Archive for the ‘Peace Pals’ Category

Peace Pals Art Exhibition Inauguration entitled “Hiroshima” in Hannover, GERMANY

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

August 4, 2015

The exhibition was held in the very impressive Town Hall of Hannover organized by the Japanese-German Friendship Circle of Hannover.

The guests of honor were the Japanese consul of Hamburg:  Mr. Takao Anzawa, Ambassador of Japan for Germany, Ambassador S.E. Takeshi Nakane, from Berlin, Mayor of Hannover, Mr. Thomas Hermann and Vice Chairperson of the Region Hannover, Mrs. Angelika Walther.

Founder andChairperson of German Japanese Friendship Circle Mr Thürnau

Founder andChairperson of German Japanese Friendship Circle Mr Thürnau

The World Peace Prayer Society  was mentioned as guest of honor.

Ambassador Nakane thanked The World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS) for providing the art exhibition.

Dagmar Berkenberg, WPPS  guided Ambassador Nakane to the Art Exhibition.

He looked very carefully at each piece of artwork and was most impressed by a heartfelt letter from a German girl to the children of Hiroshima.

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In their speeches, the German politicians mentioned the importance of Hannover as a town of peace (he also mentioned the enormous refugee issue).  I gave them both Peace Pole fliers afterwards and told them that a town of “peace” needs a Peace Pole.

Mayor of Hanover

Mayor of Hanover

The mayor said he likes the idea and will give it to the Cultural Department.

I handed out origami bookmarks, bearing the message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth” to everyone.

As the town hall attracts hundreds of tourists each day and as the exhibition is well announced (see electronic board), I have no doubt that many people will see it.  The Hannover citizens I spoke too, all agreed that Hannover needs a PEACE POLE.

For 27 years there has been a Youth Exchange going on between Hannover and Hiroshima.

May Peace Prevail with the post-generations of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki victims.

Dagmar Berkenberg, WPPS
Germany

Peace Cranes to Celebrate Sadako Day-Bridgeport, Connecticut-USA

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

August 6, 2015

The City of Bridgeport offers a state of the art after school educational and recreational program in partnership with our community based organizations and the Bridgeport public schools. Over 3,000 children are seen daily with enrichment activities that support school day learning. The program is also offered during the summer at neighborhood schools.

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This specific Lighthouse program is at Black Rock School around the corner from us where Robb and I do our peace work all year round beginning with International Day of Peace activities at the start of school that culminate on September 21st.  This year we are doing a joint celebration and re-dedication of the Peace Poles at Black Rock School and St. Ann Academy, which is right next door.

Not all the children will be attending Black Rock School in the fall so we took this opportunity to plant seeds for Peace Pals International program and The Peace Pole Project—hoping that the children will take the seeds back to their home school.

So this was a Sadako Day celebration and a rehearsal for Peace Day in that we made paper peace cranes, learned how to “sign” May Peace Prevail on Earth and we recognized each of the countries represented in our students with prayers for peace for Mexico, Italy, Puerto Rico, Peru, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Jamaica, Germany, Hungary, Brazil, and Ecuador outdoors around our Peace Pole.

Submitted by: Gail Ostrow

Greater Victoria Peace & Intercultural Celebrations host 2015 Ambassador of Peace Art Exhibition in British Columbia, Victoria-CANADA

Monday, September 28th, 2015

April-2015

This year Greater Victoria Peace and Intercultural Celebrations approached Jules Lamore of Peace Pals International with an application to host the 2015 Ambassador of Peace Art Exhibition.

The children’s artwork from the exhibit has inspired our community and we are enjoying expanding our number of exhibits in unique ways.

​ Our first exhibit was held on April 25th & 26th at the Fourth Annual Creatively United for the Planet Earth Week Festival hosted by ​Creatively United for the Planet.  We had a unique opportunity to display the artwork in the storefront windows along a pathway in a beautiful three- acre garden at the English Inn  located in one of our historical communities called Esquimalt.  The art exhibition became a talking point with the Canadian Peace Initiative and local Sierra Club. Shortly after displaying the children’s artwork, it was noticed that T-shirts that had been donated to the table as a fundraiser had the same peace message, May Peace Prevail on Earth!  The T-shirts were donated by one of our well-known early peace pioneers, Louise Taylor.

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​​Our second exhibit was actually a talking circle with a group of 4th grade students at Brentwood Bay Elementary in our Greater Victoria Community of Central Saanich.  The World Children’s Summit on Peace and Nature held four workshops with four classes in one day. ​The workshop topics were on:  Storytelling, Nature Photography, Music with the Ukulele and Contemplation with the Labyrinth.  As part of the Labyrinth Workshop the children began a conversation about values.  This was introduced with the amazing artwork from children around the world that each piece of artwork had a different value focus.  The children chose artwork that was meaningful to them to introduce as we went around our circle.  They shared the country, the child’s name and the values they recognized.  It started a lively conversation!  The children then made up their own list of values identifying what was important to them in their classroom!  At the end of the day we shared what we experienced in our workshop with the other three classes by creating a simple heart shaped labyrinth.  We let the children choose one piece of artwork to walk with in​to the center of the labyrinth, while reflecting on the artwork they chose.

​Reaching the center they put their artwork into the center heart!  It was stunning​ to see eighty-six children walking through the labyrinth quietly!

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For the month of June our Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch is displaying The Ambassador of Peace Art Exhibit to celebrate June’s World Refugee Day!  They have created a beautiful display as you enter the Children’s area of their Library. 

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The Ambassador of Peace is currently scheduled to be displayed at a storefront gallery at the Fernwood Community Center the August 27th until September 13th, ’15.  This display will compliment the host display called, Puppets for Peace.”  A unique creative project combining another form of art and celebration!  

September 13th will kick off Greater Victoria ‘s 2nd Annual Peace Week Project with a Puppets for Peace Festival.  This is a calendar of peace themed events to nurture a communities focus of attention on peace.   A grassroots campaign to support local peace events with a vision of local schools, organizations and businesses hosting their own events with a willingness to talk about it!  The grand event for September 21st this year will be hosted by the World Children’s Summit on Peace and Nature.  Plans are for this to be Victoria’s final Ambassador of Peace Exhibit.  The World Summit is planning to host guest speakers and entertainment based upon the theme of their workshops!  

Submitted by:  Renee Lindstrom

Hiroshima Peace Webcast Remembering the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

August 6th 2015

Hiroshima Peace Webcast
Remembering the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb

For those of us who pray for world peace the anniversary of the atomic bomb is a day of remembrance and respect.  Members of WPPS in Hiroshima have been organizing an annual event in the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, marking this day, August 6th, for the past 23 years and with the 70th anniversary this year a special extended program and live webcast was organized with the WPPS headquarters in New York.

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The webcast commenced at 8:00 am in front of the atomic bomb dome, one of the only surviving buildings after the attack which remains as a symbol of hope and renewal.  Fumi Johns Stewart, executive director of WPPS welcomed the webcast audience and invited viewers to join in a minute of silence at 8:15 for the ringing of the Peace Bell which marks the exact time the atomic bomb fell on the city.

Across the Motoyasu River on the west side of the Peace Park, an event took place dedicated to the atomic bomb victims and world peace.  The official peace program hosted by the City of Hiroshima began at 8:00am and was attended by Prime Minister Abe along with other Japanese officials.  A record breaking number of participants from over 100 countries witnessed the official memorial ceremony this year to mark the 70th anniversary.  Among honored guests were the families of the Hibakusha, atomic bomb survivors and their relatives. After the ringing of the Peace Bell, a thousand doves were released at the close of the program.

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The World Peace Prayer Society continued the webcast program with peace builders from seven locations around the world who joined in a web conference. Representatives from Scotland, Israel, Egypt, US, Uruguay, Australia and Canada spoke and shared their visions of a peaceful world while reflecting on this significant anniversary.

The highlight of the event was the World Peace Flag Ceremony which invited visitors and guests in the park to carry the flags of every nation to send peace to all regions on Earth.  A special guest, Mr. Stefan Schostok, the Lord Mayor of Hanover, shared his message of peace with us and spoke about a similar program the city of Hanover is hosting for the 70th anniversary.

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Local as well as international visitors in the park volunteered to carry flags during the World Peace Flag Ceremony to send peace to each of the 193 countries on earth.   It was moving to see the large number of youth who had traveled from around the world who stepped up to carry the flags of the world. Many of them spoke to express their prayers and commitment in building a culture of peace.

To close the program, the winners of the Peace Pals Art Awards Ceremony were announced in the four age group categories.  In remembrance of the 70th anniversary, the theme of the 18th annual Peace Pals Art Awards and Exhibition program was chosen to be “Love to Hiroshima – Love to Nagasaki.” Thousands of children participated from every region on Earth to send their artwork expressing their prayers to Hiroshima and Nagasaki along with their wishes for a hopeful future.

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Over a hundred WPPS volunteers from around Japan traveled to Hiroshima to mark this anniversary day.  With one heart we joined in the spirit of peace to express our message of peace on the 70th anniversary with the people of the world.

May Peace be in Hiroshima
May Peace Prevail On Earth

Nagasaki Peace Ceremony Remembering the 70th anniversary

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

August 9th, 2015

Nagasaki Peace Ceremony
Remembering the 70th anniversary

WPPS Nagasaki members along with volunteers from across Japan gathered early on the morning of August 9th to organize the world peace prayer event to mark the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the city only three days after the Hiroshima event.

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Nagasaki is the oldest open-port city of Japan situated on the southernmost island of Kyushu only fifty miles from South Korean. Starting as early as the 16th century Portuguese and Dutch traders frequented the natural harbors and Nagasaki became an international city with many who converted to Catholicism.

The world peace ceremony took place in the Nagasaki Peace Park just a few hundred meters from the epicenter of the blast in the Urakami district which housed the largest known catholic community in Japan.  A great number of churches were destroyed including the Urakami Cathedral which was, at the time, the largest church in all of Asia.  Today the Nagasaki Flame burns brightly on top of a tall monument which marks the epicenter symbolizing the pledge that Nagasaki shall remain the last city on earth to experience nuclear devastation.

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The program began with words of welcome to those who tuned into the webcast live on the internet from around the world.  Rika Saionji, Vice President of WPPS, attended the Nagasaki anniversary event and shared her message of peace and hope with the participants.  She spoke of the importance of keeping peace alive in our hearts and to pass on the legacy of peace to the younger generation.

At 11:02 am, the exact time the bomb was dropped on the city, the sound of the Peace Bell rang for one minute throughout Nagasaki Peace Park.  People throughout Japan also joined in the minute of silence which was broadcast through national media throughout the country.  We all added our prayers, May Peace Prevail On Earth, as we listened to the sound of the Peace Bell and sent our prayers for everlasting peace from Nagasaki out to the world.

The World Peace Flag Ceremony followed the ringing of the Peace Bell.  Visitors in the Peace Park were invited to join the ceremony to carry the flags of each nation as prayers for peace were offered to each region and country on Earth.  People of many nations stepped forward to carry the flags of the world as everyone in unison voiced prayers for peace to prevail on earth.

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Throughout the day, visitors in the park also stopped to view the Peace Pals Art Exhibition which was on display close to the Flag Ceremony.  Thousands of youth sent in their artwork highlighting the 2015 theme “Love to Hiroshima Love to Nagasaki” in honor of the 70th anniversary.  The winners were announced at an awards ceremony three days earlier in Hiroshima.

The day closed in deep gratitude as we all felt a strong sense of accomplishment and appreciation for sending our prayer of peace, May Peace Prevail On Earth, out to the world on this historic day marking the 70th anniversary

May peace be in Nagasaki
May Peace Prevail On Earth

World Youth Peace Forum in Cairo-EGYPT

Friday, June 19th, 2015

May-2015

Concerning the World Youth Peace Forum in Cairo, we have concluded this incredible event 3 weeks ago in an atmosphere of deep joy!  How wonderful it is to see the action of God in thousands of young students in many countries throughout the world.

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Youths from the 10 delegations coming from South America, Europe and Middle East.

I will not conceal the complexity of such an event that involved hundreds of schools, several international organizations working for peace and various associations and movements. During the 3 day Forum  1,300 people (students and teachers) from 20 countries attended.

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Fifty-two students from several schools and universities in Cairo nominated by the Universal circle of Ambassadors of Peace “Young Ambassadors of Peace” for their commitment to peace, especially through their example in living the LIVING PEACE project.

A great contribution to the success of this international event was the experience of fraternity that 53 young people from 10 delegations representing three continents lived together for 3 days in Alexandria, Egypt.

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Ceremony of the flags and choreography of Peace

The theme “Let’s Bridge” explained in three parts: create bridges between cultures, generations and its realization with the project “Living Peace” was enriched with amazing experiences, workshops and beautiful artistic performances.

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Peace Dance by students from Sudan

The final presentation of “Living Peace” by Egyptian children and from many other nations through local experiences and many incredible movies and power point presentations from all over the world has been an explosion of freshness and life, making visible their commitment to build a culture of peace.


Dance by students of Pakistan International School in Cairo

Forty-six children and six adults were nominated “Ambassadors of Peace” by the Universal Circle of Ambassadors of Peace.  A special contribution to the program was the testimony of  a peacemaker by the name of Safaa, age 12, who is a paraplegic. She presented herself by a power point that she prepared; clicking on her laptop with her chin.

https://youtu.be/va8vK_cs__w

Many messages arrived to the Forum, including one from Kailash Satyarthi (INDIA) – Nobel Peace Prize 2014, from the United Nation, UNESCO and others.

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Presentation of different peace projects by students from Mexico, Argentine, Brazil and Egypt

Domenicus Rhode, president of the World Peace Forum, conferred to: the representative of NGO “New Humanity,” the Rowad American College and Manchester International School and the Luxembourg Peace Prize in 2015, for their commitment in favor of a culture of peace.

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Dominicus Rohde (Germania), President of the World Peace Forum is opening officially the Forum

The Forum began with the reading of a passage from the Koran and was concluded with the figure of Pope Francis through the presentation of the project “Scholas” by one of the leaders of this mega project of 400,000 schools in the world. This seemed a tangible sign of the universal dimension of the “Living Peace” which already is present in many countries around the world with different cultures and religions.

https://youtu.be/nugDbxgoccg 

I greet you with all my heart!
May Peace Prevail On Earth.
Carlos Palma-EGYPT

Jackson Heights Elementary School celebrates planting of Peace Poles – Jackson Heights, New York – USA

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

May-2015

 

Photos courtesy of Danielle Mahoney

Photos courtesy of Danielle Mahoney

Students at P.S. 212 in Jackson Heights are looking to spread the idea of peace throughout their community.

Danielle Mahoney, a literacy coach at the elementary school located at 34-25 82nd St., has been teaching students about practicing mindfulness and gratitude for the past year.

While attending a weeklong training conference on mindfulness for kids and adolescents in California, Mahoney noticed a “Peace Pole” in a field and thought it would be a good idea to bring the concept back home.

Peace Poles, which have been planted throughout the world, are handcrafted structures that have the message and prayer “May peace prevail on Earth” on each of its four to six sides.

USA.NYC.Jackson Heights Elementary

Mahoney decided to work with one of the third-grade classes she instructs, Jennifer Bayer’s 3-317 class, to have two poles erected outside of P.S. 212 and allow the students to share with the community what they have been learning throughout the year.

“Having these Peace Poles is having to share in the community that regardless of the differences, we can live together and share all the wonderful things about our culture and embrace things and live in a peaceful way,” Mahoney said.

The Peace Poles, which are 7 feet tall and from the organization,  The Peace Pole Project, each feature the message “May peace prevail on Earth” in English, Urdu, Bengali, Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic. They also include two other messages in English: “May peace be in our communities” and “May peace be in our schools.”

“Words are very powerful and as a literacy coach this is not so far away from our core work,” Mahoney said. “When you read it, hopefully the next step is to have action with your words and thoughts will be in a positive way.”

USA.NYC.Jackson Heights Elementary

During the Wednesday night ceremony, students, who ranged between 8 to 9 years old, also explained to parents and faculty what the Peace Poles are, why they were being planted and what mindfulness is.

“We hope that when people pass they will take a moment to send kind thoughts to all beings on this planet, and focus on the good and peaceful parts of life,” Mahoney said.

USA.NYC.Jackson Heights Elementary

Mahoney added that she has seen that teaching the practice of mindfulness to students has helped them relax more, often using breathing as a tool to cope with difficult times, and also teaches the children how to pay attention to the present moment.

Some students have even tried teaching their parents how taking the time to relax and breathe will help them move forward in their days, according to Mahoney.

“Mindfulness allows us to take the time to respond to situations,” one student said. “We learn not to react to everything that happens. You notice what happens, respond to it and let it go. Mindfulness will help you do that.”

Mahoney also hopes that more schools will consider planting Peace Poles and she even is looking to find a way to plant a pole in Astoria Queens, New York, a community she has called home all her life.

Article written by Angy Altamirano

http://queenscourier.com/jackson-heights-elementary-school-celebrates-planting-of-peace-poles/

Submitted by:  Danielle Mahoney

Peace Pals Art Exhibition in Funabashi – JAPAN

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

March 2015

A member of The Goi Peace Foundation, Mrs. Okita, organized a peace art exhibition entitled “Vibration of Love and Peace” and a Peace Pals Art Contest exhibition in March.

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The art, which consisted of paintings, photography, illustration, crafts, fancywork, origami, calligraphy, and peace dolls, from 34 artists, was exhibited at a local public facility in Funabashi city near Tokyo.

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The Peace Pals Art Contest was clearly popular among the visitors as they stayed for long periods of time in front of the artworks.

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Mrs. Okita would love to have another Peace Pals Art Contest again next year!

May Peace Prevail on Earth

Report from the WPPS Japan Office

Zihuatanejo certified as an International City of Peace – MEXICO

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

February 4 – 9, 2015

A week-long event took place in the west coast beach town of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, located in the State of Guerrero.  The event was organized by the Zihuatanejo Peace Committee which was founded by WPPS Peace Representative Patricia Ann Talley who planted the first Peace Pole in the center of town 5 years ago.  The directorship passed to Wendy Carbajal this year with Patricia still serving as honorary board member and advisor.

The event was supported by a large number of local organizations and businesses including the Rotary Club, University of Tourism and the City of Zihuatanejo as well as North American based organizations including WPPS, the UN NGO committee for the International Day of Peace, the Peace School of Chicago, Wayne State University, CoNGO, Cercle de Paix and the Detroit Renaissance Peace Center.

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The week opened with a WPPS Peace Pals Art Exhibition which was held at the Archeological Museum.  The Ambassador of Peace Exhibition features artwork from 86 countries by artists aged 5 through 18, collected over the past 17 years the Peace Pals Art Awards program has been in action.  Each artwork includes the message May Peace Prevail On Earth.

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A number of “Peace in Action” webinar conferences took place during the week, inviting dialogue and presentations by UAGRO Mexico and visiting Wayne State students on the topic of social justice, with participation from Saudi  Arabia, France, Canada and New York.  The Peace in Action educator’s peace conference highlighted various topics on creating a culture of peace.

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On February 9th the grand finale was celebrated with a World Peace Flag Ceremony around the Peace Pole. To open the program, children from Casa Pacifica presented a short play and led us in singing “We are the World.”  The first nation peoples from the area also blessed us with their ceremonial dance and ritual.

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After the World Peace Flag Ceremony, youth from the Alliance program led a peace march through the center of town to the municipal playground where the Mayor Luis Fernando Vergara Silva and State Governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez officiated the ceremony to certify Zihuatanejo as an International City of Peace.

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The local TV station enthusiastically covered the finale program on television.

May Peace be in Zihuatanejo
May Peace be in Mexico

Girl Scout Troop sell cookies for Peace! San Marcos, California – USA

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

May 31st, 2013

On May 31, 2013, Girl Scouts from Troop #4446, San Marcos, CA presented a Peace Pole to their school, Carrillo Elementary.  The Peace Pole was inspired by many hours of research, brainstorming, interviewing and selling lots of Girl Scout cookies.

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The troop had been working on their Bronze Award Project, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve, since October 2012.  They were inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, a leader and humanitarian, to work on a project that would embrace change and make a difference in their school and community.

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The Girl Scouts decided on a 8 foot tall Peace Pole as their gift to Carrillo Elementary.  The languages represented on the Peace Pole: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and Persian, were chosen to reflect the cultural background of the Girl Scout troop, their community and the creator of the Peace Pole.  If they had space, they would have chosen all 6,500 languages spoken in the world to be recognized on their Peace Pole.

Girl Scouts May Peace Prevail On Earth

The Girl Scouts hope that their Peace Pole will bring people of all faiths, backgrounds and culture to embrace the universal message of Peace.  They feel that having a Peace Pole at their school will inspire students, parents, staff, visitors and the community to spread the message of peace everywhere they go.  The Girls Scouts of Troop 4446 believe that if we all work together, we can change our community and our world to make it a better place.

Since the dedication ceremony in 2013, Girl Scouts from Troop #4446 have visited the site to plant water wise plants to beautify the Peace Pole.

Thank you.

May Peace Prevail On Earth!
Christina Williams, Girl Scout Leader, Troop #4446