This Saturday, September 21st, is International Day of Peace, a day to take a few moments to hope for peace world-wide and promote peace in our own homes and communities. The UN established this day in 1981 to “strengthen the ideals of peace,” and it’s still going strong. It’s a day you, too, can participate in, by joining a larger event or just by doing a project with your family.
“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to 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.”- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Here are a four ways you can put the Secretary-General’s inspiring words into action and recognize and take part in the International Day of Peace:
Music-lovers can sing the UNICEF and peace-inspired song “May All Children” alongside others at one of dozen of Music Together events. You can even buy a copy of the May All Children sing-a-long storybook ($13.95) to sing at home, and, through September 22nd, all proceeds will go to support UNICEF.
Make origami cranes for the Peace Crane Project, adding words and thoughts about peace to your paper before folding the cranes. You can then find a home for your cranes in your neighborhood, or exchange them with another group around the world. This is a perfect project for families or larger scout troops or youth groups.
Peace One Day hosts global peace-focused events, with a focus on this year’s theme: Who will you make peace with? It’s a thought-provoking question for kids of all ages – I know my Montessori-school attending kids make peace, with the aid of a flower, with their classmates all the time, but it’s a concept and practice that many of us move away from as we get older. From making peace with one person in your school or community, to watching the global broadcast and being inspired by the Peace One Day Celebration performances by Paul van Dyk and Natasha Bedingfield, you’ll find lots of ways you can participate.
If you’d rather stay home, consider reading the children’s book Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song, about the civil rights work of Martin Luther King and inger Mahalia Jackson, and their childhoods. Many of the illustrations include a dove, the symbol of peace, and the book provides an opening to discuss tolerance and nonviolence.