One of the main learnings of today was the importance of finding common ground to promote peace.
Dolapo Fakuade, UNESCO Looking Beyond Disaster & Peace Ambassador emphasised that an important factor for peace is finding common interests, this is what brings us together. At most instances people tend to look at the negative, focusing on differences rather establishing what we have in common.
Dolapo gave us an excellent example of how mutual understanding created a truce which has been on for the past 10 years among two Yoruba Tribes in the Western part of Nigeria.
The Ife-Modakeke conflict which was going on for more than a century was devastating not only for the tribes but to anyone who tried to cross the area. People were killed, schools closed and inter-married families were broken.
It was the youth of these two tribes that found a common interest in the only university accessible to them and implemented the truce. They realised that killing and disruption was not the way to go. Imagine, a century long genocide was ceased by the youth, this is a great testimony to the power of youth. We are the ones with the passion and the fire. Dolapo believes that the youth can influence children by their actions and also persuade the elders to create a peaceful co-existence.
She stressed that “we are the future! If we don’t do something now what future would we have?”
Therefore, it is our responsibility to spread the word, The more people we have thinking about a peaceful co-existence, the closer we get to peace.
Talking about spreading the word, David Wardrop – Chairman of United Nations Association Westminster, who joined our discussions on promoting the Olympic Truce reminded us how powerful we are, especially “the Facebook generation”, we have the power to communicate in a way that other generations couldn’t.
David Wardrop too shares the same sentiments as us on the lack of importance placed on the Olympic Truce, therefore he wanted to take it viral and created a Facebook group. The group now has 12,534 members from 91 countries wanting to talk about peace.
Click here to join the Olympic Truce Facebook group.
In the coming days you will find out about the direct action The Youth Peace Ambassador’s are taking to promote the Olympic Peace. Click here to find out more about us (includes ambassador profiles).