Who will YOU Make peace With? This seemingly innocuous question has become the mantra and impetus for action for millions of people, after one man – Jeremy Gilley – believed in a global day of ceasefire and non-violence – Peace Day, 21 September.
Jeremy Gilley, actor turned film-maker and founder of the non-profit, Peace One Day, begun the journey to build a movement for peace, in the late 90’s. Thorough his efforts, the International Peace Day was established and unanimously adopted by every UN Member State.
The Peace Day has now grown to a world-wide platform of awareness, with over 1 billion people exposed to Peace Day messages in 2014 alone. It has become, as Peace One Day describes it
“An annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known”.
This month, we caught up with Jeremy and asked – what is your raison d’etre?
End Child Poverty: Why is peace day important for children?
Jeremy Gilley: Peace Day is important for children because it is a starting point for their action towards a more peaceful world. We see this happening at thousands of schools across the world where teachers have used the free Peace One Day materials from our (Peace Day) website to inspire their students to be the driving force behind the vision of a united and sustainable world. With education at the heart of Peace Day, this is a key foundation of all our activities.
End Child Poverty: How can children be part of building peace?
Jeremy Gilley: First and foremost, by observing Peace Day. By taking part in this global action we are all peace makers and working together is key to the survival of humanity. Peace Day – 21 September – provides a platform for (children) to do that, particularly through faith, art, music and sport.
End Child Poverty: What keeps you going – what motivates you to work for peace?
Jeremy Gilley: What keeps me going is how the day keeps on growing. More and more people participate in Peace Day every year and those actions are transforming lives. Whatever they are doing, wherever they are, they are raising awareness of Peace Day and that awareness encourages action, and that action saves lives. People all over the world are inspired and empowered by the day so it is exciting and incredible honour for me to contribute to that.
End Child Poverty: If you could talk to the all children of the world for a few minutes, what would you tell them?
Jeremy Gilley: I would ask the children of the world: Who will you make peace with on Peace Day? Who will you bring together on Peace day? How will you express what peace looks and feels like to you on 21 September? I would tell the children of the world that it doesn’t matter how big or small your action is, the fact that you are observing Peace Day has a tremendous impact as every individual action builds peace in some way. If the (children) and youth of the world can stand together and do this as one, then together we will contribute to establishing sustainable peace in our homes, schools and communities.
Jeremy is known for saying “When you build a house, you start with one brick. If we want to build peace, we should start with one day. That has arrived.”
In partnership with Peace One Day, we invite you to join us as we celebrate peace and mark Peace Day, this 21st September 2015. Connect us on Twitter and Facebook this whole month and be part of our Peace Day campaign.
Together we can build peace and build a better world for children.
#EndChildPoverty #PeaceDay #21Sept #PeaceOneDay