|Day of Peace in Cote d'Ivoire|
|By Eugene Ahondjo, Secretary General, UPF-Cote d'Ivoire|
|Sunday, September 21, 2008|
Agboville, Cote d'lvoire - The celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace by the Universal Peace Federation in Côte d’Ivoire was held in Agboville, a city close to Abidjan where UPF has dynamic and active Ambassadors for Peace. The theme was “Bringing Peace Among Our Communities."
The program had two components: a service project to clean up the hospital grounds, which was covered by grasses reaching two meters in height, and a football match for peace. More than 40 young volunteers joined the clean-up project.
Answering the UN call inviting all organizations and countries to foster human rights, the Agboville program received the support of the UN’s Communication and Information Office, which offered sets of T-shirts and sandals with the phrase: “On the Road of Peace” and UN posters.
On September 20, 320 people assembled, including local authorities. The national staff of UPF was represented by UPF Chairman, Hon. Gbocho, and a vice president, Hon. Mrs. Bouama, Member of Parliament. The prefect of Toumodi city and some administrative service chiefs attended the ceremony. Ambassadors for Peace from Abidjan joined the program.
After the opening address by a member of the organizing committee, the director of the hospital and a representative of the mayor welcomed the participants. The explanation of the United Nations International Day of Peace was given by the Secretary General of UPF. Then Hon. Bouama stood to make the Declaration of the Day of Peace.
The series of addresses was followed by the announcement of the service project and a football match among teams of young people, including some from tribal communities. Distinguished guests joined the young people in cleaning up the grounds. After the 40-minute match, trophies were awarded to the winning teams and volunteers were recognized. Then all the participants enjoyed refreshments.
This first United Nations International Day of Peace in Agboville was organized with the full investment of local Ambassadors for Peace, three community-based organizations, and community youth groups, with the support of the local authorities. The program was a means to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals, since it brought together community-based organizations, politicians, and non-governmental organizations as partners in a sustainable environmental project by focusing on the basic human right to have a clean environment.
At the end of the program, around 2:00 pm, Ambassadors for Peace paid a visit to patients in the hospital.
In the opinion of many, the project was quite successful considering the time required for preparations and the challenges in gaining sponsorship. Next year we expect to bring together more partners and sponsors and put on a larger-scale program.
To read UPF's Peace Declaration and reports of observances in other nations, click here.