STAND UK delivers Peace Parcels to local London Secondary School
To celebrate International Peace Day on the 21st September, members of the Managing Committee spent the week putting their arts and crafts skills to the test, creating and hand delivering personalised Peace Parcels to Oaks Park High School. Peace starts at home, which is why we targeted one of our member’s local schools to find out what peace means them and within their local community
Founded in 1999 by Jeremy Gilley, Peace One Day aims to make the 21st September a day of global unity and intercultural cooperation. By 2001, Peace One Day’s efforts were recognised as member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non- violence, today known as Peace Day. The organisation continues to grow, boasting an exposure of over 2.2 billion people to Peace Day initiatives through activities, collaborations and media campaigns.
Peace education is often branded “too big”, “too difficult” or “too sensitive” to teach, however, we at STAND maintain that by starting small and understanding what peace means to ourselves, we are then able to encourage action on what peace should look like outside our classroom, our hometown, and the UK. The Peace Parcel initiative aimed to facilitate this discussion within an accessible and friendly atmosphere.
In preparation, Student Director, Sophie Back, and Communications Coordinator, Lily Pryer, swapped Slack for a day of glitter pens, PVA glue and stickers. Within each parcel, Year 7 classes were given a handmade origami bird and a personalised handwritten card inviting them to partake in a class inclusive activity on the theme of peace. Campaigns Coordinator, Amrita Farook, designed an insightful powerpoint introducing students to peace education, Peace One Day and STAND. Pupils were invited to share “who they would pledge to make peace with…” and decorated their classroom with beautiful bunting upon which they finished the sentence “To me peace means…”
We hope that the students at Oaks Park High School enjoyed the activity as much as we enjoyed making the parcels (minus the origami birds, we’ll leave that to the art experts next year!).
This blog post was written by Lily Pryer, the Communications Coordinator at STAND UK. Lily is going into her final year at the University of York and studies French and History.