By Staff Reporter
An inspiring gathering of approximately 200 youth took place at Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School on May 27, 2023 in Windhoek, marking the momentous 10th annual commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Peace Walk.
This commemoration was in partnership with the Youth Rob Foundation and the White Ribbon Campaign; HWPL mobilised public and private organisations from various backgrounds, for a peace walk and clean-up of their surrounding areas.
With presentations from qualified HWPL peace education teachers, Moses Van Der Byl, School teacher, Mr Simeon Kamati and Constance Muparadzi, a head social worker at Regain Trust Namibia, the event highlighted the importance of peace education being introduced into the school curriculum.
This event also served as a powerful platform for the youth to join forces with commemorations held in 89 locations across 59 countries, including a remarkable assembly of 5,000 individuals at the Peace Gate
of Seoul Olympic Park in South Korea, reflecting on a decade of citizen- led peace building endeavours.
In the main event held in Seoul, HWPL Chairman Lee Man-hee, recalled HWPL’s peace activities for the past decade, saying, “Since we pledged to work together for world peace 10 years ago, we have been calling for peace all over the world ,We have advocated that peace should be taught at home and at school, and that everyone should become messengers of peace. I went to the battlefield in Mindanao, Philippines to raise the voice of peace and we were promised not to begin war again.”
He also emphasized, “Everyone should be one under the title of peace and work together to create a good world and make it a legacy for future generations. This is what we need to do in this era in which we live.”
Speaking on the impact the peace education curriculum has had on his students his, Moses Van Der Byl shared sentiments “Whether they (children) come from school to the community, they all spread the good news of peace. Meaning that we do not have the children that are fighting, confronting the teachers in the school, or having many other issues with other children because of differences. But all of them, they talk one language, they seek one language, they want that peace to be known to other schools as well. So, implementation of the peace education curriculum can help the schools to cope with challenges they are facing in their life and society.”
In the main event held in Seoul, South Korea, the Joint Statement of the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration of World Peace was unveiled.
The statement said that the Declaration developed into the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) to pursue a transition from the rule of power to the rule of law based on principles of democracy, justice, civil liberties and equality, religious freedom and responsibility.
It further said that the decade of peace building achieved millions of participants joining inter-religious dialogues, peace education, advocacy of peace to national leaders, network of youth in over 120 countries.
Through the joint statement, HWPL and participating organizations affirmed their commitment to institutionalizing peace through international cooperation, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, justice and strong institutions. They pledged to engage in mediation efforts and raise awareness and provide education in conflict areas, empower youth and women, promote best practices for the participation of civil society.
At the end, HWPL announced its ambitious goal to garner the support of 10 million citizens through their signatures to advocate for the establishment of an international law for peace. Additionally, they have
organized various overseas commemorative events aimed at fostering peace within local communities around the world.