Jan 5, 2009, 8:19 AM
WANEP The Gambia joins thousands of others worldwide to celebrate the International Day of Peace, under the theme ‘Education for Peace’ and also appeal for peace and human security in our region and in the world.
The International Day of Peace aims to engage larger numbers of people around the world in the awareness of Peace and the practices of Peace-Building.
In The Gambia, the youth nationwide are encouraged to participate in celebrating Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting candles at noon or just sitting in silence mediation or it can involve getting groups, social clubs, co-workers, organisations or communities engaged in events that promote peace.
WANEP recognises the attempt at harnessing and directing youth’s energies towards wealth creation through education, skills acquisition, technology improvement and provision of social development funds.
Therefore, WANEP-Gambia lauds government’s efforts at service delivery of development such as roads, bridges, water sanitation, education projects, electricity, health facilities, schools, markets and other infrastructure in The Gambia all of which continue to offer huge windows of opportunities for the youthful population to engage in economic activities, and thus decrease involvement in crime and violent conflicts.
The youth, peace and development are closely interlinked: peace fosters development, which is critical in providing opportunities for young people, particularly those in countries emerging from conflicts.
Healthy educated youths are in turn crucial to sustainable development. In this regard, peace, stability and security are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child death by 2015.
Education for peace requires not just imparting knowledge but also helping in the development of social skills and attitudes that lead to creating a culture of non-violence and peaceful co-existence.
Making the voice of the youth heard strengthens peace and democracy. In a message to mark the Day, Ban Ki Moon says: “Let us remember that education is a path to growth and development for citizens and societies, and teaching the value of peace is a key preventive means of reducing war and conflict and teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might. Let us remember that education is a path to growth and development for citizens and societies.”
The International Day of Peace is a day when we reiterate our belief in non-violence and call for a global ceasefire.
As we join the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of Peace, WANEP Gambia implores the government and citizens of The Gambia to remember victims of war and also to observe a minute of silence, at noon, local time, to honour those killed in conflicts and the survivors who live with daily trauma and pain.
If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at Peace you are living in the present so be at peace!!