Creating Better Communities One Peace Action at a Time
Every year on 21 September, the world commemorates the International Day of Peace. Scouts around the world join this celebration with joy, by taking meaningful actions.
The first #Peaceday celebration began in 1982. It was established as a day of truce, non-violence and ceasefire for the those engaged in armed conflict, allowing humanitarian actors to bring relief to those in need.
More than 30 years later, the International Day of Peace has evolved to also raise awareness, promote and, of course, engage in relevant actions enabling societies to reconstruct and rebuild the Culture of Peace in their own communities.
One of the main purposes of commemorating the International Day of Peace is to remind people that each and every one of us can contribute to the restoration or the strengthening of the Culture of Peace in our communities.
“The culture of peace and non-violence is a commitment to peace-building, mediation, conflict prevention and resolution, peace education, education for non-violence, tolerance, acceptance, mutual respect, intercultural and interfaith dialogue and reconciliation.”
To achieve this goal, the role of Scouts in addressing local issues and proposing solutions through community development actions is crucial. We have the potential to reach out to and improve the conditions of the people around us with simple and constant actions. We have a global network of friends, brothers and sisters around the world, ready to extend a helping hand, share their knowledge and provide the resources for the causes we engage in.
You might be wondering what you can do to transform or change your community, especially if you are very young or, if you feel that it’s almost impossible for one person to manage. Know that you are not alone and that you can take action today!
Change begins with you
You can be an advocate by being vocal about issues affecting young people or members of your community such as human rights, violence against women and children, and discrimination based on gender, religion and religious belief.
You can talk about health issues which are sometimes considered a taboo subject or, take a stand for equal opportunities for both women and men as well as fight against child marriages, child labour and child trafficking.
You can practise sustainability through your own actions and help protect the environment and planet, to prevent further and extreme climate change.
You can use dialogue as a tool to help people to express their opinions in a safe space, explore new perspectives, discover commonalities and achieve mutual understanding.
You can promote causes by taking a step further, getting informed and researching more about issues you are interested in. Learning more about the Sustainable Development Goals is a good way to start. As a Scout or adult leader, you can speak out and promote awareness of certain issues, getting others engaged in specific actions and projects in your neighbourhood.
You can take part in disaster relief efforts with members of your National Scout Organization, volunteers, local authorities and organisations. If you are part of the affected community your participation is crucial as you can provide useful information, coordinate distribution efforts or help the displaced to relocate to shelters.
— World Scouting (@worldscouting) September 20, 2017
Start with your community
Asses the needs in your community and observe the kind of issues that are present. Talk to community members and learn how they would like to improve the current situation. Ask friends and experts for ideas and suggestions before deciding on the actions to be taken and planning your impact, so that you have an idea of how you want to address the issues.
Begin a collective effort
Get your Scout friends, family and people you know to help you. You can start with a small action like doing a daily good turn or starting a small scale project. Start small and extend your impact from the lessons learned from your first attempt. Eventually, more people will be inspired to join you.
Share your story
Even if you think your action is small, don’t be shy to talk about it. Your action contributed to a positive change and deserves to be shared. Talking about it will inspire others, even those from other countries might benefit from your initiative. Share your story today!
Every peace action contributes to the building of a Culture of Peace. So, get inspired and find out how you can take action by visiting the Peace Day page.