UNESCO Youth Peace Ambassador Training: Day 5&6

Yesterday the Youth Peace Ambassador’s were out in the streets of London (Stratford Olympic Park and Central London) conducting a survey to determine the figures of how many people have actually heard of the Olympic Truce. We went around asking people if they have heard of the Olympic Truce. Out of the 1035 respondents only 59 have heard of the Olympic Truce. Out of the 600 British respondents 3.8% have heard of the Olympic Truce, whilst 8.3% of the respondents from 69 other countries have heard of the Truce.

These results go straight to the point we were trying to make before, it is quite disappointing that The Olympic Truce has such little significance. The other day, David Wardrop – Chairman of United Nations Association Westminster said: “You can’t have an Olympic Games without having an Olympic Truce. We’re only celebrating the games because the Ancient Greeks decided that sports are greater than war.”

Today the Ambassador’s also had a valuable lesson on communication skills conducted by Gordon Sillence using the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) tools. Gordon reminded us that when we’re fighting for something, especially something good like peace, we will get disappointed a long the way but we need to keep going. He advised us to think positively and visualise what we want, “the more you visualise something it comes into reality” he said. He also told us to keep saying this over and over again: “Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better and better!”

We also had a special Skype presentation from Louis D’Amore, President & Founder of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT), who is in Canada and was unable to join us in London. He gave us an idea of the important of promoting peace through tourism and how effective it can be. He also pointed out that in 2011 the total defence budget of all nations was US$ 1.7 Trillion. Imagine if we stopped war and gave room to peace, the world will be a prosperous place to live in. “Less than half of the world’s military expenditures will be sufficient to solve the world’s poverty issues” said Louis D’Amore.

Finally, we had a special visit from Dr. Jasder Rai – Chair of the Sikh Human Rights Group. I, myself an admirer of the Sikh communal system was really impressed by how united the community really is. Dr Jasder Rai gave us some really great examples of how the community lives peacefully not only amongst themselves but also with other ethnic and religious groups. It’s really inspiring how they open the Gurudwara doors to everyone for meals throughout the day, you don’t have to be Sikh to benefit from it. There alone, the issue of poverty is taken care of by sharing what you have with the community.  The Gurudwara in Southall feeds upto 10,000 people everyday and about 15,000-20,000 people on festival days.

Dr. Jasder Rai emphasised that all religions say: “Respect other human beings, everybody is God’s creation, then why kill each other?” A problem can’t be solved if everyone turns a blind eye to it. We need to bring it up and talk about it, we need to take action and solve it.

The UNESCO Olympic Truce Peace Festival is on the 8th of September 13:30-18:00. Everyone is welcome, please follow the link below for more information:

http://www.unescobkk.org/rushsap/youth/oypa/

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