International Day of Peace, 21st September.
The International Day of Peace, also known as the World Peace Day, occurs annually on September 21. It is dedicated to peace, or specifically the absence of war, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone. It is observed by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples. The first year this holiday was celebrated was 1981.
To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at UN Headquarters. The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents. It was given as a gift by the Diet of Japan, and is referred to as "a reminder of the human cost of war." The inscription on its side reads: "Long live absolute world peace. “Peace = Future” is the theme of International Day of Peace 2012. This theme focuses on the role of youth in building a peaceful world.
2012 Peace Day Activities (Northern Uganda)
In partnership with various local CBO’s, Authorities, Faith Based Communities, Associations, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Africa Youth Ministries has planned “21 days of peace activism” in which various activities to mark the 2012 Peace Day will be conducted e.g. Peace Sunday, Peace Vigil Prayers, Sports Tournaments, Peace Music Festival, Community Peace Drums, Planting Peace Rocks, Unity Peace March, Peace School Debates etc:
Peace Sunday and Prayer for Peace:
During the 21 days of Peace Activism, Africa Youth Ministries has invited over 900 Churches in 6 Districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lira, Oyam and Amur in the post war Northern Uganda to pray for peace. This will mark the International Day of Prayer for Peace an opportunity for churches and faith communities in the region to pray and act together to nurture lasting peace in the hearts of people, their families, communities and societies. The idea was proposed in 2004 during a meeting between WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and coincides with the UN International Day of Peace. The Day of Prayer is one of the initiatives of the WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence. During the Peace Sunday, all activities e.g. sermons, hymns, songs, will rotate around creating the culture of non violence, reconciliation, forgiveness and tolerance. Churches are encouraged to integrate the full and active participation of youth in all services and activities.
Peace Sports Tournaments:
To mark the International Day of Peace, Africa Youth Ministries will be launching the soccer, volleyball and Netball tournaments starting on the 10th of August 2012 ending on the 21st of September 2012. All the sports tournaments will target young people ages 15-20 years, those most faced with the brunt of the 21 years brutal armed conflict between the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda armed forces. The 2012 International Peace Day sports tournaments presents an ideal opportunity to engage sport as a platform to teach necessary peace building skills with emphasis on: dialogue, tolerance, forgiveness, reconciliation, non violence, respecting and accepting differences, justice & equality, respecting rules, self control, communication skills, team spirit, integrity, and all important ingredients for dialogue and peace. Nelson Mandela wisely said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.
Planting Rocks for Peace:
During the 21 Days of Peace Activism, Africa Youth Ministries will engage over 200 schools to participate in painting and planting rocks for peace. Painting and Planting Rocks for Peace idea is a fun filled, creative and consciousness raising activity. It is a project that is implemented in the hopes that the more these Children are thinking about and reminded about peace, the more likely they are to attain it and as well act for peace.
Unity and Peace March:
Africa Youth Ministries is working with local CBO’s, schools, colleges, Faith Communities and Local authorities to mobilize communities to come out in large numbers all over northern Uganda and march on the streets for peace and unity. Our main focus during the march will be to encourage communities to stand for peace and promote reconciliation, forgiveness, non-violence and tolerance among the war affected communities after 21 years of a brutal armed conflict between the Lords Resistance Army and the government’s forces which raged between 1986 and 2007.
Peace Music Festival:
The Peace music festival will bring together artist from across the Country and Northern Uganda communities to promote and support peace through music. The main aim of the peace music festival is to use the power of music to communicate and promote the culture of non violence among war affected communities with a major focus on war affected young people e.g. ages 10-20. The peace music festival will also encourage the participation of young artists and children to compose and present their songs for peace. The Peace music festival will take place on the 20th of September 2012 at Kaunda Grounds, Gulu town in Northern Uganda. During the 21 days of peace activism.
Children Peace Painting Competition:
During the 21 days of peace activism, a peace painting campaign for primary school going learners will be conducted targeting worst war affected communities. The purpose of this painting competition is to let children tell their story about the war through painting.
Charity Sales Exhibition:
During the 21 days of Activism to mark the International day of peace, Africa Youth Ministries is working with various youth and women organizations involved income generation projects to stage a 3 days Charity Sales exhibition. Items to be exhibited are mainly handcrafts only produced within the post was northern Uganda by war affected communities. The Charity Sales exhibition will be held from the 18th-21st of September 2012 at Kaunda grounds, Gulu Town. This charity sales exhibition is organized and hosted by Africa Youth Ministries under the my Hands My Future project (MHF), for details about this project, kindly click.
Accelerated HIV Prevention Campaign
The Acholi region in Northern Uganda has got the highest HIV prevalence rate in Uganda of 14% unlike the rest of the Country prevalence rate estimated at 6.4%, this entire as a result of of the 21 years armed conflict that prevailed from 1986-2007. During the 21 days of peace activism, Africa Youth Ministries together with our local partners, we will be conducting an accelerated HIV prevention campaign that will include fresh HIV sensitisation education and free HIV Counseling and testing schools, communities and houses of worship.
Inter-School Peace Debates
During the 21 days of peace activism to towards the commemoration of the International Day of peace 21st September 2012, Africa Youth Ministries will be working with various schools in the Districts of Gulu, Oyam, Pader and Kitgum to conduct peace debates. The debates will evolve around subjects such as non violence, tolerance, reconciliation, forgiveness etc, such debates will help involved students to learn and discover alternative peaceful/non-violent means of solving conflicts.
Expressive Arts Competition:
During the 21 days of Peace Activist, Africa Youth Ministries will be working with various local community based organisations and International agencies to mobilise war affected children and youth to participate in expressive arts painting competitions to tell their own life war stories.
Peace Day Campaign Donations:
Our very urgent Peace Day Campaign Needs are:-
- Sports equipments (Soccer Balls, Basketballs, volleyballs, netballs, soccer boots, canvass shoes and uniforms
- Colours and paints for children painting competition
- Peace March banners, posters, placards etc
Make an online secure donation now For donations and inquiries kindly contact us at
Olive Branch/Peace Dove lapel pins: 5US$ each, Order now to support our International of Peace Activities
"Human Cost of War"
Property Cost of War
Displacement, over 1.5 million people lived in IDP camps between 1998-2008
Post war reconstruction, mines risk education through sport
Economic empowerment of communities formerly affected by the 21 years of war, a key component in peacebuilding
Innocent war victims, land mine survivor
War crimes, a woman burnt by the LRA rebels during the Barlonyo Massacre feb 21st 2004
Barlonyo massacre, February 21, 2004: over 300 people in Barlonyo IDP camp, Lira, were burned to death. Many children are left homeless.
Mothers and children always suffer in war more than any other person. She can tell the story of Barlonyo.
This is a mother of five children. The LRA came to abduct the children. When one child cried please stop beating my mother, the mother was ordered to kill her own child—after being forced to have sex with six LRA soldiers in the presence of all her five children... so that they do not kill the other four children, killing ordered by the commander. Those four children were abducted.
For further details on the Barlonyo Massacre Click HERE