Every year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. It is a day to lay down arms, encourage non-violent solutions and remind us of our commitment to work together to build a peaceful future for all. Education is the building block of the future and yet schools, students and teachers around the world remain targets of violence and hatred. International Peace Day is a powerful platform to spread the message of peace so that future generations can build their futures, and the future of their countries, in a more peaceful world.
Established in 1981 by the United Nations, and bolstered in 2001 by Jeremy Gilly’s commendable efforts to institutionalise an annual day of non-violence, cease-fire and positive action, this year’s International Day of Peace celebrates ‘Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All’. This highlights the importance of working together in partnership towards a common goal of peace, a theme that is firmly in line with our approach to international collaboration and education.
Inspired by this theme, APIE is working with Umubano Primary School in Rwanda this year to share celebrations of International Peace Day with Dolphin School in the UK, a school we will be working alongside in the development of their global studies, for the next three years. The students of both schools will be sharing their poems, songs and messages of peace with each other, deepening their insight into what peace means to young people from different contexts, backgrounds and histories.
After this sharing of perspectives in the morning, students from Umubano Primary School then have the exciting opportunity to be part of Peace One Day’s celebrations, which are being hosted in Rwanda this year. The students will take part in a Peace Walk to Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, where the celebrations of song, dance, film, speech and personal experiences of peace will be shared between hundreds of young people. The aim of the day is to inspire young people to take part and become the driving force behind the vision of a united and sustainable world, as they become the leaders of the future. It is a unique opportunity for Umubano Primary School students and will add depth, understanding and inspiration to the growing, holistic peace education activities already happening in the school.
Speaking to Headteacher Jean de Dieu, he told us: We believe that to prevent any kind of violence, education must promote peace, tolerance and understanding to help create a better society for all. This is the message that will be celebrated on Peace Day - working together to create a peaceful and productive future for all.
We are looking forward to seeing songs, messages and poems from Rwanda and the UK and sharing them with you. Keep an eye out over the next few days on our website and social media channels for more pictures and updates from International Peace Day.