Written by Sarah AlToubaji and Youstina Goubran
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. https://internationaldayofpeace.org/
A group of Year 13 students volunteered to plan events to mark World Peace Day. They spread awareness through presenting to all Year Groups in the week leading up to the day. They picked the theme of ‘Peace Through Social Media’ to spread positivity. Social media has been used as a powerful tool in the field of peace education for a long time, with even the UN making use of several social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to not only highlight their work in the field but also to help convey their messages to the world. During 2018 there were an estimated 3.196 billion social media users in the world.
Thanks to the creation of these various social media platforms, individuals from across the globe have been given the opportunity to interact with people both inside and outside of their own communities. Social media can facilitate peace by encouraging valuable dialogue between people from different ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds. This dialogue can, in turn, alter attitudes, change perceptions, and encourage increased tolerance and mutual understanding between ethnic groups who would otherwise never have had the opportunity to engage with one another.
As a social media user, you have the power to influence a lot of people with what you post. By choosing your content wisely and steering clear of any potential social-media danger zones you can effectively convey your message of promoting Peace Education to the world. So please, be careful online and think about what you’re posting.
On the day, Sixth Form students wore peace t-shirts with the winning logo by Tanishka Sharma, Year 11. The students took an aerial photo in the playground spelling out #PEACE. During Enrichment, each Form Class created a poster of a WhatsApp group chat with positive and peaceful messages that were passed on to other Form classes in the school. In addition, two members from each Form class volunteered to paint rocks which were then displayed in the garden area, around our Peace Pole. Students wore peace ribbons to show their support for the day. During break time, Staff and Sixth Form students came together to play volleyball matches in order to mark the day in a sporting event.
A reflective Minute of Silence was observed after David Wilson, Year 13, read his moving winning Peace Poem, “ That Feeling”.
The organising team encouraged students to be kind, be positive and be supportive of each other!