Each year the International Day of Peace (IDP) is observed on 21st September. The UN General Assembly has it as a 24-hour period of non-violence and cease-fire. The 2020 theme was, “Shaping Peace Together.”
With the promotion of peace underscored in the theme, this year promoted a clearer ground to suppress a common enemy – a global virus that threatens our health, security and way of life. The Peace Day united organizations and individuals on a call to promote and spread compassion, kindness and hope as the world recovers from the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Tanzania’s International Day of Peace kicked off on 19th September 2020 in Tanga region, under the theme, “Tujenge Amani Pamoja,” (Let us build peace together). The Peace day in Tanzania brought together a joint committee comprising of various CSOs, NGOs and UN agencies namely: UNIC Dar es Salaam, Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) Tanzania, Youth of United Nations Association (YUNA), JCI Tanzania, Mulika Tanzania, Dodoma Youth Development Organization (DOYODO), Global Peace Foundation Tanzania, Inter-Religious Council for Peace in Tanzania, ISOC, Tanzania-Mozambique Centre for Foreign Relations (CFR), Bright Jamii Initiative, Glaring Future Foundation, Africa – Asia Youth Foundation – AAYFO, Peace Life for People with Disabilities (PLPDF) and International Youth Foundation – IYF.
GNRC–Tanzania in collaboration with other stakeholders organized a series of events to mark the peace day. These events realised significant participation of different groups of individuals and organizations advocating for peace and sustainable development in Tanzania.
The joint committee conducted three virtual dialogue sessions, which focused on lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening families and building peace. The online dialogue sessions on Family and Peace, Youth, Technology and Peace, and Health and Peace, revealed the struggles during the pandemic and discussed solutions to increased acts of violence against children, including gender based violence.
The peace activities concluded with the Grand Amani Peace Fun Run on 19th September 2020, a marathon graced by Tanzania’s Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and Elderly, Hon. Ummy Mwalimu. The 5km, 10km, and 15km peace marathon brought together more than 500 participants including children, youth, adults, people with disability, and representatives from the government. Participants received peace medals for their participation.
GNRC–Tanzania was similarly appreciated for her efforts in promoting peace in the country. On behalf of the GNRC, Mr. Venance Temu received the certificate of appreciation from Hon. Mwalimu.
In rounding up the international day, GNRC–Tanzania equally organized a meeting with 24 faith leaders from BAKWATA, CCT (Anglican, Lutheran, Monrovian) and TEC, on 21st September 2020. The meeting discussed how to sustain peace especially in the increased adversity of poverty and violence against children during and post COVID-19.
Faced with the pandemic, faith leaders at the meeting committed to strengthening the capacities of families in communities towards positive child upbringing. Religious leaders agreed that they are role models in transforming and shaping communities.