Peace, A Human Right
The right to a peaceful and safe life is a basic human right. Nevertheless, millions of people continue to witness violence and warfare on a daily basis; many people have grown up to the sound of gunfire. Currently, we are witnessing conflict in various places. It will be a huge struggle to completely eradicate conflict but awareness is the first step. This is why the United Nations has declared the 21 September World Peace Day. The Day was initiated in 1981 and is observed in the vast majority of UN member states. The main aim of World Peace Day is to have a day of ceasefire, where peace can be promoted. A major example of the success World Peace Day has had is in 2002, when the Taliban agreed to stop fighting in Afghanistan. As a result, millions of children were vaccinated against polio. St Christopher’s school students have been active participants in the annual Peace Day celebrations, with 2015 being no exception. To support World Peace Day and spread awareness, students participated in various activities. The event was led by a committee of Sixth Form students along with the Head of Year 13, Ms Al Hammoud. These activities consisted of mural painting, decorating pencils with kind messages that would be gifted to friends, a peace quiz, peace ribbons and T-shirts, and taking an aerial photo of the youngest (Year 7) and the eldest students (Sixth Form) coming together as one, creating a Ying Yang symbol, as well as busking in the Sixth Form Centre.
One of the most important aspects of the week were the assemblies presented to each Year group. These assemblies introduced Peace Day to those who were not familiar with it and encouraged students to adopt peaceful methods of living. Rumi Itakura created this year’s winning Peace Day T-shirt design. The design was printed on white T-shirts and was worn by Sixth Form students on Peace Day. During the week preceding Peace Day, poems were read out during registration. On Peace Day, a friendly match of Ultimate Frisbee was played between the staff and students. The annual friendly game was another opportunity for students and teachers to interact outside of the classroom environment. As well as that, an inter-form peace quiz was held during Enrichment. Each form, from Years 7-11, sent two members to represent them in a quiz related to peace. At 12 o’clock, Gabby Liandu read the winning Peace Poem after which a minute of silence was observed across the entire school.
It isn’t just something we hope to offer without an ounce of care.
It isn’t rocks and boulders and stars smashing in the air
But rather more a state of mind,
A place where each of us is kind,
A place where we can all unwind
Where forgiveness, happiness, truth and light
Stand in our fortified strength and might
This place is deep within our souls
Together we must mend the holes
That plunders, plight, destroy and start
A fire burning in our heart
Together we can fan the flame
That tries to tear our world apart
Together we can find that place –
Spread happiness to every face
There’s peace within the human race.
Peace. ~ Gabby Liandu 6EBAN
A minute of silence was also observed across the world. This minute of silence reflected our rejection of warfare and conflict, as well as our desire to see peace everywhere. We hope that our efforts to spread peaceful thoughts has inspired others in the nation and throughout the world to remain hopeful that peace will prevail one day, and to continue spreading positivity! ~ Dana Tartir, Rushil Puri and Sara Malik (Sixth Form)