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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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The Peace Gong, a children’s newspaper bringing together children across world to promote peace and non-violence
an article by Vedabhyas Kundu

“To ensure a global non-violent future, children should be encouraged to volunteer to build bridges of friendship amongst young people. Promoting children’s participation in community building will not only contribute towards trans-generational progress of the society but also lay the foundation of an active young citizenry who are aware of their rights and duties.” – Spandana Bhattacharya, class XI, and Editor, The Peace Gong in her editorial of the special issue of the children’s newspaper published in April, 2012 to mark IYV +10.


Launch of Braille Edition and Talking Paper of The Peace Gong, the children's newspaper in Bhopal, India

click on photo to enlarge

In an effort to bring together children across diverse cultures, backgrounds, states and even countries on common issues of social concern, The Peace Gong, a children’s newspaper is encouraging children to use their communication skills and understanding of different concerns to volunteer and write. The Peace Gong is providing them a platform to enhance inter-cultural interactions and reflect on critical issues of their communities. The newspaper is a Media and Information literacy initiative of the Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Foundation, New Delhi. The overarching goal of the newspaper is as underlined above by the Editor, ‘to build bridges of friendship amongst young people to ensure a global non-violent future.’

Presently, there are Peace Gong child reporters from all parts of India. Besides children from other countries like Scotland, Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt are writing for it.

A significant aim of The Peace Gong is to build an inclusive team of child reporters. As an important step in this direction, a Braille edition and Talking Paper of the Peace Gong was launched in Bhopal, India on July 6, 2012. With this Peace Gong will reach out to even children with visual disability and will facilitate their involvement in the core team.

The Peace Gong also encourages children to be the catalysts of volunteer initiatives. The editorial in the Special Issue succinctly puts the spirit of volunteering promoted by the newspaper, “All of us have the light in us, a light powerful enough to purge the darkness around. We all have the spark in us, just waiting to be kindled! We are all peace warriors trying to work day and night for a better tomorrow. And that’s exactly what our newspaper “The Peace Gong” advocates – humanity.”

The Special Issue on Volunteerism was published in association with the United Nations Volunteers. It may be seen by clicking here.

Children across the world wanting to be part of The Peace Gong can write at: thepeacegong@gmail.com

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


Can children be involved in the peace process through literacy?,

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Latest reader comment:

Students, especially children are easily moved when they hear about other children. Parents and teachers should take time to explain to students about world situations. Show them pictures or documentaries so that they will have a better understanding of how they can promote peace. Simple facts of life like living simply, recycling, protecting the environment can be shared with them so that they develop a different kind of maturity - be prepared to serve others than to be served.  They will realise that peace is important if you want to improve the condition of the unfortunate. As they grow, they choose careers whereby they will be able to meet the needs of the unfortunate.


This report was posted on August 7, 2012.