Archive for the ‘Community Event’ Category

World Peace Flag Ceremony calls for Peace to Prevail – Spokane, Washington – USA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

May peace prevail” were the words attendees repeated the night of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, in the Hemmingson Center.

On Sept. 21 students one by one added a flag to the spiral during the World Peace Flag Ceremony, hosted by Communities for Justice, Pax Christi and One Peace, Many Paths.

 

“So, we’re doing this this night with honoring all of the flags of the nation,” said Hank Broeckling, co-director at One Peace, Many Paths, adding that they started the ceremony six years before.

Broeckling said the purpose of the ceremony is to connect with other people and nations around the world to “rise above the energy of discord, the energy of dissention,” and move beyond that by sharing energy and love with those around the world.

“We really appreciate the joy that you bring by sharing your time tonight to be here to think about how we come together in a time of such divisiveness,” Kristine Hoover, director of the Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies said. “And we think about, locally, the challenges that we’re facing with Freeman [high school], when we think about, globally, the challenges that we’re facing with [North] Korea, and yet we remember that we’re all part of the same community together.”

Hoover added the ceremony was an opportunity to take action and demonstrate “the mosaic of the world that we all belong to.”

Sister Anne Bosserman, from Pax Christi, discussed how two years ago, 194 nations signed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

These goals focused on issues including poverty, hunger, gender equality, clean water, access to energy, education, economic growth, conservation of marine life, desertification, climate change, inequality and many others.

“These are the global goals for 2030, and Spokane is already accomplishing some of them,” Bosserman said, later reading the summary of the goals found in the preamble of the United Nations global goals along with two other speakers.

Before blessing the ground where the flags were placed, a collection basket was brought out to help raise money for victims of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean area.

During the blessing, attendees joined hands in a circle around the space where the flags would be placed while Broeckling gave the blessing.

“I ask you to know that each one of us is a representative of God this night,” Broeckling said during the blessing. “We are the hands and feet of God in this world and that when we come here we bring with us energy and light and love to do our work.”

Broeckling then asked attendees to give their love and light to bless the ground, “to fill it with light and energy, and to sustain it and lift the energy up,” so it can be carried by the flags to the countries around the world.

Before the start of flag presentation, Joan Broeckling, co-director of One Peace, Many Paths, gave a brief history of the ceremony.

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

South Sudan Plants First Peace Pole!

Thursday, September 21st, 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

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

Forikolo school in Sierra Leone dedicates Peace Pole

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

June 4, 2017

WPPS friend Otto Herz of Germany is a great supporter of Peace Poles and the May Peace Prevail On Earth movement. He encouraged Forikolo school in Sierra Leone to plant a Peace Pole with the peace message in English, French, Arabic and German. The  green, white and blue Peace Pole represent colors of the country flag of Sierra Leone.

A huge Peace Pole was dedicated by the school community on the occasion of Otto’s birthday on June 4th.  The inauguration of the Peace Pole was attended by consultant of the President Ernest Bai Korma, the Paramount Chief, the commander of the Army in Lungi,  project manager Abu Mansaray as well as other local dignitaries.