Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy International Day of Peace!!

September 21 was the International Day of Peace, a day first declared by the United Nations in 1981 to highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. Here in Sierra Leone, we organized the first celebration of International Peace Day in Mayagba. I have a few pictures posted of the day ( Below is the text of what I said at the meeting. Wishing you all peace and happiness!

“Today we have gathered here to celebrate the International Day of Peace, celebrated every year on September 21. This special day was established by the United Nations in 1981 as an annual event to highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. Every year, people in all parts of the world honour peace in various ways on this day. We, gathered here in Mayagba, are celebrating peace in Sierra Leone and in our lives in solidarity with many hundreds of thousands of other people around the world.

Anam Prem from India said that "Simply the absence of war is not peace”. Peace is much more than just the absence of armed conflict. Peace means development. Peace means having enough food to eat and clean water to drink. Peace means having adequate shelter. Peace means a clean environment. And peace means having family, friends and the freedom to express your own religion and culture. Building peace means working together to achieve all of these things. You can create peace in your life and you community simply by showing kindness to your fellow human beings, to animals, and to your environment.

All around the world, many people are working for peace. For example, Sierra Leone has many friends in Canada who are working in partnership with us to help bring peace and development here. TMT and Mary, co-founders of cdpeace, asked me to share with you the news that Logan MacGillvary, a 12 year-old boy in Canada, has won the “Me-to-We” award for his work on raising funds and materials for Sierra Leone. Logan will donate his award of $5,000 for the construction of the “Listen to the Children Multi-purpose Center” at Mayagba. Thank you to all here who helped to vote for Logan.

Logan’s work is just one example of the global partnership for peace in Sierra Leone. Our gathering today is an important celebration of over 7 years of peace here, and a demonstration of cdpeace’s commitment to working for peace in this country. It is an expression of the wish of everyone here for peace in the world made in solidarity with many other people around the globe. Thank you for coming, and thank you for your commitment to peace and development in Sierra Leone.”

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