All posts by CPNN Coordinator

About CPNN Coordinator

Dr David Adams is the coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the International Year for the Culture of Peace, proclaimed for the Year 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly.

2019 Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Award winners announced

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from Peace Direct

Now in its seventh year, the Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Awards celebrate some of the world’s most innovative local peacebuilders. This year, the three focus areas for the awards were: women-led peacebuilding, youth-led peacebuilding, and music and the performing arts. A panel of international experts selected the winners from 406 applicants, the highest number we have received to date.


Video of award-winning initiatives

The winners — from Syria, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo — were announced at the Alliance for Peacebuilding annual conference, PeaceCon, on 3 October in Washington, D.C. Each received a $10,000 grant to contribute to their work.

“We’re happy to highlight and support the work of these local peacebuilders, because they know best how to tackle problems in their communities. The leaders of these three organizations are providing practical and creative solutions, and directly improving people’s lives,” said Peace Direct CEO Dylan Mathews.

Youth-led peacebuilding: Youth for Homeland in Yemen

Youth for Homeland, founded in 2014, works in rural areas of Yemen to engage communities in peacebuilding efforts, working mainly with young people to develop skills and find alternatives to violence. For example, when one community was fighting over limited water resources, the organization helped establish reservoirs to contain water over longer periods.

The organization plans to use the award to train more peacebuilders. “The main objective is to rehabilitate young people to become peace ambassadors and urge their colleagues and friends to not participate in the war anymore, so that we can contribute to the end of the war in Yemen,” said Abdullah al-Suraihi, founder of Youth for Homeland.

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Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Women-led peacebuilding: Open Art Space in Syria

Many children in Syria have known nothing but war. Three women, two of whom are artists, founded Open Art Space in the Syrian capital of Damascus in 2016. Their work connects children and young people inside and outside of Syria through peacebuilding.

Children participate in free weekly workshops, which offer a safe space to play and connect with one another, a chance to express themselves, and a way to learn about peace through art. To reach children more widely, the women created a website where children anywhere in Syria can practice drawing and art exercises to help process the violence they have experienced.

For co-founder Roula al-Khatib, this award enables the organization to “reach out to more Syrian children affected by the war in remote places to implement art and peace in their daily life. This is an opportunity for us to tell the world that despite the sad war in Syria, there are many people who are working very hard to retain peace back.”

Music and the performing arts: Amani Institute in DR Congo

The Amani Institute, founded in 2016 in North Kivu, DR Congo, uses theater to help young ex-combatants process trauma they have experienced and reintegrate into their communities. The technique of theater enables former fighters to interact with others, and acts as a springboard for dialogue, reconciliation and tolerance.

“This is an acknowledgement that our effort in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being recognized internationally,” said Joseph Tsongo, founder of the Amani Institute. “It will help us continue our work for the next generation and bring peace to the country.”

We celebrate this year’s winners, and all peacebuilding efforts taking place around the world.

We thank our sponsors: the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Away, the Bluegrass Ambassadors, the Pickwell Foundation and Humanity United for supporting this year’s awards and award ceremony.

For more information: contact@peacedirect.org

Asian church leaders call for greater interfaith cooperation

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article from Lutheran World

The Asia Church Leadership Conference (ACLC) has concluded in Indonesia with a call to all churches to work more closely together with other faith communities to promote urgent issues such as gender justice, environmental protection and care for the poor and needy.


Indonesian church leaders meet with the President of the Republic’s special envoy on interfaith relations and intercultural dialogue, Professor Syafiq Mughni (center). Photo: LWF/Isaac Henry

Pastors and lay people from across the region have been meeting with local Lutheran leaders in the North Sumatra town of Pematang Siantar to discuss the theme ‘Pursuing peace through interfaith relations in Asia’. It was preceded by an encounter of Asian women leaders and a meeting of the Global Young Reformers Network, which focused on ways of ensuring more meaningful participation of young people in the life of the churches.

The five-day gathering was hosted by three of Indonesia’s member churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (GKPS), the Christian Protestant Church in Indonesia (GKPI) and The Indonesian Christian Church (HKI).

Peace can never be taken for granted

On the final day, delegates heard from Indonesia’s special envoy for interfaith relations and intercultural dialogue, Professor Syafiq Mughni, about ways in which his country seeks to promote peaceful cooperation among followers of the six officially recognized faith groups. Local leaders from some of those groups attended the session that focused on the five principles, known as Pancasila, upon which the nation was founded following independence in 1945.

Noting the huge diversity of ethnicities, languages and religions in his country, Mughni stressed that “peace can never be taken for granted”. Since he took up the post last year, he has organized conferences to foster good relations between the different faiths and to promote “a culture of peace” in schools and universities. As a Muslim leader, he has also met with Islamic leaders around the world to promote ‘Wasatiyya’, a term meaning the ‘middle way’ or moderate Islam, as the nation’s majority religion

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Question related to this article:
 
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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LWF partnership with Islamic Relief Worldwide

Engaging in interfaith dialogue and cooperation was identified as a key point of the LWF’s strategic priorities  for the coming years and is particularly relevant to the Asian context where Christians form just a small minority in most countries. From India, where growing Hindu nationalism has led to attacks on Christian and Muslim communities, to Myanmar, where hard line Buddhism has fed persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority, to Malaysia where the ongoing Allah controversy continues to cause problems for Christian media, religious tensions are never far away from the news headlines.

Highlighting the importance of interreligious cooperation as a way of increasing understanding between different faith communities, LWF Area Secretary for Asia, Rev. Dr Philip Lok noted that the LWF partners with Islamic Relief Worldwide and last year launched a manual on faith sensitivity in humanitarian responses to disasters and refugee crises. The guidelines, which were piloted in field work in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, cover medical, psychological and social issues, as well as practical aspects such as food, shelter and meeting places. Rev. Lok said the LWF “hopes that this kind of cooperation with other faith communities can help promote peace in the world.”

Dialogue at leadership and grassroots level

The Asia region of the LWF includes 55 member and associate member churches in 17 countries, from the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) in the South Pacific to The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Delegates at the meeting heard about efforts of churches in many of those countries to promote dialogue at both leadership and grassroots level, despite many challenges stemming from the politicization of religion, as well as colonial histories and ongoing attempts at conversions by some Charismatic groups.

Speaking on the opening day  of the conference, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge praised the commitment of churches in Asia to peace building, despite the difficulties they face. “The task of peace-making,” he said, “begins within ourselves, within our own churches, seeking to live in peace with each other.”

Participants also heard about the current political unrest in Hong Kong and efforts by churches there to provide a space for rest, counselling and reconciliation within a deeply divided society. Hong Kong delegates noted how Protestant and Catholic churches are supporting each other in this work and they urged people around the world to continue to pray for peace in their country.

Inconsapevole Records releases “Punk Rock Against War Vol. 2” compilation

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An announcement from Dying Scene

Italian label Inconsapevole Records  have released the second installment of their “Punk Rock Against War” compilation series. 


(Click on image to enlarge)

Question for this article:

What place does music have in the peace movement?

All the proceeds go to Emergency, an independent and neutral international organisation founded in 1994 to provide free, high-quality medical and surgical care to victims of wars, anti-personnel mines and poverty. It promotes a culture of peace, solidarity and respect for human rights.

The compilation has an incredible 111 bands on it, including many you’ll know and love. Check it out below.

Launch of the Second World March for Peace and Nonviolence

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

Excerpts from an article in Pressenza

At the launch of the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence in Madrid, on October 2nd, International Nonviolence Day that commemorates Gandhi’s birth, Rafael de la Rubia said:

“It should be said that this is not just a peripheral journey through the surface of the planet, through the surface of the earth. To this walking along roads, places, countries… you can add an internal journey, going through the depths of our existence, trying to match what we think with what we feel and with what we do, in order to be more coherent, gain more meaning in our lives and eliminate internal violence.” . . .


In Chile, with Parliamentarian Tomas Hirsch: “Active Nonviolence is the Force that will transform the world”

The beginning of the March was celebrated in different points of the world

From Antonio Gancedo’s blog:

Chile: the beginning of the 2 World March was announced in the National Parliament By the humanist parliamentarian Tomás Hirsch. And Santiago de Chile stretched with a “Hug for Nonviolence” as a dissemination of the 2 World March for Peace and Nonviolence.

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Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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From Seville and the Port of Santa Maria, in Spain to embark on the ferry journey to Tangier, Morocco the entry point of the WM in Africa where A Humanist Forum took place. In the Spanish cities of Seville and A Coruña, where the March was launched during a session in the Town Hall, different activities expressed the commitment to Peace and Nonviolence.

The World March in the Italian Parliament: The World March has among its objectives the dissemination of the culture of Peace and Non-Violence, disarmament – especially nuclear disarmament -, the defence of the environment and the enhancement of diversity. During the event “The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons” was projected, a work produced by the international press agency Pressenza on the occasion of the second anniversary of the approval of the UN Nuclear Disarmament Treaty (ICAN campaign, Nobel Prize of the Peace 2017). The documentary aims to contribute to the goal of reaching the end of the World March with the ratification of the TPAN  by 50 countries to make it binding.

Brazil: From Pernambuco, Brazil, accompanying the launch of the 2ª World March the first “Live EAD”Live from Nonviolence in schools  with 474 enrolled, 10 tutors in 20 states of Brazil, which connect on the website of the UFRPE (Federal Rural University of Pernambuco). A talk by Gunther Aleksander, of the Pressenza Agency, and Vinicius Pereira, of the Nonviolence in Schools Project, about the launch of the 2 World March for Peace and Nonviolence, giving the appropriate explanations on the free course of distance education for the formation of non-violence Centres in schools. Londrina also in Brazil connected with Peace and Nonviolence symbols.

Argentina: the documentary “The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons” by director Alvaro Orus and producer Tony Robinson from Pressenza was shown in Cordoba. The film produced in the participants a very particular sensitivity that was expressed in the subsequent exchange. A campaign to collect signatures began to demand that the government of Argentina sign the treaty banning nuclear weapons and then ratify it.

Philippines: Teach Peace Build Peace Movement 

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .. .

Exerpts from an article in Minda News

Bai Rohaniza Sumndad –Usman delivered this speech during the press conference on the 2019 TOWNS awardees at Dusit, Makati on October 10, 2019.

We have to invest in nurturing a culture of peace in the heart of every child . . . In today’s society, a culture of peace should be seen as the core of humanity. In our organization, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM), our mission is to Make Every Filipino Child and Youth a Peace Hero.


Learning to Speak the Language of Peace

In TPBPM, we believe in the power of Peace Education and we have been doing a lot of innovation to teach peace as a lifestyle… we believe in how peace education can contribute to achieving sustainable peace.

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Question related to this article:

What is the best way to teach peace to children?

Where is peace education taking place?

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We have been helping schools and communities institutionalize Peace Education in creative and innovative ways like Music, Arts, Games, Sports and Community Service.

Our flagship program is called Peace Heroes Formation Program with a goal of creating a Culture of Peace in every school and community.

Receiving this blessing and being welcomed to a new family, which for me is the Almighty’s way of telling us to pursue our mission no matter what it takes, is for every child who fears the sound of war… for every child who fears the feeling of being bullied, judged and unaccepted.

This is for every struggle of a Filipino Child — Muslim, Christian and Indigenous Person whose stories range from experiencing armed conflict, discrimination, unacceptance, neglect and victimized by violent ideologies.

This is for every peace education believer, advocate and champion as we dramatically transform the concept of a Culture of Peace as an inherent way of life and as the core of humanity to address the underlying factors of conflict and violence.

I would like to end by giving much emphasis into these words: We have to teach peace to build a culture of peace because it is in building a culture of peace that we can create difference generations of peace heroes.

If we want a peaceful nation, we have to invest in nurturing a culture of peace in the heart of every child.

Kashmiri students run out of essentials, money; Khalsa Aid, J&K Students Assn extend help

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

An article from Indian Express

As Kashmiri students are running out of essential items and money, in the consequence of two months of lockdown in Kashmir, the Khalsa Aid and J&K Students Association provided 150 Kashmiri students with groceries, money and other necessary items on Tuesday.

The organisations provided a 25-kg kit of essential items including rice, flour, cooking oil and soaps, among other items to Kashmiri students in Banur.

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Question for this article

Is there a renewed movement of solidarity by the new generation?

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Spokesperson of the association, Nasir Khuehami said, “We are in touch with Kashmiri students and in collaboration with Khalsa Aid, we are providing them with every necessary assistance. Since students have run out of money and are not getting any help from their parents and families in the Valley, they are barely able to pay their college and university fees, and are struggling to meet the expenses of other basic needs. Today, we distributed packets containing around five kgs of rice and 10 kgs of flour, along with sugar, cooking oil, salt and some other basic spices to the students, besides some other essential commodities.’’

Khuehami said, while Khalsa Aid was providing groceries and essential commodities to the students, the association was giving them monetary help. ‘’In most cases, it is only around Rs 1,000 a student, but in cases where the student is ill, we give more. Everyone here is facing financial issues following the restrictions imposed in the Valley. Students are not able to pay their room rent and are running out of money for day-to-day commodities,” he said.

Expressing his gratitude to Khalsa Aid, for helping the Kashmiri students in distress, Khuehami said, “These bravehearts showed real humanity by providing groceries and other essentials to hundreds of students in Banur and other areas of Punjab. Humanity is beyond communal differences.’’

(Thank you to Shreya Jani who called this article to our attention.)

Australia: Antony Loewenstein wins the 2019 Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

An article from Jerusalem Peace Prize

Australians for Palestine and the Australia-Palestine Advocacy Network are thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2019 Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize is journalist, author, and film-maker Antony Loewenstein

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Question for this article

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?

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Antony’s best-selling book “My Israel Question” generated a storm of controversy because of his forensic discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the intimidatory way Zionist lobby groups have affected political discourse and news media to shape their version of Middle-Eastern politics. 

His foray into this veritable minefield saw him personally attacked and even shunned by his community and relatives.

He co-founded Independent Australian Jewish Voices and has said that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement “is a logical and non-violent response to human rights abuses in Palestine.

The award will be presented by last year’s prize winner Professor Emeritus Stuart Rees AM at a black-tie dinner in Queen’s Hall, Victorian State Parliament [Melbourne, Australia] on Friday  22 November 2019.  In response to the award, Antony will be in conversation with the celebrated journalist and television news presenter, Mary Kostakidis.

Honouring the Me Too Movement with the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from the Sydney Peace Foundation

Starting with two words, ‘me too’, women around the world have united in solidarity to share personal experiences about sexual harassment. This global call for change – the Me Too movement – has played a game-changing role in destigmatising the experiences of survivors of sexual assault and harassment, and, indeed, has re-imagined a future free from pervasive sexual violence. In recognition of its impact, the movement will be awarded the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize, with Tarana Burke and Tracey Spicer accepting the Prize on behalf of Me Too. The 2019 Sydney Peace Prize Jury citation reads:


“For empowering survivors of sexual harassment and violence, and elevating their voices; for championing truth and justice; for highlighting the breadth and impact of sexual violence worldwide; and for launching a demand for change that is sweeping the world.”

Founder Tarana Burke began building the movement in 2006 in the United States to support survivors of sexual violence, particularly black women and girls, connect to resources for healing, and to build a survivor-led community of advocates against sexual assault. Her grassroots work has now expanded to reach a global community of survivors from all walks of life.

Me Too is a movement about the far-reaching power of empathy. It’s about the millions of people who have raised their hands to say ‘me too’. And their hands are still raised..
Tracey Spicer AM is a journalist, author and broadcaster who has spearheaded the Me Too movement in Australia. She has produced award-winning investigations into sexual harassment in workplaces and founded NOW Australia in 2018 to advocate for safe workplaces and to support those who have been sexually harassed at work.

A demand for change sweeping the world

Contrary to popular belief, the Me Too movement did not spontaneously burst into existence, spurred by allegations from Hollywood actresses against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. While much of the mainstream media coverage of Me Too has centred around the entertainment industry and the downfall of powerful perpetrators, Tarana Burke is quick to bring the focus back to where it belongs – to the survivors.

“Me Too is a movement about the far-reaching power of empathy. It’s about the millions of people who have raised their hands to say ‘me too’. And their hands are still raised.”

In recounting the first sparks of Me Too, Tarana recalled her deep despair at witnessing rampant sexual assault in her community. Laying on the bed in her one-bedroom apartment in early 2006, Tarana pulled out a piece of paper and scrawled ‘me too’ across the top of the paper. But she didn’t stop there. Below ‘me too’, she began to build an action plan for a movement based on empathy between survivors that would allow the healing of deep wounds. From the idea of empowerment through empathy, Tarana built Just Be Inc., a not-for-profit and network with a mission to support and amplify the voices of survivors of sexual abuse, assault, and exploitation.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

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On our own shores, Australian broadcaster, journalist and author Tracey Spicer has been spearheading the Me Too movement, speaking out about prevalent sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace and seeking to build a support network for survivors. The spark which truly ignited the Me Too movement in Australia was a tweet from Tracey in 2017 to her 57,000 followings asking people to “contact me privately to tell your stories.” The tweet received more than 2,000 responses and propelled Me Too into the Australian public conscious and discourse. Following a flood of responses and harrowing stories from survivors, Tracey set up NOW Australia to support people across all industries who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or intimidated at work.

Commending Tarana for starting the movement, Tracey spoke of her optimism for a better future. “The Me Too movement has changed everything, it gives women a support base and information with which they can speak out and tell their stories.”

In our own backyard

The Me Too movement has kickstarted an outpouring of individual and collective voices shining a spotlight on the universal experience of women and some men with sexual harassment and abuse. And Australian society is unfortunately no exception. Statistics show that 1 in 5 Australian women will experience sexual violence in her lifetime, and that 1 in 2 will be subjected to sexual harassment. And these statistics only become more severe for indigenous women and women living with a disability. It is clear that we continue to have a very serious problem with attitudes towards domestic violence, consent, sexual abuse, and harassment.

The Me Too movement has revealed holes in our cultural norms and legal structures which must be addressed to better serve our communities and promote progress. Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins announced in 2018 an Australian Human Rights Commission-led National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. ‘Me Too has given us reason to be hopeful,’ says Jenkins.

Julian Burnside AO QC, 2014 Sydney Peace Prize Laureate, strongly supported Jury’s choice:

“It is a wonderful thing that Me Too is to be awarded the Sydn ey Ppppeace P“It is a wonderful thing that Me Too is to be awarded the Sydney Peace Prize…The Me Too movement has done a remarkable job drawing attention to a problem which was recognised by virtually all women and virtually no men. Since men are at the heart of the problem, it is a great thing that no man will now be believed if they say they are unaware of the problem Me Too has exposed.”

2019 Sydney Peace Prize

Without justice, peace is hollow and fragile. Every human being has the right to live their life in dignity, and when rampant sexual harassment and violence goes unchecked, we are all diminished and lose sight of our common humanity.

Me Too has changed the way we understand and talk about sexual harassment and violence, by highlighting the magnitude and impact of sexual harassment and violence around the world, in domestic, public spaces, and workplaces.

We owe future generations a world free of sexual violence. I believe we can build that world. Do you?”
To create spaces where survivors can speak truth to power in search of a better world requires courage, vision, leadership, and heart. Tarana, Tracey, and the many women and men raising their hands in unison to demand that their voices be heard challenge the societal structures and norms we have thus far accepted.

In Tarana’s words, “We owe future generations a world free of sexual violence. I believe we can build that world. Do you?”

The Sydney Peace Prize will be awarded on Thursday 14 November at Sydney Town Hall. Tickets available at bit.ly/SPPMeToo

Nipun Mehta and ServiceSpace to Receive the 2019 Goi Peace Award

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .      

An announcement from The Goi Peace Award

The Goi Peace Foundation will present the 2019 Goi Peace Award to Nipun Mehta and ServiceSpace, an incubator of projects that works at the intersection of volunteerism, technology and gift-economy.

The selection committee has chosen Nipun Mehta and ServiceSpace for the Goi Peace Award “in recognition of their collective efforts to transform the world through generosity. Through their exemplary acts and through various innovative projects, they have ignited the spirit of service in the hearts of many people around the world, demonstrating that ‘giftivism’ could shift our societies and economies.”

Nipun Mehta will receive the award at a ceremony during the Goi Peace Foundation Forum 2019, to be held at Nikkei Hall in Tokyo on November 23, 2019.

Nipun Mehta is the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of ServiceSpace, an organization run entirely by volunteers. What started as an experiment with four friends in the Silicon Valley has now grown to a global ecosystem of over 600,000 members from 171 countries that has delivered millions of dollars in service for free. Nipun has received many awards, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service, Wavy Gravy’s Humanitarian award, and Dalai Lama’s Unsung Hero of Compassion. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed him to a council on poverty and inequality. Nipun is routinely invited to share his message of “giftivism” to wide ranging audiences, from inner city youth in Memphis to academics in London to international dignitaries at the United Nations. One of his most formative experiences was a walking pilgrimage across India, with his wife of six months, whose profound lessons also became the subject of his widely-read address at UPenn commencement. Nipun’s mission statement in life reads: “Bring smiles in the world and stillness in my heart.”
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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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ServiceSpace leverage technology to encourage everyday people around the world to do small acts of service. It was originally started in 1999 by volunteers to help non-profits with technical services. Over the past twenty years, without any paid staff, fundraising, advertising, or pitches for media coverage, the organization has grown to become an umbrella for many generosity-driven projects, ranging from a daily positive news service, to an acts-of-kindness portal, to a gift-economy restaurant. Regardless of the endeavor, members of ServiceSpace communities around the globe act in concert to create service opportunities for each other and to support each other’s service journeys. ServiceSpace aims to ignite the fundamental generosity in all people, creating both inner and outer transformation.
ServiceSpace website

About the Goi Peace Foundation and the Goi Peace Award

Based in Japan, the Goi Peace Foundation is a public benefit organization supported by members around the world working together to create a culture of peace. Our mission is to foster a sustainable and harmonious global society by promoting consciousness, values and wisdom for creating peace, and by building cooperation among individuals and organizations across diverse fields, including education, science, culture and the arts.

Established by the Goi Peace Foundation in 2000, the Goi Peace Award is an international award presented annually to honor individuals and organizations in various fields that have made outstanding contributions toward the realization of a peaceful and harmonious world as envisioned in the Declaration for All Life on Earth.

Desmond Tutu Announces the Winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2019

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .      

An announcement from Kids Rights

From an impressive 137 applicants from 56 countries, the KidsRights’ Expert Committee selected Divina from Cameroon and Greta from Sweden as winners. The International Children’s Peace Prize will be awarded on November 20th, on Universal Children’s Day in The Hague. The very special award ceremony, will also celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the International Children’s Peace Prize which became a global phenomenon and reached 1.2 billion people last year.


Greta Thunberg and Divina Maloum

PERSONAL CONGRATULATIONS FROM ARCHBISHOP TUTU

Archbishop Tutu, who has been the patron of the International Children’s Peace Prize and KidsRights for more than a decade, said in a personal message to the winners: “I am in awe of you. Your powerful message is amplified by your youthful energy and unshakable belief that children can, no must, improve their own futures. You are true change-makers who have demonstrated most powerfully that children can move the world.”

INTRODUCING THE WINNERS

“The impact of both Greta and Divina for the future of many children is unmistakable, they are the rightful winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2019”, said Marc Dullaert, Founder of KidsRights and chairman of the Expert Committee.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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DIVINA: Nominated by African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development (ANYL4PSD)

Divina Maloum (14 years old, Cameroon, theme: Peace) – Since 2014, Cameroon has experienced terrorist attacks. When Divina visited the north of the country, she was horrified to see that children were the biggest victims of these terrorist attacks. She realized that many children do not know their rights, and so she created Children for Peace (C4P) to warn them about enrolment in armed groups and to reinforce the participation of children in peace-building and sustainable development. C4P is now a network of 100 children across the ten regions of Cameroon. She empowers them to be changemakers and to take part in peace initiatives in their communities. She has organized an inter-community children’s peace camp, established peace clubs in mosques, and together with other children, made a children’s declaration against violent extremism. Divina has big plans for the future and will not stop advocating for the right of children to live in peace.

GRETA: Nominated by Private Person: Jan van de Venis

Greta Thunberg (16 years old, Sweden, theme: environment) – Greta is a climate activist and a role model for international student climate activism. At the age of eight, when she first learned about climate change, she was shocked that adults did not appear to take the issue seriously. She could not understand why adults were not taking action against the climate crisis. Greta became depressed. She didn’t eat, go to school or speak for months. It was vital for Greta to take measures in her own life; she refrains from flying, eats no meat or dairy and she has a shop stop, meaning that she doesn’t buy new things. On August 20th 2018 Greta decided that it was time for her to take her efforts to the next level and speak out. She wanted more people to be aware and take action. Inspired by the 2018 International Children’s Peace Prize winners March for Our Lives, she sat down in front of Sweden’s parliament with a self-made banner skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate).