International Day of Peace Observed in Russia

Russia-2016-09-24-International Day of Peace Observed in Russia

Moscow, Russia—The 2016 International Day of Peace was celebrated by UPF chapters across Russia.


Moscow

UPF-Moscow held a conference with the theme "The UN Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks of Peace" on September 24.

Representatives of public organizations, heads of affiliated organizations, and UPF Ambassadors for Peace attended the conference.

In his welcoming address as master of ceremonies, Dmitry Samko, secretary general of UPF-Moscow, emphasized the official message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlining the important path for all humankind to follow: "This year's Day of Peace is dedicated to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are the basis for peace. Today, on the International Day of Peace, each of us has an opportunity to prove his or her commitment in the cause of peace by becoming a champion of Sustainable Development Goals."

Together with Sergei Suprunyuk, the chair of the super-marathoners’ association "I Choose Sport!," Mr. Samko presented the results of the 2016 Peace Road project and the children's marathon from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod, which was perhaps the main event of the summer under the Peace Road banner.

The picture of 2016 Peace Road activities was completed by Alexander Kubrak, team captain and coordinator of the Three Sisters 2016 race. Runners from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus participated in this ultra-marathon on July 30, the International Day of Friendship, when all three teams met at the Three Sisters memorial where the borders of the three countries meet.

Representing the Moscow chapter of Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), an affiliated organization, Elena Popova described its activities around the world. Special emphasis was given to the Bridge of Peace project, which has been carried out in different regions and countries to promote understanding and acceptance of other cultures.

Konstantin Krylov, the regional secretary general of UPF for Eurasia, spoke about recent initiatives and plans of the federation and focused on the UPF Principles of Peace on which the activities of the Ambassadors for Peace are based: "The partnership concept is an integral part of the UN program of Sustainable Development for the period up to 2030,” Mr. Krylov said. “This partnership is based on mutual respect, dialogue, and understanding that we all are members of one global family. It complies with the principles supported by the Universal Peace Federation."

Ambassador for Peace certificates were awarded to two distinguished public figures: Zhurlah Ashuev, a member of the Assembly of Peoples of Russia committee that is titled “The Health of the Nation Is the Future of Russia”; and Dr. Ahmed Al-Saati, ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to Russia, who in response promised to be worthy of the title Ambassador for Peace and invited UPF to hold a conference at the highest level in his country.

Dmitry Samko, secretary general, UPF-Moscow


Yekaterinburg

Ten volunteers came together on September 20 to make paper cranes, which the next day would be "Messengers of Peace." Several university students belonging to the local chapter of Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), an affiliated organization, came to support the project. On the International Day of Peace, September 21, these young people went to the Yekaterinburg city park with paper cranes and balloons.

Sixteen volunteers approached people in the street with a proposal to celebrate International Day of Peace by writing a wish on a balloon or on a crane and then giving it to any passer-by. One of the goals of the project was to give people the experience of "living for the sake of others" and the feeling of joy.

The project itself took about an hour. In the first few minutes, people did not stop, but with the first positive results people became more responsive. If people were in a hurry, the volunteers briefly told them about the International Day of Peace, gave them a crane or a balloon, and congratulated them. The total number of passers-by who stopped to learn about the International Day of Peace was about a hundred.

Dmitry V. Kuznetsov, research assistant, Institute of Geology and Geochemistry, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Video: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxL2Zs858J4AbDdHM2hlT2FTM1k

 

Also in the city of Yekaterinburg, Marina Sokolova, a writer and a Young Ambassador for Peace, realized a project consisting of two parts. On September 17, she did a video interview with 10 volunteers who wanted to share their concept of "world peace." On September 18, she and some others held a mini-rally in the city center in order to warmly congratulate and encourage passers-by on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. Yulia Gilvanova helped her with the video and congratulations.

During the interview, the following questions were asked: "What does ‘world peace’ mean to you?" "How can we achieve peace?" "How would you like to celebrate the International Day of Peace in our city?" The interviewees sincerely shared their thoughts. The purpose of the video was to encourage viewers to take personal responsibility for peacebuilding at the local level through simple acts.

The second part of the project actually was inspired by the people being interviewed. Many of them approved of organizing a “flash-mob” to congratulate passers-by. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the center of Yekaterinburg, a small group of people spoke to others about the holiday and congratulated them.

Participants reacted to the project positively. Although young people showed more trust, interest and activity, and middle-aged and elderly people were generally shy, most people responded willingly.

In the video one can hear a song composed by Ms. Sokolova a few months earlier. She also created the slogan "Peace, it's just simple."

Marina Sokolova, Young Ambassador for Peace, writer, vocalist, photographer


Omsk

In Gymnasium (School) No. 9 UPF held a large-scale campaign "Peace for All Peoples, Peace on the Whole Planet."

School activists held two activities, "Peace Bell" and "Dove of Peace." The children talked about the UN tradition: Every year on September 21, the Peace Bell is rung, calling upon all people in the world to reject war, violence and cruelty. The children were asked to join all the people of the world by standing up, holding hands, and thinking about peace.

The children made a lot of paper cranes and then released them into the sky, attached to balloons. For the primary school pupils, there was an asphalt drawing competition on the theme "We Stand for Peace around the World!"

Teachers prepared interesting topics for discussion: peace, friendship, kindness, and tolerance. Primary school children read tales of goodness and friendship.

Olga Varlamova, Omsk Gymnasium (School) No. 9

Photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0fh2JbUGN3Hc3FKY1B6WVdmamM


Novosibirsk

The International Day of Peace was celebrated in the Novosibirsk Regional Youth Library on September 21 with a program called "The Way of Young People toward a Culture of Peace." The event was organized jointly by the Universal Peace Federation, library staff, students, and all those who wished to support the ideals of world peace.

After the official opening, the organizers gave a presentation about the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and spoke of their own experiences in implementing the goals.

Pavel spoke about using a solar panel to charge a smartphone in field conditions. Alina told about a project to make books and printed materials available to elderly people. Yulia described her experience in the field of environmental protection. Lydia talked about the practice of separate waste collection. Larisa spoke about gender equality and importance of beekeeping support. Dmitry spoke about the International Peace Highway project, which would unite peoples through a road system.

A brief survey of passers-by and acquaintances, held the day before, showed that many people had no idea that September 21 was the International Day of Peace. The participants decided that they would promote this day with the greatest possible number of people in different parts of Russia. In this they were helped by "Goodness Mail,” a project that started in July 2015 in which postcards and kind words are used to make the world better and people happier.

The participants filled out 23 postcards with congratulations and messages of peace and goodness to send to different cities of Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Nizhnevartovsk, Perm, Kineshma, Kandalaksha, Arsenyev, Nakhodka, Kolomna, Zheleznogorsk, Tosno, Petrozavodsk, and others. For many participants it was the first experience in that kind of project, but everyone liked the idea.

The participants proposed creating greeting cards designed for different holidays (International Day of Families, World Environment Day) and use them to congratulate people from different parts of our country and the world.

Lydia M. Sleptsova

Photo: https://yadi.sk/a/a7iq3l93vim2E


Volgograd

Since 2013, the International Day of Peace celebration in this southern Russia city has been held in combination with the project of UPF International known as “Play Football for Peace.”

The first such soccer championship related to the International Day of Peace was held in Volgograd on September 21, 2011. Every year since then, the stadium of School #71 has welcomed teams from all parts of the city.

These events are focused on young people aged 16 and older. The competitions encourage them to continue sports and exercise as they become adults.

This year’s championship was attended by 10 teams. The winning team was "Fortune" from the "Forum" municipal center (Alexander Naumov, coach). In second place was the "Quarter" team (S. Kuramshin, coach), and in third place was "Petrel" (E. Kotljarova AT, coach). The best players were Shirhan Hamzayev, Rovshan Ilyas Sharipov, Vyacheslav Kosov, Arthur Belyakov, Andrei Kim, Vadim Melnikov, Denis Zatsenko, and Dmitry Gribanov. The winners and participants were awarded with cups, medals, diplomas and prizes.

Violetta O. Potylitsina, specialist in working with young people at the Youth Center "Forum" for teenagers and youth in Krasnoarmeyskiy District


St. Petersburg

The International Day of Peace celebration was held in the beautiful auditorium of the "Festival Plus" private school. Among the participants were pupils of the 5th to 11th school years.

The president of the school, Nikita Hibin, an 11th-year pupil, opened the meeting. He declared that this was the most important holiday of the United Nations, and spoke about its history. He read aloud the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with its appeal to stop murder and destruction and to create conditions for lasting peace. In his slide presentation, Nikita showed the Bell of Peace, established in the central office of the United Nations, and explained the significance of the ringing of this bell. He also showed an image of the monument symbolizing prohibition of war, which is mounted in front of the UN headquarters in New York, and the famous bronze sculpture "Against Violence"—a revolver with the barrel tied in a knot. Today there are 20 such sculptures worldwide.

Mrs. Tatiana Krasnosumova, the teacher-organizer of the school and an Ambassador for Peace, read the results of a survey of students, teachers and parents on the subject of peace. She noted that all of the survey participants were unanimous in their response:

  • Peace begins with one person and includes good understanding and friendship.
  • A peacemaker is a person who brings peace and goodness, and makes the world better.
  • Peacemaking begins in the family with compassion and kindness.
  • To establish world peace, we need to act thoughtfully and be responsible for our actions, live according to our conscience, and recognize the value of life.

Then the music video, "The World That I Need," was shown.

The participants agreed that it is necessary to live in peace with others, so that world peace and prosperity will prevail. To do this, we need to abide by the rules (principles) of life, which should be uniform for all the inhabitants of the earth. We need people to promote these rules and implement them. Such people are called peacemakers or Ambassadors for Peace.

Mrs. Krasnosumova explained about the Ambassadors for Peace movement initiated by the Universal Peace Federation, and introduced Ambassador for Peace Gennady Valugin, who spoke about participating in marathon relay races related to the promotion of peace, among them:

  • An annual children's marathon through the Golden Ring cities of Russia
  • Marathon for Peace, St. Petersburg to Kaliningrad (via the Baltic countries)
  • Peace Road St. Petersburg to Vladivostok.

Finally the participants watched the music video "On Peace."

Tatyana N. Krasnosumova, teacher-organizer, Ambassador for Peace


Vladivostok

The action "Let There Be Peace!" was held on September 21 at the Sportivnaya waterfront park. The initiator of the action was Wellness Club BoraKami.

On the stairs at the amphitheater volunteers arranged 986 handmade flowers in a cascade. All day long people recited poetry in support of peace, and creative teams performed. The goal of this art project was to attract the attention of city residents, especially youth, to the issue of peace and security.

Thanks to the efforts of the UPF "Peace Road" and solicitous families, the handmade flowers were delivered to Vladivostok from different parts of Russia: St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and other cities. In Vladivostok, the Ambassadors for Peace, activists, and UPF volunteers took part in a master class in making "flowers of peace." Then each participant could affix the flower to a kind of "flowerbed of peace."

All this was carried out in support of the Gorky library, Schools #6, 28, 74, the "Ocean" children's camp and a boarding school for the hearing-impaired.

The poets Gennady Litvinenko and Lisa Kozhin, as well as students of city schools, recited poetry about goodness and peace. The participants enjoyed the singing of the young star Anastasia Ivanova

UPF activists congratulated the citizens. Maria Sergienko recited the poem "Pharmacy of Happiness" by E. Asadov. Yuri Khrenov and Alexandra Sitkina sang a song about peace. Representing different regions and nationalities of Russia, the volunteers pointed out the main idea of the “Peace Road” project: a united world beyond cultural and ethnic borders.

The action "Let there be peace!" was held in Vladivostok for the second time.

Maria Sergienko, UPF-Vladivistok

Photo: https://vk.com/wellnessclubborakami?w=wall-31526962_353


Ryazan

The family is the school of love and peace. The attitude of our children to others, to life, to the world in general, in many respects depends on how we educate them.

A festival related to the annual International Day of Peace was held in Kindergarten #25 on September 23, 2016.

Parents and children celebrated the day together with invited guests. The majority of the participants were hearing about the date for the first time. During the celebration, the Mall of Peace was opened in the kindergarten; the participants planted the first tree on it.

Parents with their children took part in a race titled "We Want Peace!" In this race, there were no winners; by running the distance each family expressed its desire to live in a peaceful world.

Children and parents prepared handmade articles from natural materials at home, expressing their desire to live in peace and friendship with all the people of the planet. At the celebration there was an exhibition of various handicrafts.

During the festival, the children got to know the cultures of several countries. Lutfiya Maksumova spoke about Tajikistan, and the Serov family and Tatiana Nechaeva gave a presentation on Ukraine. Master Dobrynya of the "Forge of Goodness" showed how to work with wood; dollmaker Olga Pupysheva held a master class in making doll-amulets, which in the past our ancestors always carried as safeguards against misfortune.

Finally, the participants released into the sky balloons in the form of doves—the birds of peace.

Participation in such events brings together children and adults, enables parents to give a little more heart to their children and those outside the kindergarten. It’s a new chance to take care of those who are near. Thus, we become kinder, borders between people disappear, and the world becomes better!

Olga Neizdaiminova, UPF-Ryazan

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