Report: GenPeace September-October Activities
September is a historical month for GenPeace. Incidentally, 21 September is the International Day of Peace, the Day of Commemoration of the Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, and also the End of Ramadan for our Muslim brothers and sisters. On October 6, the World Peace March of the World Without Wars visited and marched in the country.
Thank you all for participating and supporting GenPeace events during this period.
- Peace Day Project
The Peace Day Project aims to popularize the 21st of September as Peace Day, use the day as a starting point for the discussion of the different peace and conflict issues in the country, participate in the world wide celebration of Peace One Day through different local youth activities.
The Peace Day Project has 3 main activities:
a.) Peace Mosaic and the Wall of Peace
The Peace Mosaic is a collective art intiative wherein 100 tiles are distributed to GenPeace network members across the country. The tiles are designed by youth leaders from different communities and youth organizations. Artworks were done in communities affected by conflicts, areas of indigenous peoples communities, peace zones, youth organizations working on peace, human rights, governance, environmental protection, etc.
The designed tiles were then transported to Quezon City, Manila, where a permanent art installation was granted by the government to create a Wall of Peace in a public park. The wall symbolizes the youth’s aspiration for peace and their efforts against war.
b.) A GenPeace Mini-Documentary: A Story of Peace
Along with gathering artworks on tiles, GenPeace also collected different perspectives of youth vis-à-vis conflict and violence. The different youth peace stories were gathered and made into a mini-documentary which highlights the a)different realities of violence in the country, b) the youth initiatives on peace, and c) provide inspiration and hope that peace is possible. The documentary is designed as an educational tool that can be used as a material to start discussions on armed violence or as a very brief presentation on what the Philippine context is.
c.) Peace Day Celebration
We celebrated the International Day of Peace by gathering different stakeholders to peace—government leaders, NGOs, youth and students organizations, religious, women and spiritual formations—in a half-day celebration that included the end of Ramadan prayer, interfaith prayers, songs, dance numbers, speeches from different leaders, making of a human peace sign, the unveiling of the Wall of Peace and the premiere screening of the mini-documentary.
- World Peace March
The Philippines is the 3rd stop for the historic 80-day World Peace March initiated by the World Without Wars movement. GenPeace supported the initiative, and marched the symbolic ½ kilometer-walk in Manila. Banners calling for peace, nuclear disarmament and non-violence were waved along the way. The international marchers from Latin America, Europe and Asia were also welcomed in a short program that included dances, messages and songs for peace. Schools and youth organizations mobilized participants to the event that had the gymnasium jam-packed and really festive.
Outside the venue, GenPeace members had exhibit tables where different issues and advocacies were lined up such as disarmament, small arms, advocacy towards a non-killing society, overview on the conflict in Southern Philippines, among others. We also took this opportunity to fund-raise by selling peace shirts to participants.