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Amidst Global Turmoil, Citizens Unite for Peace: 11th Annual Peace Walk in 50 countries

As conflicts erupt worldwide, threatening global security and coexistence, hope of peace emerges from citizens. In May 2024, citizens across all continents will join hands for HWPL’s 11th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and Peace Walk, organized by a UN-affiliated NGO Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL). Themed “Communication for Global Citizenship of Reconciliation and Tolerance” this event aims to cultivate and share a global culture of peace.

The flagship event commenced on May 25th at the Peace Gate of Seoul Olympic Park sponsored by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of Korea. In about 50 countries, the Peace Walks are complemented by diverse peace-building activities.

The worldwide events include landmark walks reflecting each nation’s unique character, alongside peace performances, video screenings, photo exhibitions, poster drawings, sports activities, bazaars, and volunteer opportunities. Tree planting ceremonies and “free hugs” initiatives further emphasize the spirit of unity and environmental well-being.

This annual event commemorates the 2013 proclamation of the Declaration of World Peace at the Peace Gate in Seoul Olympic Park with 30,000 global youth advocating peace. This declaration outlines the roles of individuals from all walks of life in achieving peace and urges a united global effort.

At the 10th annual commemoration last year Chairman Lee Man-hee said, “Since we pledged to work together for world peace 10 years ago, we have been calling for peace all over the world. We have advocated that peace should be taught at home and at school, and that everyone should become messengers of peace.” He also emphasized, “Everyone should be one under the title of peace and work together to create a good world and make it a legacy for future generations. This is what we need to do in this era in which we live.”

On this day, several booths, including a war experience booth where attendees could gain firsthand insight into the realities of war, a photo exhibition showcasing individuals dedicated to peace, and an information booth that introduced the current situation in Zambia and HWPL’s activities in the region.

In Zambia, Youth people, one-third of the total population, are facing numerous socioeconomic challenges such as lack of education, unemployment, and difficulty finding jobs. Additionally, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) World Drug Report 2023 indicates that drug use in Zambia is on the rise.

As a resolution HWPL is implementing peace education in 14 schools together with youth groups in Zambia. On 30th of this month, the Legacy of Peace Project 1 – Kanyama, a community change project centered on peace education, will begin.

The IPYG Zambia branch has been organizing Youth Empowerment Peace Workshops (YEPW) to address various issues faced by young people. During these workshops, Zambian youth leaders highlighted the lack of infrastructure for online classes due to poor networking and how this leads to social problems such as drug addiction, unemployment, and early marriage.

In response, IPYG, in collaboration with civil society, launched the Youth Empowerment Peace Classes (YEPC) in Zambia to provide training in parenting, youth employability, self-health care, and gender equality, and has already reached over 600 individuals. The event featured photos and testimonials from Zambian students, teachers, and parents who have completed the YEPC program.

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