A very happy International Day of Peace to you all.
It’s observed each year on 21 September and is designated by the UN as a day devoted to “strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples”.
It is a beautiful initiative, and much-needed in a world where war and conflict is tearing people apart and weakening our communities.
The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
Speaking about this year’s event, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, says:
“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats. We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential. Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”
They are words that should resonate around the globe and right into our communities.
There are millions of vulnerable people in our society. We also know that conflict disproportionately affect women. Many women in, for example, Syria, are left to look after children following the deaths of their husbands. Women are targeted when law and order breaks down. Women often have no voice.
Conflict is not always about war. Conflict can be within our own communities, families, our own homes and relationships.
This is why for us, the International Day of Peace should not only be about solidarity with women around the world who are suffering due to war, but also unity with each other in a much more localised way.
Women are a vital part of peacekeeping, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with each other and taking a stand within our communities.
The best way to look out for one another is to ensure we communicate and, well, hang out together.
At ODARA, we run many activities that help to bring peace into women’s lives. On Tuesdays we have a women’s support group where there are people to talk to and opportunities to make friends. On Wednesday mornings we run a health and wellbeing day talking about fitness, beauty, health and nutrition.
With many women experiencing violence in different parts of their lives, it is important that us women come together and support each other in our moments of need.
For more information, contact us or like us on Facebook.
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