On Saturday 6th September 36 young people from 10 different countries came together in Prishtina, Kosovo to communicate to the world about peace. A topic that has varying degrees of impact on different countries and individuals, even for the 10 countries present there was a great difference in experience and knowledge of peace around the world. This diversity created an incredible learning and sharing environment for people where everyone was free to express and discover.
The task set was to present a media project of ‘what peace means to us’ and all the young people were split into groups of 4 or 5 and given a short period of time with deadlines to produce their findings. One of the groups concluding statement was “I will Wake up, I will stand up and I will act for the future”. This quote came from a group of participants from Albania, England, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia all who’s participants admitted that personally they have not experienced much conflict within their countries but they all felt that young people who have not been affected by conflict shouldn’t ignore it and do nothing. They should be able to act to make a difference… however it is not always that simple! There are steps that need to take place, such as being educated in global issues and given the understanding that we are all in this together, we should all care.
Instilling support which can help young people to first find peace and balance within themselves is also very important. How can we ask young people to promote and act upon peace if they have not found it in themselves? But its not just young people how many of us can actually say you have found peace within yourself? There may be some activities that we take part in such as dance that might be our safe haven and during these beautiful moments we feel safe and tranquil, if only we had that feeling all the time.We all know that it is not that simple and that there are everyday conflicts within our lives that make it difficult, but what if we take a step forward and unite together what impact can our actions have? Even if the action is sharing a post on Facebook, using Instagram to get a picture out there, tweeting/retweeting global issues, these things can take seconds but yet done properly and at the right time can be so powerful, and simple and guess what: anyone can do it!
So the question is ‘How can you make a difference’, an example of how to be involved is through youth organisations coming together in projects such as Bridges for the Future. This can provide the tools for young leaders to ignite the passion, spread hope and inspire others to be more aware. Everyone should take a minute and ask themselves…
What can I do and how can I do it?
Everyone wants to feel peace, we want to have a safe haven, everyone wants to have a purpose so lets spread the passion and ‘Act for the Future!’
Article by Karina Barnett via http://ymcagloballink.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/inspiring-awareness-to-act-for-future.html