Monday 3rd October 2022 (St John’s, Antigua) …On Sunday, 2nd October, International Day of Non-Violence, the Rotaract Club of Antigua held a peace walk in recognition of International Day of Peace.
One of Rotary International’s focus is promoting peace. As a humanitarian organization, peace is a cornerstone of our mission. We believe that when people work to create peace in their communities, these changes can create a global effect. Today, over 70 million people are displaced as a result of conflict, violence, persecution, and human rights violations; most of which are children.
As part of the Rotaract District 7030 mission, which entails promoting peace and peacebuilding, the 70+ clubs were tasked with executing a peace walk, which were all originally scheduled to be on September 18th, 2022, International Day of Peace. However, due to the inclement weather caused by tropical storm Fiona, the Rotaract Club of Antigua was forced to postpone until Sunday 2nd October.
The peace walk, organized by the International Service Committee of the club, was well represented by various non-profit organizations. Assistant Governor Evangeline Allen delivered the peace message from Debbie Roopchand, the District 7030 Peace-Building Chair. The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda was also present, and Superintendent Elson Qwammie urged citizens to come together to seek solutions to make peace within our society. Also, the founder of the Honeybee Theatre, and Activist, Ms Zahra Airall and her theatre group performed a short dramatic presentation.
Rotaract President, Dr. Namadi Belle, in her message charged the participants, “…as citizens to not only seek to embrace the virtues of peace, but also to demonstrate them daily in homes, schools, churches, and the workplace.” President Belle also mentioned “In fact, the actions of each of us should be guided and informed by the principles of peace, namely, respect, tolerance, empathy and justice.”
The recent incidences of violence and domestic issues in our communities signal that we need to re-examine and re-evaluate how we interact and relate to our fellow men and women. It should also be noted that socio-economic factors, and drug-related activities do play a role, and consequently, contribute to the violent happenings of the day.
However, the notion of our approach to problem solving and conflict resolution clearly suggests that an immediate resetting of our value system is critical if we aspire as Antiguans and Barbudans to live as a peaceful nation. However, by practicing peace we will be setting the foundation and building the blocks for a safe, secure, and peaceful society.
To conclude, a monetary donation was made to the Women Against Rape (WAR) Organization, which was presented to the founder, Ms Alexandrina Wong. Prior to her acceptance, Ms Wong charged the gathering to be vigilant, and ‘say something if they see something’.
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