that every child was able to express the importance of being there, participating in something in the name of PEACE.

Sonia Palma
Nuneaton – England.
July 2017.

Rotarians Plant Peace Pole in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – 2017

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

San Miguel de Allende is often referred to as the Heart of Mexico.  It is an old colonial town with a 600 year old history.  As a UNESCO World Heritage City, San Miguel de Allende is proud of it’s history, cobblestone lanes and traditional architecture.

On a bright summer day in San Miguel a historic Peace Pole dedication took place on August 2nd in the local Park Juarez.

Tom Snider, Peace Coordinator of the English speaking Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende Midday spearheaded the project and formed a partnership with the Spanish speaking Rotario San Miguel bringing the two cultures together in this remarkable endeavor.  The event was in the planning for the past two years with fund raising activities and negotiations with the city of San Miguel to obtain all the permits necessary to install the Peace Pole in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 3 meters tall peace pole was crafted out of cantera stone in keeping with the strict regulations of the Heritage Site.  The peace message was carved on the stone in English, Spanish and the native languages of Otomi and Nahuatl and adorned by braille and Mexican sign language at the base.  The Rotary logo was also carved at the base to honor the efforts of all the Rotarians that contributed toward this project.

The dedication event was started with words of prayer and blessings offered by the native Otomi and Nahuatl elders followed by a number of speeches by Soledad Sanchez, Rotary District Representative, President Fred Collins of the English speaking Rotary Midday, President Alberto Carbajo of the Spanish speaking Rotary Club of San Miguel and other community leaders who were came to celebrate the occasion.

After the unveiling of the Peace Pole, a World Peace Flag Ceremony was presented by Fumi Johns Stewart, Director of WPPS and Patricia Ann Talley, Peace Representative of WPPS in Zihuatanejo, Mexico who came to attend the event.  Youths carried the flags of the world while all in attendance gathered around the Peace Pole to send their wishes for peace to prevail in every country on earth with great enthusiasm.

After the Flag Ceremony, youth and adults alike joined as one heart and one mind in a Peace Walk which led from the park to the Jardin center of town.  The walk was led by a Nahuatl elder, youth and other enthusiastic community members who carried the flags of the world while repeating the message, May Peace Prevail On Earth and in many countries around the world.  The walk ended at the world renown La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, which is the current parish church of the City. 

Closing speeches were presented at the front steps of the church to conclude this memorable event by Rotarians, members of Pax Cultura and representatives of the Catholic, Muslim and Jewish Faiths.

With the planting of this magnificent Rotary Peace Pole in San Miguel, a huge seed was planted in the Heart of Mexico.  There are now plans to encourage other Rotary Clubs throughout Mexico to join the Peace Pole network.  Thank you Rotarians for your dedication to Peace through Service!

May peace be in Mexico
May Peace Prevail On Earth