I hope so.
International Peace Day is on September 21st and again, there is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence.
But this year, the United Nations’ General Assembly has proclaimed 2010 as the International Year of Youth, a campaign designed to encourage policymakers and communities to recognize that youth is a valuable – but underutilized – resource. In fact, the UN goes as far as stating that “failing to invest in children and youth triggers substantial economic, social and political costs resulting in negative outcomes.”
As young people represent at least 18% of the world’s population, we must recognize their potential by giving them a role to play in issues that affect them (i.e. education, reproductive health) as well as involving them in the world’s most significant humanitarian challenges (i.e. peace, the environment). By engaging youth in volunteerism, we can open a dialogue and mutual understanding which will serve to shape young leaders for today and tomorrow.
Although the definition of “peace” can vary between religions and cultures – it’s most commonly described as “an existence free of conflict or violence.” Unfortunately, this definition doesn’t always extend to animals or the environment.
By helping kids connect the dots that deforestation and fossil fuels use have measurably decreased the availability of nutritious food and clean water – resulting in malnutrition and health challenges for some parts of the world – we can assist activists like Dr. Jane Goodall redefine the relationship our sons and daughters have with Mother Earth.
As part of our alliance with Roots & Shoots, KooDooZ will seek to educate youth that the practice of non-violence should apply not just to human beings, but to all living things.
Accepting that Earth itself is alive and that every living and inert organism plays an important role, is a critical first step towards achieving universal peace. Humankind is but a single species among the 5.5-million sharing our planet.
In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed as a Messenger or Peace and used this esteemed appointment to urge her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and ability to effect change through consumer action, lifestyle change and activism. Since then, Dr. Goodall has travelled an average of 300 days per year, speaking about environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth.
To honor her appointment, Roots & Shoots members have been creating Giant Peace Puppets with recycled materials on the weekend of the UN’s Day of Peace.
Will you spread the message of peace by building your own Peace Dove?