Peace on Earth, good will towards men. It is more than just comforting words heard once a year during this festive season or placed on a yuletide banner.
“Every one of us has the power to make a peaceful difference, yet we don’t always use it,” said Chris Kinch, director of community relations for Family YMCA of Prince George. Together with others across Canada, the local organization marked YMCA World Peace Week (Nov. 17 to 24) by encouraging children, youth and adults to create peace by living it every day with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
“In today’s globalized world, our many interconnections are defining the world in which we live. Our actions at home have an impact on the people elsewhere in the world. the more we understand these connections, the more empowered we become to make a positive impact, locally and around the world,” Kinch said.
The YMCA incorporates peace building activities all year round but during World Peace Week, places special emphasis on teaching children and youth about exploring peace from a personal, community and international perspective and on recognizing the peace efforts of local residents, he said.
This year 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of recognizing community peace builders in Canada by awarding them the YMCA Peace Medallion. Since 1987, 900 individuals and groups have received YMCA Peace Medallions during YMCA World Peace Week. Nita Flack of Prince George has been recognized in this commemorative booklet in recognition of her fundraising efforts to support health, education and social infrastructure.
To commemorate this significant milestone, a special commemorative booklet called Voices for Peace was created. Recipients of the honour were asked to synthesize their lifetime’s journey of experience and learning into one brief message of wisdom to help create Voices for Peace. This resource along with the YMCA Peace Building Activity Guide for children and youth is available for download at http://www.ymca.ca” www.ymca.ca.