Taliah, aged 16

You can contribute to peace: What actions are you taking in your surroundings, your school, your city or internationally 

Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the establishment of equality, and a working political order that serves the true interests of all. In international relations, peacetime is not only the absence of war or conflict, but also the presence of cultural and economic understanding and unity. (dictionary.reference.com) There are several things you can do on several different levels that can help you and your community be more peaceful and even play a small role in helping your countries peace conflicts.

A person can contribute to peace just by saying “sorry” to someone when they do something that might hurt them in anyway. For example getting of the tram and stepping on someone’s foot. If you say sorry you are contributing to peace. Some citizens choose to do that simple act out of curtsey and do realize that it is advocating peace. Some citizens on the other hand enjoy doing other things to contribute to peace that they feel can help the world.

Some things that I have gotten involved in are freshman year joining the peace movement at my high school. Although it wasn’t one of the big peace movements that boycott wars and participate in political lobbying. I did have a chance to see ways that people would be able to contribute to peace at home.

One method that many people decide to do at home is donate money to an organization that they see fit to advocate their views on peace. Other citizens choose to just donate money to organizations that help kids who are in need around the world, such as The Salvation Army who’s mission is to help the homeless, abused or disadvantaged children and adults. Another organization is UNICEF, which provides protection for children’s rights, helps children meet their basic needs and gives children a new opportunity to learn and grow outside of their environment. UNICEF is also a unique organization because they are run by the United Nations General Assembly.

Some organizations have gotten government help and funding to go overseas and help people who are in need whether it is building a well or building a school, teaching children how to read and write or even building houses for families to live in after a big crisis. These organizations make a difference and most of them are solely based off of volunteers.

Many things that we do in our daily life can break or make connections with other countries. Countries decided who’s an allies and who is an enemy by the way the government acts but also on the way the people have acted. Giving money to UNICEF or The Salvation Army can help build connections with the communities and the countries that the money giving is helping. Many of the things we do can affect our life in the future.

You personally can contribute to peace depending on the action you take in life. I personally have contributed to many foundations and have done a Peace Corps trip with my family. Being in another country and seeing how people live it makes you fell good to help them. Even if out ancestors or neighboring countries are at war with each other or have been at war with each other. The act of helping another person out can make you feel like you are apart of something bigger than you could ever imagine. I believe that this is a good way to contribute to peace and if everyone did something to help another country the world would be a better place.

About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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