Galaxy4Peace organised Sweat4Peace Walk & Peace Meal Dates As The World Marks International Peace Day
In a time of conflict all across the globe, it was somehow rewarding to have a day set aside to create awareness on the need to have peace with a walk tagged: “Sweat 4 Peace” just for that purpose.
The necessity for such propelled the founder of Galaxy4Peace Nigeria, Precious Ajunwa who in collaboration with Demoriah Couture came together to organise an event to commemorate an International Day of Peace in Lagos.
The event was held on September 20, 2014 in Lagos, with Nigerian celebrities (actors and musicians), United Nation Peace Ambassadors, leaders from government sectors, indigenous organizations, youth peace advocates, students from tertiary institutions, civil society representatives, and technical expert from West African Network of Peace-building in Nigeria (WANEP) all lending voices in the programme with their participation.
The walk, with the theme – Rights of People to peace (United Nation’s Theme) focused on bringing people together in Lagos to observe an International Day of Peace (a brainchild of the United Nations).
Some of the components of the project focused
on creating an awareness on the rights of people to peace: be it their social right, socio economic right, educational right etc. It equally provided a platform for the consciousness of the citizens on the need to promote the culture of peace in their various communities.
“There is no meaningful sustainable peace without the efforts of every individual, be it people at the private and public sector organizations; Nigeria should continue to support and partner with civil society organizations working on peace-building to realize the goals and objectives of the peace day mandate by the United Nations,” said the founder of Galaxy4Peace, Precious Ajunwa, who is championing the cause for peace.
Ajunwa also noted that: “With the support of well-meaning Nigerians, creating a culture of peace will be achieved if more hands take part in peace-building projects.” Some of the celebrities who took part in the walk include: Michael Stephens (popularly known as Ruggedman – UN Peace Ambassador/Muscian) Bimbo Manuel (Actor/Journalist) IK Ogbonna (Model/Actor) Brycee Bassey (Actress/Humanitarian activist) Adunni Ade (Model/Actress) Koredo Bello (Muscian/Peace Ambassador) Paul Anderson (Writer/Journalist).
Team Lead, Climate Wednesday, Olumide Idowu congratulated Precious Ajunwa for organising the successful walk that had such a huge turn-out, and also commended the efforts of celebrities who signed up for the walk.
Idowu also commended the Chairman Amuwo Odofin Local Government Council of Lagos State, Comrade Adewale Ayo, and other CSOs and individuals who took part in the event, noting that the walk will be a reference point and would also contribute to national development.
One of the celebrities, Michael Stephens (Ruggedman) coincidentally celebrated his birthday on the day of the walk, and he used it as avenue to make himself available to push through the message of International Day of Peace, and also campaign for people’s right to peace at the walk.
The celebrities after the event, all pointed out the special roles they themselves need to play via contributing in the field of sustainable development, by giving their supports to Civil Society Organizations leading peace causes, considering that many youths who are seen as key actors to incident of conflicts, look up to them as role models.
They equally commended the project, noting that it has come in very handy at this point that insurgency is on the rise in Nigeria.
Bridget Osakwe (Program Manager, West Africa Network of Peace-builders in Nigeria)on her part noted that “…Achieving a sustainable peace which in turn leads to sustainable development lies in our communal effort, however, our government still has a lot of work to do in achieving a peaceful world.
“Let’s ask ourselves, ‘How many Peace Institutes do we have in Nigeria and West Africa as a whole? There is an urgent need for our West African leaders to shift their focus on developing more peace institutes in our communities rather than focusing on weaponry.
“Our work as peace-builders will be more, when peace-building is properly institutionalized in our country and there is a system whereby individuals have to pass through these peace institutes for social development.
Speaking to THISDAY Newspaper, Ajunwa further called on the private and public sectors to strengthen and efficiently contribute towards the promotion of peace culture, by supporting CSOs working at pre and post conflict stages, keying into peace education projects in secondary schools, bearing in mind that if we want to have real peace in the world; we must begin with our children by catching them young.
Still in honour of the Peace Day, a second project executed by Galaxy4Peace, was : ‘Peace Meal Date’.
The second event took place on September 21, at AFRIVILLE Hub in Lagos Nigeria, a day after the Sweat4Peace Walk.
It marked the official flag-off of “Peace Meal With Precious”, an innovative platform set out for mentoring youths to become Peace-builders. It also set up a platform for participants to talk over issues bothering on National development.
One of the highlights of the event was the commitment by fifteen participants, who pledged to always observe peace day every year.
It was also an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of United Nations Ambassador of Peace, Michael Stephens (Ruggedman) who took part in the Peace Walk to commemorate his day.
There was also an avenue for the participants to convey messages to the youths and general public about the 2015 general election.
Below are some of the core things the organisers of ‘Sweat4Peace’ and ‘Peace Meal Date’ projects was set to achieve through the programmes:
1) Joining the rest of the world in commemoration of International Day of Peace.
2) Enlightening the general public on the need to be proactive in sustaining a peaceful environment.
3) Supporting peace-building efforts in Nigeria as well as being part of a statewide community effort.
Some others include:
* Showcasing and demonstrating youth’s commitment towards the suppression of violence in our communities and charging every youth (who are seen as major actors to incidence on conflict) on the need for peace in Nigeria.
* Inspiring hope for success in the minds of our brothers and sisters resident in conflict affected zones in Nigeria and beyond.
* And to sensitize the public on the need to complement CSO’s efforts at tackling prevalent violence and conflict related challenges in Nigeria.
Perhaps, the high point of the Peace walk was the enthusiasm the participants showed during the event. Interestingly, it rained heavily during the walk, but participants were not deterred as they defied the rains, marching in it all the way to the National Stadium.
It was a touch of class by them, as they kept walking in the rain, lending their support to celebrate International Day of Peace, in a society that really needs it.
Noteworthy, these participants walked a distance of over 13kilometers. It started from CMS Bridge zone, with over two hundred participants doing the procession, and it climaxed at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Sweat4Peace is expected to be held annually in addition to other peace day events, which Galaxy4Peace will execute yearly in honour of International Day of Peace.
Measuring the impact of the project (Sweat4Peace) besides individuals who lauded it, our Peace Day message and its impact: Sweat4Peace walk recorded over 200 participants and its pre-event publicity was featured on over 10 popular websites in Nigeria, with its weekly/monthly viewing between 140,000 – 21,000 / 420, 0000 – 630, 0000. It was also featured on two websites in the United States.
Some of the Nigerian celebrities who have huge followership on various social media online community, Twitter, equally tweeted about the walk. The celebrities who participated at the event posted on their pages on: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, live pictures as they engaged on the walk and why the walk is essential given the level of insurgency that Nigeria is presently encountering.
THISDAY Newspaper covered the event as well, giving it a journalistic presence.
Also, Sweat4Peace was nominated as the event of the year for the 2014 University of Lagos Maiden Award.
Remember “Together, We Can Achieve More” support our ongoing projects ( Peace At Workplaces | Peace Education We Love| Peacebuilding Dolls| PeaceMealWithPrecious ) which span throughout the year and keep a date with us for another better edition of “Sweat 4 Peace” in 2015.
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