September 21 was officially named International Day of Peace by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982, to devote this day to “strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.” With the 2015 holiday fast approaching, we’re looking forward to seeing peace being honored and celebrated around the world.
Here at Discover Corps, we do our best to promote peace all around the world by bringing together different cultures through our myriad volunteer vacation opportunities. By traveling to developing countries and providing some of the many resources and services they need (while also creating an opportunity for volunteers to meet, work with and interact with locals), we try to do our part to encourage a more peaceful and understanding world.
We believe that peace should be honored and strived for every single day of the year. But the International Day of Peace gives us all a special reminder for people to gather around the globe and work together to promote peace between us all.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate International Day of Peace, we think volunteering is a great way to do so. Check for local volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood, and join hands with your friends and neighbors in doing good for your community. But there are also lots of other ways to give back in honor of the International Day of Peace. Here are six additional options you may wish to explore:
1) Educate Children About the International Day of Peace
Teachers and parents alike have an opportunity to instill an appreciation for this holiday in our youth. Conversations about peace with our children is a great way to ensure that our leaders of tomorrow appreciate the value of peaceful relations between different people. The world can be an incredibly scary place for kids at times, but talking about the need for peace will remind them that, as the future of humanity, they have the power to make a difference. Peace Day Philly offers a handy flier on ways to teach children about the International Day of Peace.
2) Play Sports
Organizing a friendly competition is a great way to showcase good sportsmanship and the power of community. When people come together for sport, it demonstrates how peace can be achieved, even between two opposing teams. Everyone should be there to have fun, no matter what the outcome. The Universal Peace Federation provides some great suggestions on how to celebrate the International Day of Peace through sports.
3) Organize Team-Building Activities at Work
For those who will spend the International Day of Peace (which falls on a Monday in 2015) at the office, team-building activities are an excellent way to bring your co-workers together for some productive, collaborative fun. Team-building activities promote positive communication, encouragement and understanding— all skills that are important in promoting peace at work and beyond. Check out these options for team building activities and celebrate a peaceful day with your co-workers!
4) Enjoy a Minute of Silence
Wherever you find yourself on Peace Day, you can be part of something that spans the entire globe. At noon in each time zone, one minute of silence will be held. This is a time that can be spent meditating on a more peaceful world, praying for those who have lost their lives due to violence, or simply honoring the ability to join with others in this common goal of world peace. Join the Minute of Silence Facebook group to commit yourself to honoring this moment.
5) Learn About the History of the International Day of Peace
For over three decades now, September 21st has been observed as a day to “honor a cessation of hostilities” and promote peace around the world. But there have been, and continue to be, many conflicts that make this day a necessary and important holiday. Learning about the history of the International Day of Peace and the global conflicts that still exist will allow us all to better understand the important issues this holiday aims to solve. The UN’s website offers an exceptional resource for more information.
6) Print and Share a Poster for Peace
Help to spread the word about this important holiday by sharing the official 2015 International Day of Peace poster at your place of worship, office, school, community bulletin boards, or wherever you’re given permission to hang them. Increasing general awareness about the International Day of Peace brings more people into the conversation, and ultimately makes those conversations more powerful.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21, we hope you’ll keep peace in your heart, every day of the year. The future of our planet depends on it! –Britany Robinson
BIO: Britany Robinson is a freelance travel and culture writer based in Portland, Oregon. Her works appears in BBC Travel, Mashable, The Daily Dot and more. Her blog, Travel Write Away, shares advice and musings on travel writing. When she’s not planning her next big trip, she’s scoping out Portland craft beers and local hikes.